Vegan Leather from Cacti

Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez came from industries that create a lot of waste and pollution: automotive and furniture, respectively. They saw the environmental problems that their former jobs were creating and decided to use their design skills for a better cause, hence creating a brand called Desserto. 

Adrián and Marte came up with the idea of turning cacti into leather. Not only is it environmentally friendly, it is also cruelty free and significantly cuts down the usage of natural resources that normal leather uses, such as water, because cacti grows completely fine with just rain water alone.

Guess how much water is used just to make one pair of leather shoes? 2000 gallons.

Think about the amount of people who wear and sells these shoes, over a million, probably over a billion. Just this factor should make you consider and choose cactus leather instead of normal leather. Even the tanning process of the leather is eco friendly! They use the energy coming from the sun so no outside energy source is needed for the process. Some fashion experts have applauded the cactus leather for its’ buttery smooth texture and flexibility. 

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Ms. Angie Zhou

Education Specialist

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Angie Zhou is an Education Specialist at MIT App Inventor. She was the founder and CEO of Dreams Come True in Shenzhen, where she developed online coding courses for kids. She also has previous curriculum development, teaching and staff training experience at First Code Academy in Hong Kong.