March 12, 2022 4 min read

Have you ever looked at a traditional animal leather wallet, jacket, purse, or other accessory and thought ‘wow, that’s really beautiful?’ You’re not alone. At Desserto we agree that animal leathers look beautiful and the longevity is great too. But we didn’t like the fact that animals are killed in order to make it. Plus, it’s bad for the environment and, in turn, bad for all of us. 

So, we decided to look for something else. And that’s when we found cactus leather.

Now, this may not be the traditional way, but we believe it’s a better way. And once you have a chance to see how it’s done we’re sure you’ll think it’s a better way too. 

Cactus leather is sustainable, making it great for the environment and all of us. PLUS, it looks just as beautiful as traditional animal leather (we think it’s looks even more so) AND it lasts just as long if not longer. So, what are you waiting for? 

Let’s take a look at the creation of our products so you can see just why they’re so amazing.

Creating Cactus Leather

Our ranch in Zacatecas, Mexico is where we grow our cacti. But the process of growing and cultivating cacti is not just about cutting down everything that grows. We ensure that we only cut mature leaves that can be removed without damaging the plant itself. And we make sure that we only cut every 6-8 months so the plants have a good amount of time to regenerate. 

During the growing process we let Mother Nature take care of things for us, growing the cacti using only rainwater and natural earth minerals that are found in the ground right here. We also make sure we select the ideal species of cacti that are resilient for the tough seasons, strong enough for the low winter temperatures, and native to the region. Not to mention we look for smaller thorns so they’re easier to care for.

We specifically grow Crassulacean Acid Metabolism cacti that optimizes its own growth and primarily cares for itself because we know that Mother Nature does it best. All we have to do is plant the cacti and it will take over for a period of eight years, with us only interacting to trim the cacti to produce our leather. 

Plus, we don’t cut down trees to plant our cacti. We make sure that they are planted in amongst the natural flora to ensure better biodiversity and to improve the environment we operate in rather than changing it for our own purposes. And our cacti grow even better for it. Also, we make sure everything about our plantation is organic, so it stimulates the local environment even more, providing everything that our cacti need without damaging the product or the plant and animal life of the region.

Once the leaves are mature and ready for harvesting we cut them and let them dry in the sun for three days, which extracts just the right amount of humidity. That way, the pieces we start with have just the right balance of moisture to make them pliable while ensuring that they aren’t overly saturated. From there, we’re able to process the cacti leaves with our patented formula to get the final cactus leather that we then use to create each product. 

Why It Matters

Maybe cactus leather sounds interesting to you, but you’re not quite sure about giving up your animal leather. You might be wondering, ‘just what’s the big deal?’

Well, the ‘big deal’ is actually two-fold. First, animal leather is actually worse for our eco-system and our planet than the meat industry. 

This is true for a multitude of reasons. For one thing, cattle ranching is the largest cause of deforestation in the Amazon, resulting in a great deal of lost oxygen production within our world. Even a small amount of loss in the region can mean an immense loss for our planet.

Not to mention cattle need to eat. So, not only are the cattle taking up space just for their existence, but their food takes up a great deal of space. And then the production of meat products and the tanning industry that creates animal leathers from the cow hide also take up space and contribute to the pollution of our planet. 

Where the meat production process creates moderate actual chemical discharge or toxins into the environment, the tanning process releases a great deal of toxins into the environment, even in the most modern and efficient of facilities. It means that tanning leads to a great deal of harm in our environment. 

Second, of course, is the direct impact on animals in our eco-system. The vegan view, and our view, is that animals are not meant for us to cultivate and destroy just so we can eat them or use them for clothing products. Rather, animals are meant to live and die as nature sees fit. On their own schedule. 

All of this is why we strive to create high quality cactus leather and show just how spectacular it can be, without the chemicals or the harm to our environment and the creatures we share this planet with. 

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