Cactus leather is the latest sustainable fashion trend. This unique, bio-based material is made from the prickly pear cactus and is hailed for its breathability – an attribute that other vegan leathers lack. Car companies are even getting in on the action; Mercedes-Benz applied cactus leather to the interior of a concept electric car in January 2022.
So, how is cactus leather made? The cactus is harvested twice a year by cutting off only mature pads (cactus leaves). This ensures that the cactus isn’t harmed and can continue to grow. Once the pads are removed, they’re sliced into thin strips and left to dry in the sun. After they’ve dried, the strips are treated with a natural resin – this helps to give the cactus leather its signature pliability.
This sustainable material is not only good for the environment, but it’s also durable and strong. Cactus leather has been used for everything from handbags and shoes to apparel and furniture. And, as more people become conscious of the impact their clothing has on the environment, we’re likely to see even more cactus leather products hitting the market.