Cactus Plant-Based Leather

Why have alternatives to animal-based leather?


Leather is widely used within the industry from shoes, handbags, upholstery, to car interiors. Animal-based Leather has a distinctive desired texture with long lasting durability making it difficult to replace.

Pro's to animal-based leather : 

  • Patina (ageing process),
  • Texture,
  • Durability.

Cons to animal-based leather :

  • High water usage,
    • To produce one pair of leather shoes requires 2,110 gallons of water (Ives 2015)
  • High energy intensive
  • Toxic chemicals can be used in the leather process which can pollute water bodies and eco systems (Peta n.d).

The popular PVC leather alternative is also not quite favourable to the environment, as PVC is synthetic based (Polyvinyl chloride) created using fossil fuels and non-biodegradable. 


Is there a more sustainable option? 

Planted-based Cactus leather



Through innovation, a company called Desserto have perfected a plant-based leather using cactus. Only the mature cactus leaves are harvested whilst the smaller leaves are left to grow. The cactus also requires very little water to be maintained and absorbs C0₂ from the environment. 



Pro's to Cactus-based leather :

  • Biodegradable 
  • Low water usage in comparison to animal based leather
  • Organic
  • Cactus absorbs C0₂  
  • lasts for 10 years 

Cons to Cactus-based leather :


  • Will not develop patina 

The Cactus 



Asset 3

   Image source, Desserto


Cactus based leather products


- Handbags                                    - Car Interiors                                               - Acessories                                            - Trimmings                                                       - Shoes




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                                                           Image source, Carmona                                                                                              Image source, Canna                                                                                                                 Image source, Canna



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                                                           Image source, Canna                                                                                                            Image source, Santos                                                                                                                Image source, Santos    



Ives, C., (2015) 'How much water does it take...' Green Eco Services [Blog] Available at:  Accessed 19th September 2020

Peta (n.d) Environmental Hazards of Leather Available at: Accessed 19th September 2020

Peta (n.d) Environmental Hazards of Leather Available at: Accessed 19th September 2020



OOTD Styling

  Natural fibres                                                                                          Sustainable                                                                                                          Warm


The prices above reflect the retail price of the products when checked, we are not liable for purchases to other companies. 

Net Sustain, Gala double-breasted wool-gabardine coat

£ 640

Net Sustain, King & Tuckfield

£ 325

Canna Project, Dolores - Green Cactus