Eco-friendly Mexican leather alternative

Leather made from prickly-pear cactus

As reported by¸ Mexican inventors Adrian Lopez and Marte Cazarez have developed the first organic leather made entirely from the nopal, or prickly-pear cactus. The designers are offering a sustainable, stylish and eco-friendly alternative to leather. The innovative leather substitute was presented to top designers at the Lineapelle International Leather Trade Exhibition in Milan this month.

The inventors worked for two years to create the leather alternative that they claim is not only environmentally sustainable and entirely plant-based but also is breathable and lasts for at least a decade.

Consumers and brands are increasingly turning away from inferior faux leathers made with petroleum-based plastics, which are hard to clean and far less breathable than genuine animal leather.

The nopal cactus has long been a national symbol of Mexico as well as a crucial staple of the Mexican diet. Since pre-Hispanic times, the antioxidant-rich nopal has been prepared in countless ways within the Mexican kitchen, whether mixed with salads, meats, poultry, avocado, eggs, cheeses, or blended with corn tortillas, candies and fruit juices.

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