Mexico’s other ‘green’ business: vegan leather

Several companies are already marketing biomaterials created with cactus or with the bacteria present in the remains of strawberry and mango. Is Mexico on the verge of a very profitable market?

In the United States, the vegan lifestyle has grown by 500% over the past five years. Either by conscience, religion, necessity or temporary fashion, the truth is that this population is made up of more than 600 million people worldwide and is in unstoppable rise, especially in the US and Mexico, where entrepreneurs are exploring new ways to meet the high demand for all kinds of products, not only food and cosmetics.

Earlier this year, Mexico's Polybion announced the creation of a bio textile from agro-industrial wastes, which took advantage of the transformation of bacteria inside into mango and strawberry remains to obtain a material that resembled leather.

But now two Mexican entrepreneurs have achieved organic and vegan leather that it’s just as resistant and elastic as the synthetic or animal ones, but sustainable and made from cactus. More specifically, from nopales, a type of cactus that abounds in the country and doesn’t require water to grow.

Adrián López Velader and Marte Cázarez, creators of the product, said “Desserto” is the first organic leather made with this plant and whose production does not use any type of toxic chemical, phthalate or PVC, even if it is only partially degradable.

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