By Jessica Stewart
As one of the world's most traded products, leather is part of a booming $80 billion industry. But, its use of animal products and harsh chemicals makes leather problematic not only for animal rights activists but environmentalists. Luckily, two entrepreneurs from Mexico have worked to find a leather alternative that is not only eco-friendly but has the look and feel of real leather. So what are they using to make their faux-leather? The answer might surprise you.
Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez have developed a method of transforming cacti into a vegan leather that looks so realistic, you'd never guess it was made from this desert plant. They called their cactus vegan leather Desserto and it is made from cacti grown on their plantation in the Mexican state of the Zacatecas. The cactus is known for its rugged, thick skin, which makes it the perfect texture to simulate animal leather.
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