The origins of our idea
Leather from cacti? How does it work and above all: why?
Our goal was simple. A handbag that is in no way inferior to a bag made of animal leather in terms of feel and appearance, but at the same time avoids animal suffering and keeps its ecological footprint as small as possible. Animal leather was not an alternative for us from the start because we believe that nowadays it is not necessary to kill animals for fashion.
We have avoided synthetic leather because it consists exclusively of plastics. These not only pollute the environment, but are often processed with toxic chemicals, which also pose a risk to the people who work in production. Synthetic leather avoids the suffering of animals, but it can by no means be described as environmentally friendly.
Cactus leather and its special features
We experimented with many materials as part of our design process. Leather from apples, leather from grapes, leather from a mixture of different vegetable materials. But cactus leather convinced us right from the start. There are many reasons for this:
We get the cactus leather we use from a Mexican start-up. The cacti come from their natural habitat and are not grown and bred especially for the leather. Cacti are perfectly adapted to their environmental conditions. This allows us to use a material that is hard to beat in terms of sustainability.
- Cacti are plants and bind CO2 in their leaves during photosynthesis. This removes CO2 from the atmosphere instead of emitting it. The production of the cactus leather not only fully compensates for the CO2 emissions caused by the production of the leather, but also binds more CO2 than is actually emitted. This means that cactus leather is not only CO2-neutral in terms of its CO2 balance, but also CO2-negative!
- Cacti live in an extremely dry habitat. In fact, cacti are so well adapted to their environmental conditions that they use very little water. By very little we mean 80% less water than comparable plants. They are so efficient that the plants do not have to be artificially watered during production. They get the water from the rain that falls on the farms. This not only saves CO2, but above all water - a precious commodity that is unfortunately still too wastefully handled today.
- The prickly pear is very robust and by that we don't mean that it has spines and that it stands upright. By this we mean that it makes hardly any demands on its environment and that it can be grown under almost any conditions. In addition, it has hardly any predators. This enables us to do without any pesticides in production. Mother Earth says "Thank you!"
- For the production of the leather, only the ripe leaves of the cactus are cut off without damaging the plant itself. The cacti can continue to grow and can be harvested again every 6-8 months. In addition, only three cactus leaves are needed to produce one running meter of cactus leather.
- No toxic chemicals are used in production and coloring.
Feels like leather. Looks like leather. Just without the bad points
The end result is a product that is in no way inferior to animal leather in terms of feel, appearance and quality. But on the contrary. With our alternative, we are able to offer a product that stands out. A product that is luxurious and, above all, a product that honors the environment and the people who make it. Because that was, is and will always be our vision - to change the fashion industry sustainably.