Green Style: Cactus Leather X Fashion
by Aum Vaswani on Sep 17, 2021
Written by Ananya K Shah.
AMARÉ believes that ethics and purpose are integral to fashion. Our vegan products express the sentiment that luxury owes a responsibility to our natural landscapes
It is joined by a growing number of brands and consumers who are determined to create and purchase products that adhere to their convictions of ethics and sustainability. In The 2020 Conscious Fashion Report, the fashion search engine Lyst noted that the searches for “vegan leather” increased by 69% between February 2019 and February 2020. Shoppers also sought out more “eco vegan leather” options—an important distinction because not all vegan products are ecologically sensitive.
Younger consumers were especially interested in such vegan alternatives, and were more likely to take an interest in how and where their products were being made. Vegan fashion, the findings imply, is a vital
part of style and creativity. Beauty and innovation are all about being good to the planet and all life, including animals.
This is great news, because the most dominant forms of leather production—both animal hide-based and synthetic—are devastating to the environment. Millions of animal skins are used in the fashion industry each year, and most tanning processes degrade the environment. Synthetic leather is made from polyurethane (PU) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). While these non-biodegradable polymers do not contain animal matter, producing them requires fossil fuels and toxic chemicals. In the places where they are manufactured, including India, China, and Bangladesh, they have wreaked ecological damage.
However, buoyed by consumer interest, there is a growing trend in favor of more ecologically-conscious alternatives. Resourceful manufacturers are looking to plant-based sources for inspiration on how to counter the use of synthetic leather. These eco-friendly materials have the most unexpected origins and are produced creatively. Amaré uses Desserto, a leather-alternative produced in Mexico with cactus leaves. With its eco-friendly and unique model—the cacti are irrigated naturally with rainwater, and only their most mature leaves are cut off—Desserto creates vegan leather that is partially biodegradable. It enriches the soil and does not use chemical pesticides. It embodies Amaré’s mission of beauty and quality while being kind to the environment. For its originality, it was recognized as one of the Top 30 Finalists of the LVMH Innovation Award.
Using nopal, or cactus, leather like Desserto also makes for a more enjoyable experience. Unlike synthetic leather, Desserto is extremely breathable and light. It is also durable, retaining its strength and structure for over ten years. This allows the pieces to be quality investments, unlike lower-grade alternatives which shoppers are forced to throw away within a few years of purchase. As fewer Desserto pieces are consigned to landfills, they create less of a strain when they are disposed of and are more sustainable overall.
Today, Desserto’s nopal leather is used to manufacture handbags and shoes; it also has applications in furniture and in the automotive industry,
where it is used to make seats. According to experts at Lineappelle Milan, it is well-suited to the luxury industry due to its flexibility and softness.
Amaré has chosen to partner with Desserto due to their aim of being ethical and environmentally friendly. The bags are a labour of love and are brought to life only with materials that share the same vision.
- New York Times
- Vogue/Vogue Business
- Harper’s Bazaar
- Desserto and other blogs