These vegan brands using cactus leather are on the cutting edge of sustainable vegan fashion!
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
The world is finally shifting to a plant-based lifestyle! More and more people are acknowledging the importance of going vegan with their diet. Many fashionistas are finally realising how cruel leather is, and are buying clothes made out of vegan materials such as vegan cactus leather.
In the past, there were plenty of justified critiques about ‘vegan leathers‘. They were all basically just plastic! But nowadays, there is a wider selection of vegan textiles made out of plant-based fibres, such as Piñatex (Pineapple), Apple Skin, Orange Fibe, MuSkin (Mushrooms), and the Hana Plant (Agave), for example. The newbie on the scene is one of our favourites: leather made from cactus fibre!
The industrial name of this new material is Desserto, and it’s the brainchild of Mexican duo Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez. They founded this company in 2019, with the goal of using cactus fibres for something productive. Also known as nopal vegan leather, it has become extremely popular extremely quickly for its skin-like texture and hardcore durability.
How is cactus leather made?
The original vegan cactus leather is made in the Mexican state of Zacatecas, on the ranch of Adrián and Marte. The plant is completely organic, since no herbicides or pesticides are needed for it to grow. Only the mature leaves of the cactus are removed to produce the fibre, making sure the rest of the plant isn’t harmed. Once the mature leaves are removed, they’re left to dry under the sun for exactly three days. Then the raw material is processed with the company’s patented formula.
This harvesting process occurs every 6 to 8 months, and the exceptional thing about the plant is it doesn’t need much water. Natural rainwater is enough!
How can vegan cactus leather be used?
Anything that’s normally made of leather can use this innovative material instead. Its texture is smooth and its performance is sturdy! It’s perfect for handbags, accessories, footwear, and even car seats and interior design objects. Cactus leather is also resistant to abrasion and deals very well with humidity.
Designers who want to let their creativity run wild using this cactus-based textile can buy it by the meter, and can also request customisation in terms of colours and textures.
Let’s take a look at the best vegan brands using cactus leather today!
Vegan Brands Using Cactus Based Fabrics
1. Frida Rome
This female-power-led brand was created by friends Natalie and Rebecca, who wanted to design a conscious luxury label that would be “sophisticated on the outside and naughty on the inside.” The duo decided to make their punkish vegan crossbody bag, called the Week/End, from a variety of materials, including cactus leather.
Handmade by artisans in Manchester, the bag is incredibly versatile, since you can wear it in three different ways. It’s not only a crossbody, but it can also be a shoulder bag or box style clutch.
And if you’re wondering how this bag can be “naughty on the inside”…well, it contains a hidden erotic chapter. This is Frida Rome’s signature detail, making it one of the sexiest vegan brands using cactus leather today!
Best for: A sustainable vegan bag with a lot of attitude!
2. A_C Official
A_C Official is another great vegan bag brand using cactus leather. The Aussie label of ethical accessories that we used to know as Ahimsa Collective has rebranded itself as A_C Official. But their core values are still the same. The brand is fully committed to making plant based fashion that does less harm to our planet.
Recently, this brand launched a new collection, ‘Raison D’être.’ And yes – it features vegan cactus leather. The new line of bags is exclusively black and white, and has a distinct sleek aesthetic. You can choose the perfect item for your wardrobe from nine designs, including a backpack, a tote and a slimline clutch with removable chain shoulder strap.
Whatever you pick, you will never run out of style, since every piece is designed to be a seasonless, timeless classic, created with longevity in mind.
Best for: Chic vegan accessories with a timeless aesthetic.
This Forbes Under 30 female-founded brand is bringing versatile luxury to your everyday closet. Kalón’s mission is to create chic, functional, and sustainable pieces to empower modern lifestyles.
One of our favorites is the cactus leather WIT bag! Inspired by women in tech, this vegan bag design has been carefully and consciously constructed to be five bags in one. Just switch around the components to create a handbag, tote, crossbody, backpack, or top-handled purse. It also features two modular inserts to customize to your weekday, weekend, & holiday needs. The WIT Bag’s Kickstarter campaign has attracted over 200 backers.
Best for: A seriously versatile vegan everyday bag!
This Italian fashion brand produces recycled and cruelty-free vegan bags and accessories in the heart of Bergamo — a city famous for its artistic treasures and enchanting medieval atmosphere. Miomojo decided to ditch fur, wool, silk, feathers and leather. Instead, they use materials that are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. And they’ve recently launched an innovative new premium collection made from vegan cactus leather.
The Tecla bag is the true protagonist of the new range. It boasts a shape and design that’s ideal for every woman’s daily activities. Functionality and finesses coalesce with a twist of retro charm. Inside, you’ll find all the necessary traits of a modern bag. There’s a large interior zipped compartment, side snap buttons and a hidden front pocket for your phone, keys or any other belongings that you want to grab easily.
Looking for something with a more ‘evening’ vibe? The smaller Gemma and Rebecca vegan bags are just as enticing!
Best for: A wide range of sustainable vegan bags, with Italian flare
This outerwear brand is one of our favourite vegan brands using cactus leather! As the name indicates, House of Fluff specialises in fluffy faux fur coats. But recently, they’ve come up with something new. And cactus leather jackets!
There are plenty of styles to choose from. We super-love the 70’s style, vegan faux-fur trimmed cactus trench coat. So chic! But there’s also a super-trendy oversized trucker jacket and a cactus leather cropped jacket with a fake fur collar. What they all have in common is a rock’n’roll flair that’s thanks to this ‘prickly-pear’ textile.
Best for: Vegan coats, both slick and fluffy!
This sustainable handbag label is all about style and love for the Earth, channelled into graceful vegan cactus bags. Their designs are simple, elegant and practical, since there are plenty of pockets inside.
And did I mention that Love Vegan Bags brings the traditional Tote Bag up to a whole new level? That’s thanks to two zippered pockets and three separate compartments inside, to keep all your essentials in order. Their tote is basically the perfect vegan cactus bag!
Best for: This is one of those vegan brands using cactus leather whose simple yet sturdy vegan accessories will last for decades.
7. CLAE Shoes
The saying from mighty oaks from little acorns grow pops into mind in regards to footwear brand CLAE. The company, which started out as a small business, has since expanded into an internationally-renowned brand with its products sold in hundreds of stores around the world. And with many brands facing closures in 2020, CLAE is quietly yet proudly celebrating its 20th year anniversary.
To commemorate this milestone, CLAE has partnered with Desserto, the makers of vegan cactus leather as mentioned above, to create its range of sneakers made from the cactus plant fibres. Their sneakers feature laces made from recycled nylon from plastic waste, too. The latex sap of the Hevea tree comprises the soles, and the shoes come in eco-friendly recycled cardboard packaging, just like the rest of the brand’s collection.
The sneakers are available in three colours, inspired by the original colour of the cactus: white, black, and green. Basically, they couldn’t be more vegan and eco-friendly!
Best for: Comfy trainers for everyday wear, for both men and women
So, we’ve covered your handbags and shoes – and now it’s time to highlight vegan brands using cactus leather for accessories!
KEVA is the first company bringing this innovative material to the jewelry market. Made of Nopal cactus, the Cactus by KEVA range is vegan, organic, animal-friendly, sustainable and PETA certified.
A beautiful reminder to us all that beauty grows from even the toughest terrains, the collection uses leaves that have been cut and dried for three days in the sun, using no additional energy. The result is a range of accessories that are durable and ethical; minimalist and stylish.
The collection includes various accessories such as earrings, necklaces, apple watches and key rings. Each item bears the brand’s signature blossom logo.
Best for: Smaller vegan accessories that make perfect gifts, too!
There is a belief that fashion can either be vegan or eco-friendly but very rarely both. Well, BOHEMA is here to bust that myth! Their range of vegan products showcases exactly how fashion can be cruelty-free and good to the planet!
And get this: BOHEMA was the first brand in the world to offer shoes made of cactus leather. Driven by their desire to prove that cruelty-free fashion is the fashion of the future, BOHEMA products all offer the same durability as animal skins, minus the cruelty. They hand craft all their shoes using the best-quality vegan materials in their small family workshop – starting with leathers and ending with glues and additives.
The creators of BOHEMA believe that fashion, like any other art, expresses values and is a reflection of social moods. BOHEMA CLOTHING means tolerance, respect for the environment and animals, and the loud expression of views on them. This is a new plant definition of streetwear.
Best for: Butt kicking, vegan boots and shoes
10. Louis Lucano
Louis Lucano makes all of their luxurious vegan leather bags ethically in Italy under fair working conditions. In fact, even their packaging is made in Italy and consists of 100% sustainable and recycled raw materials, and a portion of all sales goes to animal welfare organisations.
In addition to cactus leather, the label also produces accessories from Italian apple leather.
Since these bags are handmade, they are available in limited quantities to avoid overproduction. Surplus material is used for other products, such as card cases. A Louis Lucano handbag is an investment piece which should last for years.
Best for: A touch of European elegance in your wardrobe.
If you liked this article about vegan brands using cactus leather, why not check out our article about clean beauty brands using the power of cactus, too?