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All you need to know

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The non-profit association Vesti la natura provides several free guides specially created to promote the use of cruelty free materials among consumers and entrepreneurs.

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Please note:: nuove provisions on the use of the terms "leather", "skin" and "fur" and those derived from them or their synonyms. This decree contains provisions relating to the definition and use of the terms "leather", "leather", "full grain leather", "coated leather", "coated leather", "fur" and "regenerated leather fibers" and to the labeling and marking of the materials as well as of the artifacts with them manufactured, if they are indicated, with the same terms, by any modalita 'of presentation and communication, including electronically, in order to provide correct information to the consumer. Read the decree.

What Desserto?

Desserto® is a vegan skin, the first organic material made by the homonymous company with Nopal cactus, Also known as I'm from India.

Produced in a wide variety of colors, thicknesses and textures, Desserto it is a material that can replace the little ethics and often polluting leather of animal origin in the production of bags, shoes and fashion accessories, but also in the Automotive sector.

"Here in Mexico, in the state of Zacatecas, we have a ranch where we grow our raw material: cacti.

At the ranch we select and cut only the mature leaves of the plant, without damaging the cactus itself: every 6-8 months we will do a nuov harvest.

We also do not use an irrigation system for the cacti, which grow with rainwater and earth minerals rich in Zacatecas and great for the variety of cacti we plant.

The selected cactus is very hardy and strong, it can withstand low temperatures during the winter without dying, and its spines are very small, so it is easier and safer for our farming team to harvest."

Desserto is achieved thanks to the biopolymerization of the mature leaves of the cactus (the plants remain intact), which are first dried in the sun and then processed with a particular patented system:

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The benefits of cactus plants used to make Desserto

  1. They increase biodiversity in the region;
  2. They cancel the change of land use: crop rotation will not be necessary;
  3. They enrich the microflora and microfauna of the area through the reforestation of native and typical cacti of the region;
  4. They allow you to save water compared to other crops as they do not require artificial irrigation;
  5. They do not pollute the environment and local aquifers, since their cultivation does not require chemicals such as herbicides or pesticides;
  6. They live for 8 years, since they are not damaged during the harvest to allow it to be repeated year after year on the same plant;
  7. They allow considerable energy savings thanks to the “natural” drying of the raw material necessary to create Desserto, which takes place in a simple solarium;
  8. The generated by-product is directed to the food industry, stimulating the agricultural sector to plant more cacti and avoiding intersectoral conflicts.

The longevity of these plants pays off their cultivation is sustainable, in fact the cacti used by the agricultural team of Desserto they live for 8 years, unlike crops such as corn and cotton which must be grown, harvested and then re-cultivated every year.

The cactus is one species autochthonous and typical of Mexico, it is a CAM plant (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism - a metabolic cycle of carbon fixation that allows to optimize the photosynthetic activity in extreme environments such as the desert) and its metabolism tends to protect the water.

The cactus absorbs CO2 during the night, generating oxygen and absorbing the water present in the atmosphere derived from the morning dew.

The processing of cactus leaves and their transformation takes place on the ranch in Mexico and, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, "waste" and by-products of the cacti not necessary for the production of this alternative to leather, are intended for the food industry.

About 50% of the harvest is destined for the food industry, demonstrating how this crop can make two different industrial sectors coexist: food and fashion.

The sustainability of the material Desserto

Desserto it is proposed as ecological alternative to leather of animal origin.

Most of the vegan leathers currently on the market have limits regarding their environmental "sustainability": they are not 100% vegetable, so they are often neither recyclable nor biodegradable.

In fact, these materials usually have supports in PU, PCV or other non-biodegradable synthetics.

Which will take them to incinerators once they have finished their life cycle as a product.

According to the company's words, Desserto has these characteristics:

  • 90% of the material it composes Desserto it is of vegetable origin;
  • It is a "partially" biodegradable and recyclable material (the% varies according to the material, as different versions are produced);
  • The dyes used are organic pigments;
  • All of its variants do not contain toxic chemicals such as flatates and PVC;
  • Some variants contain recycled media derived from cotton, polyester and nylon.

From our point of view, also Desserto it is not a "circular" material, as other vegan-like skins are not Vegea, Mylo, Pinatex, Appleskin e Rinnova.

Not being 100% biodegradable and being difficult to recycle with current technologies, the chances that these materials end up in incinerators at the end of their life cycle are very high.

Let's see below the characteristics of Desserto in detail:

Characteristics of Desserto

Material Quality: The qualities of the material may vary depending on the blending with other fibers. Example: with Elastan or Lycra you gain in elasticity.
  Does not shrink / discolor
  Quick drying
Ecological Characteristics: The ecological characteristics of the fabric may vary based on textile certifications or blending with other fabrics.
  Natural - Artificial - Synthetic   A
  No GMOs
  Natural raw material
  Recycled raw material
  Mechanical extraction
  Chemical extraction
  Energy saving
  Sustainability class   B
Textile Certifications:: The certifications that can be assigned to the material, but which vary according to different factors: production company, fashion brand, blending.
Global Organic Textile Standard
Organic Content Standard
Global Recycle Standard
Second Life Plastic
Animal Free
Fair Wear Foundation

This card can only be found on

Although it does not have the Global Organic Standard certification, Desserto is USDA certified organic product and has many other company and material certifications:

  • USDA
  • Dakks
  • BCS
  • SGS
  • V-Label Vegan
  • ESR
  • Oeko-Tex Standard 100
  • Peta
  • GRS

Its "vegan" nature is confirmed by the V-Label Vegan certification and certification PETA.

Desserto offers high resistance to abrasion, rubbing, tearing and traction thanks to the strong molecular bond derived from the cactus.

This sustainable material is an excellent alternative to animal skin and other non-ecological synthetic materials.

Desserto vs animal skin

Here are some data on theLCA analysis of Desserto compared to that of an animal skin:

LCA analysisDessertoAnimal skin
Energy consumption34.33 mj335.85 mj
GHC Carbon1.39 kg CO2-eq27.30 kg CO2-eq
Eutrophication0.0005 kg PO4 3-eq0.0030 kg PO4 3-eq
Water consumption0.02 m332.95 m3
Waste incineration1.80 kg CO2-eq27.30 kg CO2-eq
The initial LCA phase follows the ISO 14040 and 14044 LCA guidelines. These results are based on an early stage life cycle analysis conducted on the products Desserto® following the ISO guidelines relating to life cycle analysis (14040 and 14044). Analysis for the production of 2 square meters of material.

The table clearly shows how the environmental impact, from birth to incineration, of skin of animal origin is decidedly higher compared to the impact of its vegan alternative Desserto.

We would like to specify that these data are taken from the official website of Desserto.

Applications of Desserto: clothing, bags, shoes

Desserto it is a very versatile and resistant material and in fact with this material it is possible to create:

  • Apparel
  • Bags
  • Safety shoes
  • Fashion accessories
  • Sports accessories
  • Home interior
  • Coatings for cars
Buy products in Desserto

A showcase where you can find Sustainable, ethical and cruelty free fashion brands guaranteed by the supervision of our association:

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How to wash Desserto?

The environmental impact of laundry detergents and household cleaners is devastating to our planet, so we highly recommend using ecological detergents.

Desserto is a leatherette and as such it requires a lot of attention when washing. Imitation leathers are more delicate than leather of animal origin, so we recommend removing stains / encrustations with a smooth sponge soaked in a little water and a pinch of ecological detergent. If the stain persists, let it soak for 5/8 minutes.

Do you want to wash your clothes while minimizing water pollution?

  1. We have selected one of the most sustainable detergent and detergent brands click here to buy an ecological detergent
  2. You could use a Washing Ball to wash without using detergents click here to buy a washing ball
  3. You could use the nuovissimo Ecoegg, a nice ecological egg with which you can do about 720 washes click here to buy the ecoegg egg


Looking for more information on Desserto? Ask your questions using the form below, we will answer you faster than a flash!
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Where can I buy Desserto?

We recommend that you subscribe to our newsletter clicking here. 1- Get instant access to the closed group on Facebook. 2- Create a post about the group with your specific request. You will find many professionals in the sector willing to help you! If you really can't find this material Access our List of Suppliers, where you will find the supplier of Desserto and other 40+ ecological fibers.

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