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Mexican entrepreneurs invent world's first leather alternative based on cactus

1 14.10.2019 Инфо

M/S Material on prickly pear cactus, Zacatecas
C/U Material on prickly pear cactus
SOT, Marte Cazarez, General Director of Adriano Di Marti (Spanish): "Between testing and ideas, visiting supporting factories and making people believe in us and that we could make an ideal material for this formula - it took us around 2 years."
M/S Prickly pear cacti
SOT, Adrian Lopez, Vice President of Adriano Di Marti: "Ok, so the first step is that we take care of the growth of this plant here. We make sure to select a species that are resistant to cold weather to ensure that we are going to have the supply of the raw material. Then, when we cut the mature leaves of the plant, we are going to clean them. After cleaning them, we are going to do a mesh. We mesh them together. And then we put them under the sun to dry. When it's completely dry then we are going to refine the size of the material until we achieve the one that it's useful for us. Then we are going to do an extract of the protein present in that powder. Which is achieved through a freezing method. After we extract this protein. It is going to be a key component within our patent formula to be able to do the molecular bonding between the chemical and the organic molecules."
M/S Vice President of Adriano Di Marti Adrian Lopez taking handful of prickly pear cactus powder from bag
SOT, Adrian Lopez, Vice President of Adriano Di Marti: "What we want to achieve is to create a material that is as sustainable as possible, which at the same time complies with the standards of different industries such as automotive, aeronautics, fashion and footwear. Because we are conscious of the environmental impact that textiles and leather imply on the environment. So, by giving an alternative, we are looking to contribute to meet their standards. To make it a material with performance, but at the same time to take care of the environment and reduce as much as possible the environmental impact."
C/U Lopez with handful of powder
SOT, Adrian Lopez, Vice President of Adriano Di Marti: "The way we achieved this is by replacing partially the synthetic chemistry and substituting it with the organic composition that we are able to extract from these fields. So we are able to make a product that is more sustainable with a less foot print"
W/S Field of prickly pear cacti *CUTAWAY*
SOT, Marte Cazarez, General Director of Adriano Di Marti (Spanish): "If this plant is so good for your skin, and it's so good to make different products for different industries why not try to make it leather to substitute actual leather and give an alternative for the fashion industry. So they can use sustainable products in their own products."
W/S Field of prickly pear cacti
M/S General Director of Adriano Di Marti Marte Cazarez laying out 'Nopal leather', Guadalajara
M/S Cazarez laying out 'Nopal leather'
M/S Cazarez and Lopez at work
M/S Cazarez and Lopez at work
M/S Lopez taping cardboard tube
M/S 'Nopal leather'
C/U 'Nopal leather'
M/S Jars on shelf
M/S 'Nopal leather' products on shelves
C/U Bag made from 'Nopal leather' on shelf
C/U Wallet made from 'Nopal leather'
C/U Pieces of 'Nopal leather'
C/U Rolls of 'Nopal leather'
SCRIPT
Two Mexican entrepreneurs presented what they say is the world's first organic leather substitute made using the prickly pear cactus, known as nopal.
Footage filmed in Guadalajara on Monday shows Marte Cazarez and Adrian Lopez at work in their office with the 'nopal leather' as well as the two men in a field of the cactus in Zacatecas.
"What we want to achieve is to create a material that is as sustainable as possible, which at the same time complies with the standards of different industries such as automotive, aeronautics, fashion and footwear. Because we are conscious of the environmental impact that textiles and leather have on the environment," said Adrian Lopez, Vice President of Adriano Di Marti, the company behind the leather substitute.
It took inventors two years to come up with the material. 'Nopal leather' is made through a series of processes that produce a powder which is then mixed and layered over cotton canvas. The recently presented the material at an international exhibition in Milan.