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Five Reasons To Switch To Cactus Leather

Writing by Karine Ponce Fediay

Lunar Method is an ethical luxury brand creating durable, luxury travel accessories for women. We combine vegan cactus leather and handwoven fabrics from artisan women in Mexico.

Our goal was to create a durable, luxurious, and practical solution to the problem of tangled jewelry, while making sure our bags were ethically made and sustainability sourced. We were able to successfully create a product that achieves both, elevating luxury to ethical standards.

After several months of incredible team effort we launched our first product – the Lunar Bag on  Kickstarter. You can still back this project here.

Beyond travel accessories, Lunar Method tells a story, with hand-sewn designs on beautiful fabrics, sourced directly from Mexican women artisans, and cruelty-free cactus leather, we advocate two important issues: women’s rights and animal rights.

But you might be thinking ‘Cactus, really?’

Unlike conventional leather, vegan cactus leather is good for the environment, free of harmful plastic byproducts, and of course, one-hundred percent cruelty-free. If that doesn’t convince you, here are five more reasons to ditch animal hide, and make the switch to vegan cactus leather.

Like leather, but better

What do you think of when we say cactus leather? I’m sure you wonder what the texture will be like. We use the incredible producers, Desserto®. They’ve created a highly sustainable plant based material as an alternative to leather made from cactus. Desserto’s material is distinguished by its flexibility and softness, while offering a great performance for a wide variety of applications and complying with the most rigorous quality and environmental standards. Unlike traditional leather that may crack or dry when wet, their line of cactus leathers varies from thin to a thicker water resistant sports’ performance level material for any of our manufacturing needs. Allowing you more flexibility, durability and breathability with a buttery soft “leather” feel.

Environmental hero

Simply put, cactus is better for the environment. “Cactus is a natural carbon sink, it has a great CO2 sequestering capacity. From our 14 acres, we are able to absorb 8,100 tons of CO2/year while at the farm we only generate 15.30 tons of CO2 annually.” Not only are the cactus farmers net neutral, but there is no need for animal stock or tanneries. For these reasons, cow derived leather has triple the negative environmental impact as its synthetic counterparts, including polyurethane (PU) leather. PU is nowhere near as sustainable as vegan cactus leather, but it shows you how toxic animal leather is.

Leather is NOT ‘natural’

All commercial leather is put through a chemical process called tanning. For example, chromium-tanned leather is the most popular form of producing leather in recent years, and one of the most toxic. It relies on a toxic slush of Chromium salts and tanning liquor. To give you an example of how toxic tanneries are, “Kanpur, India – the self proclaimed ‘Leather City of the World’ once housed more than 10,000 tanneries which, in 2003, were dumping more than 22 tons of effluence into the Ganges river everyday. The city acted in 2009, sealing 49 of the highest-polluting tanneries in town – out of a list of 404 heavy polluters.” Much of the toxic waste of these tanneries end up polluting various ocean waterways. Contrary to popular belief, once leather is “tanned” it can no longer be composted, recycled, or become biodegradable.

Animal deaths are preventable

72 billion animals are slaughtered every year for the leather industry. Enough said. When you purchase vegan and cruelty-free cactus leather, you are choosing a more ethical option for your lifestyle, animals, and the environment.

Better for the Amazon

This might be a no brainer, but no animal hide, means no animals, means no cattle farming. This means that in many we are part of the coalition of business not taking part in the cattle ranching along the amazon. “The Amazon is home to 200 million cattle – not logging but cattle. Cattle ranching is the largest driver of Amazon deforestation. 450,000 of Brazil  rainforest now is pasture, for comparison, Germany is 350,000 UK is 240,000” As of 2019, 20% of the Amazon has been destroyed. Let’s stop this, by voting with our dollar, and choosing to buy vegan.

We look forward to creating many more ethically made luxury goods for you for many years to come. For more information visit our website or follow on Instagram and to back the Lunar Bag go to Kickstarter.

Karine Ponce Fediay

Karine Ponce Fediay is the founder, designer, and creative director of Lunar Method. What
began as an idea for a travel necessity for carrying her own jewelry, blossomed into the
sustainable and artisanal ecommerce shop it is today.

With a loyal following of incredible customers, Lunar Method is elevating luxury to ethical standards. Growing up in Los Angeles, Karine was raised by a Brazilian mother and Ecuadorian father; travel was an important part of her life from an early age. From humble beginning to working at several successful startups in the Bay Area, Karine knew she wanted to start her own business as soon as she moved to Mexico City and she dedicated herself to creating environmental and cruelty free products that solve problems for the modern day woman.

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