Sustainable watch manufacturer Woodwatch has introduced fully biodegradable vegan watch straps made from cactus leather. The company claims to be one of the first watch brands in the world to use the material.
Unlike many vegan leather alternatives, the cactus leather — made by Mexican company Desserto — does not contain polyurethane or any kind of plastic. Just three mature cactus leaves provide enough material to produce around 100 vegan watch straps, and the cactus is not harmed when the leaves are harvested. Another benefit of the leather is that it requires very little water to produce, as cacti are adapted to live in very dry conditions.
All Woodwatch watch straps have a quick-release mechanism, so they can easily be swapped from day to day. As well as the new cactus leather straps, the company offers a range of straps made from wood.
A growing number of companies are turning to Desserto’s cactus leather as a more sustainable alternative to both conventional leather and polyurethane-based substitutes. Desserto recently announced collaborations with Adidas for vegan boxing gloves and BMW for car interiors. The leather has also been used to make shoes, including sneakers by PO-ZU and boots for toddlers by Dominic & Dempsey.
“There is no doubt consumer reception towards sustainable materials is growing dramatically everywhere,” Desserto founders Adrian Lopez Velarde and Marte Cazarez told vegconomist in an interview. “Furthermore, consumer demand is not the only driver of sustainable materials. The industries themselves must adopt sustainable policies in order to grow and survive.”