LA premium sneaker brand Clae has launched an exclusive first-ever cactus “leather” shoe in collaboration with DESSERTO, the 2020 Green Product Award winners.
The super sustainable plant-based vegan “Bradley” sneakers are made from the Nopal cactus, otherwise known as the “prickly pear”, but, despite the obvious connotations, look as comfortable as they are simple and stylistic.
Clae’s Brand Director, Jerome Thuillier, said: “It is much more than a new material. Cactus leather is a technical feat, both vegan and sustainable and may be a solution for the future of leather manufacturing.”
A labour of love, with more than a year in development, the cactus “leather” stands out for its low ecological footprint, feel and durability.
Produced in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico, the shoe uppers are made with the mature leaves of the Nopal plant without damaging the cactus itself.
Cultivated only with rainwater and minerals from the soil, at an altitude of 2500m, the plantation is 100% organic in order to preserve local biodiversity. Harvests take place every six to eight months, giving the plant time to regenerate. The mature leaves are then crushed and dried in the sun.
Using its patented formula, DESSERTO transforms the raw materials into the eco-conscious and sustainable cactus leather.
Clae has added laces made from recycled nylon from waste plastic, and a neoprene heel reinforcement. The 100% natural rubber sole comes from the sap of a tree, the rubber tree. Rubber tree plantations are a sustainable crop and help maintain the overall carbon balance in the atmosphere.
The “Bradley Cactus” is available in three colours – white, black and green, directly inspired by the original colours of its prickly origin. They also come in an eco-designed box made from recycled cardboard to up the sustainable factor yet more.