Independent footwear brand CLAE will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next year with the release of its newest shoes made from vegan cactus leather. The Los Angeles-based company is committed to conscious and sustainable fashion, with some of its previous eco-minded sneakers made of materials like hemp and recycled mesh.

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stacked white, black and green cactus leather sneakers near cactus plants

The cactus leather shoes are a collaboration between CLAE and DESSERTO, highly sustainable, plant-based vegan leather creators who won the Green Product Award in 2020. According to the sneaker company, this will be the world’s first shoe made from a perennial cactus.

Related: Oliver Co. makes vegan leather wallets from apple waste and wood

black sneaker near potted cacti

The leather is made in Zacatecas, Mexico from the mature leaves of the nopal (also known as prickly pear) cactus without damaging the plant. Cultivated only with natural minerals and rainwater at 8,000-foot altitudes, Nopal is known for its low ecological footprint and is 100% organic. The leaves are harvested every six to eight weeks to give the plant ample time to regenerate and help preserve the local biodiversity. After the mature leaves are cut, they spend a few days drying under the sun before undergoing DESSERTO’s patented process that transforms the plant into a soft yet durable vegan leather.

shoe templates and shoe parts on green board

CLAE doesn’t stop there; the Bradley Cactus sneakers are also fitted with laces made of recycled nylon from plastic waste, while the sole is made using 100% natural rubber. This natural rubber comes from the latex sap of Hevea trees and is harvested on sustainably managed forests that help maintain the global balance of atmospheric carbon. The shoes also come packaged in environmentally friendly materials such as recycled cardboard.

green vegan leather sneaker

Bradley Cactus sneakers are currently available for pre-order at an exclusive rate of $130, which is $20 less than the original price. They are available in white, black and green, colors inspired by the Nopal cactus plant.


Images via CLAE