Things That Matter

Nopales Are Now Being Used To Make High-End Vegan Leather Goods Thanks To Two Mexican Designers

If you’ve always thought nopales were the answer to the world’s problems, prepare to be validated. Two entrepreneurs from Guadalajara and Aguascalientes have just debuted a luxury, organic vegan leather entirely made from nopales. The material is made to last over ten years in your car, purse, or wallet. While creators Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez have named their innovation Desserto, the people have already started calling it Cactus Leather. 

The material itself is made without phthalates, toxic chemicals or PVC. Also, because nopales grow without much water, the material is far more sustainable than animal leather options, which require water to grow all the plants that feed an animal throughout his or her life, plus water for the animal themself. Desserto made its debut last month at the International Leather Fair Lineapelle in Milan. López Velarde told Fashion United that, “the enthusiasm for our Desserto sustainable materials at Lineapelle was overwhelming.”

The duo’s inspiration for innovation was seeing the density of environmental pollution their respective industries were producing.

Credit: desserto.pelle / Instagram

If you’ve ever worked in retail, you already know what they’re talking about. López Velarde and Cázarez saw a need to reduce the environmental pollution they both bore witness to. They were so dedicated to creating a sustainable option, they left their jobs and started Adriano Di Marti, the company that created Desserto. They’re not done innovating just yet. Desserto is Adriano Di Marti’s first product, and it won’t be the last. They plan to continue researching and developing new products that can revolutionize the leather industry for the better.

They chose the nopal, in part, because it’s a symbol of Mexican identity.

Credit: @desserto.pelle / Instagram

 López Velarde told Fashion United, “The idea of using this raw material was conceived because this plant does not need any water to grow, and there is plenty of it throughout the Mexican Republic. Also, symbolically, it represents all of us Mexicans and everybody knows it. Besides, to be able to incorporate this material into various industries, it is essential to count on a stable, abundant supply of raw material.” They spent two years researching and developing a product that met all the technical requirements to be used in the automotive and fashion industries.

The International Leather Fair Lineapelle created significant buzz for the brand. After sampling all the alternative leathers at the fair, a presenter announced that they felt Desserto was the “most appropriate for use in luxury brands thanks to its flexibility, softness, touch and color.”

The company is already producing handbags and is working with big brands in other industries.

Credit: desserto.pelle / Instagram

López Velarde teased some “very interesting projects” in the works with “high profile companies in neighboring countries,” according to Fashion United. Will the new Tesla boast nopal leather? Will the Birkin bag finally leave alligators alone and use the luxuries, organic, sustainable Desserto leather instead? We dream.

Companies can reduce the water consumption of their products by 20 percent when using Desserto instead.

Credit: desserto.pelle / Instagram

López Velarde cited some shocking statistics in the interview, saying the fashion industry uses as much water as it would take to fill 32 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. According to López Velarde, the fashion industry is projected to increase its solid waste by 60 percent by 2030. Their nopal vegan leather will remain durable for a minimum of 10 years, and afterward, will biodegrade. It’s made from organic materials, after all. 

López Velarde and Marte Cazáre were born the same day and year in México, because of destiny.

Credit: desserto.pelle / Instagram

In an interview with Heraldo de Mexico, the 20-somethings recalled how they met as students in Taiwan. The two were studying international business when the met. They immediately clicked and discovered that they were, not only two Mexicanos sharing culture in Taiwan, but that they also shared the same exact birthday.

Their advice to other jóvenes with “crazy” ideas: Go for it.

Credit: desserto.pelle / Instagram

People told them they were crazy. They told reporter Adriana Luna that their youth has been an asset, because they had nothing to lose when they embarked on this dream, and everything to gain. They hope to see Desserto used to create armchairs, luxury couches, car seats, and in the fashion industry. 

If you’re in the area, you can visit their brick and mortar shop to learn more about the leather, or buy a bag for yourself.

READ: A Guadalajara-Based Scientist Discovered Nopal Juice Can Create Plastic And Our Eco-Friendly Latina Moms Are About To Lose It

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A Jealous Cheerleading Mom Created A ‘Deep Fake’ Video To Get Her Daughter’s Rival Kicked Off Of The Team

Things That Matter

A Jealous Cheerleading Mom Created A ‘Deep Fake’ Video To Get Her Daughter’s Rival Kicked Off Of The Team

If you thought “Mean Girls” was as rough as it gets, you haven’t heard the one about a cheerleader who ended up with a mom’s target on her back. Madi Hime, a Pennsylvania high school cheerleader has become the victim of the modern age… and a mom with vengeance on the mind.

Raffaela Spone is being accused of targeting Hime with a fake video of her smoking.

According to reports, the Pennsylvania mother doctored the image of the high school cheerleader. The mom allegedly conspired to have her daughter’s rivals kicked off the school’s cheerleading squad by creating “deep fake” videos of them in compromising positions.

Madi Hime, just 17, recently told Good Morning America in a recent interview that she broke down in tears when her coach confronted her with a fake video of her vaping. The doctored video implied that not only was she smoking, but she was in violation of the team’s code of conduct.

“I went in the car and started crying and was like, ‘That’s not me in the video,’” Hines told Good Morning America on Monday. “I thought if I said it, no one would believe me because obviously, there’s proof, there’s a video – but obviously that video was manipulated.”

In addition to being confronted with the video by her coach, Hime said she was also sent photos of herself via text from a person who claimed to be a concerned parent. Shocked, Hime shared the pictures with her mother who went to the police.

“It had actually been going on for quite a while, I just didn’t know about it,” Hime’s mother told GMA. “I told her ‘I will call the police,’ because I wanted her to know that’s how much I believed her.”

Eventually, police looking into the images were able to trace the messages to Raffaela Spone, the mother of another student also accused of sending altered images to two other teammates.

Spone, 50, is now charged with cyber harassment of a child by creating images called “deep fakes.”

Robert Birch, her attorney, said his client denies the claims that she was attempting to take down her daughter’s cheerleading rivals.

“She has absolutely denied what they’re charging her with and because of the fact that this has hit the press, she has received death threats,” Birch explained. “She has had to go to the police herself, they have a report. Her life has been turned upside down.”

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Interracial Couples Are Officially Getting Emoji Representation

Things That Matter

Interracial Couples Are Officially Getting Emoji Representation

Representation matters.

When it comes to interracial couples, this is certainly true. In 2017, The New York Times posed the question “where are all of the racial couples?” in an article about the representation of mixed-race couples on screen. The pieces pointed out that for many years, the entertainment industry “forbid depictions of interracial relationships. From 1930 until the late 1960s, the Motion Picture Production Code banned ‘vulgarity and suggestiveness’ so that ‘good taste may be emphasized.'” The piece put a bold underline under the fact that decades have passed since these codes were dismantled. In fact, the same year of the article’s release, the Pew Research Center revealed that the number rose to 10 percent, including 11 million interracial marriages in total.

These statistics oddly haven’t always extended to even our most innovative forms: texting to name just one. Up until recently, texters weren’t able to express their mix-raced love via iPhones.

Now thanks to a new update, they are!

New updates to Apple‘s iOS 14.5 are bringing interracial couples to your texts this Spring.

New couple emojis with skin variant combinations.nbsp
Emojipedia

Apple is working to make our texting experience more inclusive and representative for all phone users. In a recent update from Unicode, the system that produces emojis, Apple has announced that they will be unveiling new designs and new options for emojis that already exist as part of iOS 14.5.

New designs for the emojis will be more representative of people with disabilities as well.

Emojipedia

They include a person with a bird, flaming heart emoji, a healed heart, and new skin tone variants for kissing couples and couples with heart emojis. There will also be accessibility-themed emojis which include an ear with a hearing aid, a guide dog, a prosthetic leg, and a prosthetic arm.

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