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Cactus leather and other solutions in the sustainable fashion industry

Desserto is  a sustainable, synthetic material  produced from Mexican prickly pear cacti, used in the fashion industry, among other sectors, and it is confusingly similar to leather. Cacti do not need to be watered and are not dependent on rain, fertilisers or protective measures. Plants reach the size required for harvesting one year after planting. The owners of the Mexican Desserto are also planning to expand into the cosmetics and pharmaceutical markets. The fashion industry currently accounts for 8 to 10% of global carbon dioxide production and 20% of global water demand.

In Lagos, Nigeria, the Greenfingers Wildlife Initiative organises regular litter clean-ups in collaboration with young activists and models; the litter is then used to make fabrics for a fashion show called the “trashion show”. In Scandinavia, on the other hand, each country has its own fashion councils and sustainable fashion weeks.  Fashion and textile design communities provide support on labour legislation, incubator programmes, trade surveillance, sustainability initiatives, logistics, training, retail and e-commerce.

Italian designer – Emilia Torcini prepares collections for people with disabilities. She herself has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Due to her limited mobility, Emilia relies on comfort, but she also ensures that her outfits feature something avant-garde. Her designs also include orthopaedic corsets, ankle orthoses and other musculoskeletal aids.

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