Today’s Solutions: May 31, 2023

From shoes to wallets, we’ve seen plant-based leather make its way into all kinds of products over the years. But today we bring you something we’ve certainly never seen before: Boxing gloves made from cactus leather. Typically, boxing gloves are made from cowhide or other animal-based leather.

Other than the massive amount of emissions that come from the leather industry, the other big problem with animal-based leather is that it’s not biodegradable. That’s because toxic chemicals are used during the tanning process. To pack a more sustainable punch, boxing apparel and accessory company Sanabul has crafted organic boxing gloves made from cactus leather.

The leather itself comes from Mexican-based company Desserto, which we wrote about back in November of 2019. Desserto produces its leather using the nopal cactus, which grows in abundance throughout Mexico and does not require water to grow. But rather than make its own products, Desserto sells the fabric to manufacturers like Sanabul who want to ditch animal-based leather for more sustainable alternatives.

The design of the gloves, which are called Los Cactus, was inspired by the Aztec and Mexican roots of the nopal cactus. And thus far, the cactus leather gloves have performed well in tests with professional fighters.

We actually believe [cactus leather] is even better than the traditional materials that have been known for years,” said Sanabul CEO Imran Jawaid. Though there is much more the boxing industry can do to become more sustainable the arrival of plant-based boxing gloves will hopefully spur a transition to a greener boxing industry.

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