Deadly Ponies inject cacti into their latest collection

Written by Sara Black

Photography Supplied

The (mainly) leathergoods brand now add cactigoods to their stable of accessories.

Giddyup and get on board the cacti-covered train to ecoland. You may have, understandably, been living under a very dry rock of late but word in the fashion world is that leathergoods are getting the plant treatment. What’s going on?

Well, things are changing. First, there were worldwide whispers of banana fibres and coconut cell walls. Now? Cacti, for Deadly Ponies. Have they been on the cactus juice? No. (Although partaking in a few sips with creative director Liam Bowden might be a good time).

In the spirit of sustainability and positive change for the planet, New Zealand’s favourite (mostly) leathergoods brand have been beavering away, for two years, on a superlatively innovative range. It’s a capsule collection of classics (Mr Siamese, Mr Mini Leopard and Mr Mini Chain Mail) all crafted from a vegan cactus leather called Nopal Textile.

The material is organic, made entirely from the prickly-pear cactus (also used in Typology’s best-selling botanic oil) and “can be used to make a small dress, purse, belt, watch strap, small bookcase or an armchair” according to co-inventor Marte Cazarez.

It may be vegan but, but, but what about the production process? Does it emit a billion carbon monoxide emissions instead? Not even. Nopal Textile is a by-product of the pharmaceutical industry and employs only rainfall and the sun as energy sources. And, sourced from a plantation in Mexico, only mature leaves are harvested to ensure sustainable plant regeneration. 

Available exclusively online and at Deadly Ponies’ stores from Wednesday 29 July.

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“Most vegan leathers are produced using synthetic materials that don’t biodegrade, are produced with toxic chemicals and require higher water consumption in the manufacturing. When we entered into the project we wanted to make sure we were taking those things into consideration.”

— creative director, Liam Bowden.

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