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T Magazine

Handbags Made of Cactuses, Corn and Grapes

Until recently, not many fashion designers touted their fake leather accessories. But now that sustainability is increasingly a priority in the industry, a number of creators are moving away from animal materials and making a convincing case to go plant-based. The Puerto Rico-born Monica Santos Gil creates graphic shoulder bags in a material that comes from cactuses in Mexico. The plant's mature leaves are cut from the root, sun-dried for three days, then ground into powder and mixed with a polymer made from plant-based oils. After working in the automotive industry for 15 years, Vicki von Holzhausen was determined to develop leather alternatives resilient enough for use in car interiors. In 2015, she founded her company, Von Holzhausen, and began manufacturing Technik­ Leather.

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