Sustainable Materials..With Tea And Tequila
We sat down with our favourite spice and flair mixed the best friends and founders of Tea And Tequila ; Millie & Sarah. Inspired by and created using Mexican handicrafts. Sarah lives in Mexico City and Millie in London; it’s a U.K. X Mexico collaboration with plenty of “Tea” and “Tequila”. Being onboard since our first pop up we are excited to be launching their latest addition to the collection The Taco Bag and Margarita Bag both made with cactus leather.
What is Cactus leather?
Cactus leather is a new and exciting Mexican invention we are incredibly proud to be working with and supporting. It is like leather but made entirely from the cactus Nopal plant, making it; sustainable, organic and 100% vegan.
Cactus leather is as buttery soft as cows leather however it smells delicious, the smell has been best described by a friend as ginger nut cookies. It has the same durability as leather thanks to its strong molecular bonding in which cactus plays an important role, and looks as good, if not better. We prefer it to ‘real’ leather and are making the transition across to aim to produce with purely cactus leather in the future.
Millie wearing her latest designs.
How did you came across it and why did you decide to start using it?
We had been looking for a good alternative to leather for a while and previously had been looking into other vegetable options such as pineapple leather but for us the quality wasn’t quite right. We came across cactus leather at the beginning of this year. We were blown away by the quality, look and feel, plus with it being a Mexican company we felt it was completely meant to be and we have been very happy with the results so far and the response from our community.
Sarah Wearing her latest designs.
How is the process for a bag - start idea to finish product.
The process begins with us drawing the bag or actually sometimes constructing it out of paper. We then meet with our workshop team in Mexico City and produce a perfect sample with a lot of back and forth. Once we are happy with the prototype we contact the relevant artisan groups to create the specific parts of the bag. The bag is then assembled in our work shop; this process can take between 6 weeks - 6 months, depending on so many variables! Once it is perfect we get to photograph it, which is our favourite bit!
So far it’s been a challenge to show our community how amazing the cactus leather is since we launched it at the beginning of lockdown and therefore haven’t had a chance to show it off in person. We are so excited to launch these pieces for the first time at The Sustainable Pop Up 🙌🏽
1. If you can, try to avoid buying fast fashion and try to buy fewer more special pieces. When you buy something new, make sure you love it and try to find brands with a conscious production line and a sustainable story.
2. Try to buy local food produce from smaller independent grocers.
3. Get hold of an Ocean Bottle, an amazing re-usable bottle created from recycled plastic, and carry it around with you to stay hydrated.
4. Next time you feel like a getaway see what is available locally. There are so many beautiful places to discover in the U.K. maybe take a trip to Devon or Cornwall and see if you can reduce the amount of flights you take in the year.
5. You could also reduce the amount of red meat you eat. Save it for special occasions or for when someone has cooked it for you.