The world’s first cactus leather boxing gloves recently launched at jiu jitsu and boxing apparel company Sanabul. Officially named “Los Cactus,” the boxing gloves are made with vegan leather from Mexico-based company Desserto, the first to make organic leather entirely from the nopal (or prickly-pear) cactus. Available through Sanabul’s online store, the limited edition gloves retail for $250 and feature gold trimming and Aztec-inspired designs on a green and black colorway. 

The partially biodegradable gloves are also a step toward increased sustainability. “There’s a misconception that a traditional cowhide boxing glove is the ideal glove. And we’re looking to change that,” Imran Jawaid, Sanabul founder and CEO told Green Matters. “Since day one, we’ve always used non-animal based materials, and that’s a pretty good starting point for us, but it’s definitely not where we want to be. Synthetic materials have a much lower carbon footprint than animal-based materials, but they’re not the ideal solution because some of them are made from petroleum byproducts … Our goal has always been to look for more sustainable materials.” 

Currently available in a 14-ounce weight, the crack resistant gloves are best suited for boxers in weight classes ranging from 125 to 180 pounds. After extensive research and development testing, Los Cactus held up during rigorous training sessions. “My goal has always been to make sure that the product itself works well and that it will hold up because there’s no point in releasing a ‘sustainable’ glove if the product just breaks down or falls apart on you,” Jawaid said.

Sanabul’s CEO first learned of Desserto, founded by Mexican entrepreneurs Adrian López Velarde and Marte Cázarez in 2019, earlier this year. “The ‘Los Cactus’ capsule from Sanabul is inspiring because our aim is to help all relevant industries reduce their environmental footprint with our sustainable materials,” Desserto founders said in a joint statement. Jawaid applauds the entrepreneurs’ innovative leather, highlighting its superiority. “It turns out that their material is fantastic for what we use in boxing gloves and other MMA equipment. We actually believe [cactus leather] is even better than the traditional materials that have been known for years.”

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