Cork - Sustainable Material
- Where does cork come from?
Most of the world’s main Cork Oak forests are found in Portugal, Spain, southern France, Italy, and North Africa. Most of our cork comes from Portugal, Italy, and Spain.
- Is Cork a Responsible Material?
Yes! Cork is produced and harvested using only the bark of the cork oak tree.
Cork oak trees are grown to be approximately twenty-five years of age before they can begin to be harvested. Using age-old techniques, the bark is gently stripped from the tree without damaging the tree.
The corking industry is highly regulated to ensure the survival of the cork oak trees. Once a tree has been stripped, it may not be used again for seven to nine years, allowing the bark to regenerate.
- How durable is Cork? Does it wear?
One of Cork's main benefits is the fact that it is extremely durable. It’s chemical and physical structure allows for amazing wear resistance. Cork fabric wears similarly to leather which is another reason this Cork material is often called Cork Leather. But unlike leather, Cork Leather is water resistant due to its natural properties.
- Is cork as expensive as leather?
Cork is actually more expensive than leather. It's a natural product and requires a lot of skill and craft to harvest!
- What happens when my cork wallet or bag gets wet?
Cork is naturally waterproof plus it's antimicrobial and antibacterial.
- But aren't cork trees "endangered"?
Buying cork actually helps preserve the forests. Shortage of cork is not due to use of cork products or the trees being "endangered". What's actually happening is the cork forests are being cut down as wine companies move to cheaper alternatives and landowners can no longer afford to sell cork and maintain the forests. The more people who buy cork, the more the land can maintain itself and not be sold to developers or re-purposed. Thus, buying cork makes keeping the trees possible!
- Is Cork material Vegan?
Yes, Cork harvesting and production is a cruelty free process.
- How sustainable is Cork and what impact does it have on the environment?
Cork is 100% sustainable, renewable and carbon neutral material. It holds more carbon dioxide than timber only releasing the CO2 if the cork is powdered and incinerated. During the bark regrowth years it absorbs 5 times more CO2 than a normal tree, making it an effective agent against global warming.
- So why Cork?
Cork is widely regarded as being one of the most ecologically friendly materials around the world. It’s easily recycled, completely natural, and using Cork Oak forests for industry helps prevent desertification and deforestation. By using cork products, you directly contribute towards the survival and management of a vital eco system that is essential for a sustainable future.