Bags and aprons in cork? Is that possible? The short answer is YES.
Cork leather is a relatively new material with amizing qualities. The material makes it possible to manufactor products like bags and aprons in a plant-based material that has the same qualities as leather. But unlike leather, it is 100% sustainable and a PETA-approved vegan material.
High CO2 Absorption
In the cork plantations, there is great biodiversity that is threatened when the habitat of the animals disappears. Cork production is therefore not only animal-friendly, but also helps to reduce CO2. This is because the tree absorbs 3-5 times more CO2 when the bark is removed than when the tree is not harvested! In addition, the life of the cork tree is extended by up to 300 years when harvested every 9 years. In this way, we actually help nature by using cork products, as it is estimated that cork oak plantations each year absorbs millions of tons of CO2.
The cork bark also serves as protection for the tree, as it is difficult to ignite - a great advantage in areas that are often affected by forest fire.
100 % Sustainable Harvest
Cork is produced by harvesting the bark from cork trees, a tree grown primarily in plantations in Portugal, Spain and France. When the tree is 25 years old, the bark is stripped from the tree with a cuff. This first harvest can not be used for the production of cork leather. But after 9 years the tree can be harvested again, and this time the bark can be used for the production of bags, shoes, aprons etc.
The cork oak tree is the only tree in the world that does not die when the bark is removed. This makes the cork harvest 100% sustainable. In fact, the same wood bark can be harvested every 9 years for more than 200 years.
No use of Chemicals
After the harvest, the bark is left to dry for 6 months. When dry the bark is boiled to make the cork cells expand and make it elastic and workable. There is no use of chemicals. After being boiled, the cork is sliced in very thin sheets and to make the cork durable, the cork is adhered to a mixture of cotton and polyester. Cork is naturally water- and dirt-repellent, but for extra protection an envioronmentally friendly selant is used.
Soft, Lightweight and durable
Cork leather is warm, soft, light and durable. It patineses in the finest way and becomes softer the more it is used. No two products are alike, as each piece of cork is unique in color and texture.
The reason for cork's lightness and elasticity is that it consists of more than 50% air - which makes the material so light that it can flow.
Cork is also a good choice for people with allergies and asthma, as the material does not absorb dust or cause skin reactions.
The material is easy to maintain and clean - just use a wet cloth and if necessary a little soap.