Bags & Aprons in Cork?
Is it possible? The short answer is YES.
Cork leather is a relatively new material that has many of the same qualities as animal leather. But unlike leather, it is sustainable and a PETA-approved vegan material.
High CO2 absorption
Cork production helps 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 200 years when it is harvested every 9 years. This way, we actually help nature by using cork products, as it is estimated that cork plantations absorb millions of tons of CO2 every year.
The cork bark also acts as protection for the wood, as it is difficult to ignite - a great advantage in areas that are often affected by forest fires. In the cork plantations, there is also rich biodiversity, the use of cork helps to ensure the animals' habitat.
Cork is produced by harvesting the bark from cork trees, a tree that is primarily grown in plantations in Portugal, Spain and France. When the tree is 25 years old, the bark is removed from the tree with a cuff. This first harvest can not be used for the production of cork clothes, but after 9 years the tree can be harvested again, and this time the bark can be used for the production of i.a. bags and aprons.
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 tree bark can be harvested every 9 years for more than 200 years.
No use of Chemicals
After harvest, the bark is left to drie for 6 months. When dry, the bark is boiled to make the cork cells expand and make it elastic and usable. There is no use of chemicals. After boiling, the cork is cut into very thin sheets, and to make the cork durable, the cork is attached to a mixture of cotton and polyester. Cork is naturally water and dirt repellent, but for extra protection, the leather is surface-treated with an environmentally friendly product.
Soft, Lightweight & Durable
Cork leather is warm, soft, lightweight and durable. It patinates 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 the 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 mild soap.