The fashion industry continues to search for more sustainable materials and processes. One of the materials to emerge from this trend as a substitute for leather is cork leather, a plant-based vegan alternative. But exactly what is cork leather and how is it sustainable?
What is Cork Leather?
Cork leather is a type of material that is made from cork, which is a natural, renewable resource. It is produced by removing the outer bark of the cork oak tree and then processing it into sheets or blocks. The cork is then ground into a fine powder and mixed with natural rubber or other binders to create a durable and flexible material that can be used to make a variety of products, including shoes, bags, belts and other accessories.
How is Cork Leather Sustainable?
Cork leather is considered to be a sustainable material for a number of reasons:
- Cork oak trees can be harvested for their bark without damaging the tree, as the bark grows back over time. This means cork can be harvested repeatedly without harming the tree or the ecosystem it is a part of
- Produces minimal to no waste when being extracted or processed
- Doesn't contribute to air or water pollution
- While regrowing its bark, the cork oak tree in fact consumes / removes more CO2 from the atmosphere
Overall, cork leather is a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional leather, and has the added benefit of being durable, comfortable and stylish.
While the cork leather material itself is typically thinner than some traditional leather, it can be used as a supplemental material in some of the more rugged / thicker wristbands or accessories.
Cork Leather & Leather Hybrid Cuff Bracelet AUD $85