Cork Element aims to promote sustainable fashion consumption by creating quality natural and affordable vegan handbags and fashion accessories. By choosing vegan leather, you protect many species of animals as well as cork trees. Check out our interview with the brand below:
Describe your brand in a few sentences.
Cork Element was founded in 2019 as an eco-friendly fashion company selling affordable vegan cork handbags. Our manufacturers are seasoned artisans who have been in the cork industry for more than 25 years. All our cork products are from Portugal and locally made within the country.
What does sustainability mean to you?
According to us, sustainability and fashion should co-exist together. It should be a way of life to create and use clothing/textiles without negatively affecting the environment. At Cork Element, we think about the environment and procure our cork products from our forests of Portugal.
What is cork?
Cork material comes from the bark of the cork oak tree, Quercus suber. The process of harvesting the trees is a manual job where the workers carefully remove the cork with tools. The bark of a cork oak tree is removed every 9 years, helping the tree to grow and live longer. As the cork tree continues to mature, and goes through the harvest process (known as stripping), the tree absorbs more carbon dioxide to support its bark regeneration. As a result, the harvested trees will retain more carbon dioxide than those left untouched, providing cleaner air for everyone.
Can you tell us a bit more about the manufacturing process of your products?
The processing of making our cork products generates no water or air pollution. Cork is simply boiled in water and then flattened and molded into cork fabric sheets to make it suitable for turning into “cork leather” products. The cork is then shaved off and rolled into fabric in sheets as thin as paper and sewn onto a cotton backing. The coloured cork products are painted with bright colours. Products by Cork Element are renewable, eco-friendly, water resistant and beautifully designed for the fashion-conscious individual. By wearing cork, you are helping to prevent the desertification of cork oak forests, which numerous endangered species call home. With your choice of fashion, you get a better alternative for leather and save so many species of animals. Make a sustainable choice and shop eco-friendly products.
Where do you gain inspiration?
Portugal is a country with a lot of nature and colourful villages and towns. We derive our inspiration from this beautiful country. The design and colours are inspired by architecture as well as materials from the environment.
What’s the story behind your brand’s name?
Through our brand, our main goal has been to promote vegan leather. By living in Portugal we knew the immense potential of cork as an environmentally friendly material. Through our brand Cork Element, we aim to highlight the three simple elements of our products which are ‘vegan’ ‘handcrafted’ and ‘eco-friendly’. Cork is a simple material and is a great alternative for leather.
What made you choose Eco Fashion Labels to sell your products?
Eco fashion labels is a well-known sustainable fashion platform with the same sustainable goal as Cork Element. We wanted to take the journey together of creating an ethical fashion world. We are happy to be part of your eco marketplace!
A big thanks to the brand for taking part in this interview with us!
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Written by: Chantal 🙂