The ultimate guide to eco-friendly cork furniture in 2023

Cork furniture has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its sustainability, durability, and versatility. This natural material is derived from the bark of the cork oak tree, which grows predominantly in the Mediterranean region. The bark can be harvested every nine years without damaging the tree, making it a renewable resource. In addition to its environmental benefits, cork also has a number of practical properties that make it a great choice for furniture. It is lightweight, yet strong and resilient, and has excellent insulation and sound-absorbing qualities. It is also hypoallergenic and resistant to mold, mildew, and pests.

So, if you’re considering incorporating cork furniture into your home or office, read on for a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know.

Table of Contents

What is cork furniture made of?

Cork furniture is made of cork, which is a natural material that is harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree. The cork is harvested every nine years, and the process does not harm the tree. Once the cork is harvested, it is processed and shaped into various forms, such as sheets, blocks, or cylinders. These shapes are then used to create a wide range of furniture, including chairs, tables, desks, and storage units.

Cork furniture may also be made with other materials, such as wood, metal, or plastic, which are used to support the cork and give the furniture its shape and structure. The cork is often finished with a coating or sealant to protect it and give it a desired look, such as a smooth or textured surface.

Cork furniture is known for its durability, versatility, and eco-friendliness. It is a sustainable resource and has natural insulation and soundproofing properties, making it a great choice for both home and office furniture.

cork sofa -2

Why is cork furniture environmentally friendly?

Cork furniture is environmentally friendly for several reasons. First, the cork oak tree is a renewable resource as it can be harvested every 9-12 years without harming the tree. Additionally, cork is a natural insulator, which means it can help regulate temperature in your home and reduce your energy consumption. Cork is also biodegradable, making it an eco-friendly option for furniture.

koala cork sofa 2 scaled

Are there any potential drawbacks to cork furniture?

One potential drawback to cork furniture is that it may not be as durable as other types of furniture, such as wood or metal. It may also be more prone to dents or scratches. However, with proper care and maintenance, cork furniture can last for many years.


Types of Cork Furniture

There are several types of cork furniture available, each with its own unique characteristics and applications.

Cork Sofa

A cork sofa is a type of furniture that is made with cork as the primary material. Cork is a natural, sustainable material that is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees. It is light, durable, and has excellent insulation properties, making it a popular choice for furniture and other household items.

Cork sofas are typically designed with a frame made of wood or metal, and the cork is used to cover the frame and create the seating surface. Some cork sofas also have cushions or pillows made of foam or other materials for added comfort.

Cork sofas are known for their unique appearance and natural, organic feel. They can add a warm and welcoming touch to any room and are often used in modern or contemporary decor styles. They are also a good choice for eco-conscious consumers.

Australian furniture brand Koala uses premium black cork leather to make sofas that look more comfortable and welcoming than traditional leather sofas, and customers who buy them rave about this product, exceeding their expectations.

Koala cork sofa
frovi Grow Cork Stool

Cork chairs and stools

Cork chairs and stools are a popular choice for both home and office use. They offer a comfortable and supportive seating option, and can be found in a variety of styles ranging from traditional to modern.

Many designers have used cork to create different stools and chairs, and one of the more impressive to me is the Grow Cork Stool from the British brand frovi, which is fun, eco-friendly and functional.

Cork tables

Cork tables are another popular choice, particularly for those looking to add a natural touch to their home or office. These tables can be used as coffee tables, dining tables, or desks, and can be found in a range of sizes and shapes to fit your specific needs.

Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, designer of Made in Situ, presents BURNT CORK.
A tribute to Portuguese Cork, an ode to the resilience of material, of people, of process. From calcined bark to fine grain, from rawness to fluid curves, the BURNT CORK collection plays with dichotomies.


Cork shelves and storage

Cork shelves and storage units are a great way to add functional storage space to your home or office while also incorporating the natural aesthetic of cork. These can be found in a range of styles, including floating shelves, bookshelves, and cabinets.

IKEA and British designer Tom Dixon have launched a collection of furniture made from cork, The cork collection features a shelf, stool and three tables with round, fat silhouettes designed to make the material shine. The cork is charred to a rich, dark brown color reminiscent of rosewood.

Benefits of Cork Furniture

In addition to its environmental and practical benefits, cork furniture also offers a number of other advantages:

Sustainable: As mentioned earlier, cork is a renewable resource that can be harvested every nine years without damaging the tree. In addition, cork furniture is often made from recycled cork, making it an environmentally-friendly choice.

Durable: Despite its lightweight nature, cork is a strong and durable material that can withstand wear and tear. It is resistant to water and heat, and is unlikely to dent or scratch easily.

Comfortable: Cork furniture is known for its comfortable and supportive qualities. The soft, spongy nature of cork makes it a comfortable choice for seating, and it is also resistant to heat, making it a comfortable option for use in warm climates.

Hypoallergenic: Cork is a hypoallergenic material, making it a good choice for those with allergies or sensitivities. It is also resistant to mold, mildew, and pests, making it a hygienic choice for furniture.

Versatile: Cork can be found in a range of colors and styles, making it a versatile choice for any home or office decor. It can also be easily cut and shaped, making it a versatile choice for custom furniture projects.

cork furniture

Where can you find eco-conscious cork furniture?

Look for sustainably sourced cork
Cork is a renewable resource, but it’s important to make sure the cork used in your furniture is sourced sustainably. Look for products made with cork from certified forests, which have strict guidelines for conservation and harvesting practices.

Choose natural finishes
Many cork products are treated with chemicals to preserve them and give them a polished look. Opt for cork furniture with natural finishes, such as oil or wax, to minimize chemical exposure.

Consider the manufacturing process
Look for cork furniture that is made with eco-friendly manufacturing practices, such as energy-efficient factories and recycled materials.

Choose long-lasting pieces
Cork furniture is known for its durability and longevity, making it a great eco-conscious choice. Look for well-constructed pieces that will stand the test of time, rather than having to constantly replace cheap, poorly made items.

Dispose of cork responsibly
When it’s time to get rid of your cork furniture, make sure to dispose of it responsibly. Many cork products can be recycled or repurposed, so consider donating or selling it to give it a second life.

By following these tips, you can enjoy stylish and sustainable cork furniture for years to come.

cork desk

Choose furniture with a timeless design. Sustainable furniture should be built to last, so choose pieces that you will love for years to come.

Overall, cork furniture is a great choice for those looking to create a more eco-friendly home. It is a natural, renewable resource that is highly durable and resistant to water, mold, and insects, making it a sustainable and long-lasting choice for furniture. By choosing furniture made from 100% natural cork, with low impact on the environment, and a timeless design, you can create a beautiful and sustainable home.

Based on the many outstanding properties of cork, the cork can be made into cork fabrics, cork sports products, cork bags, etc., which are considered one of the best alternatives to leather.

Choose the right cork products to promote your low carbon sustainable project.

Natural Cork Leather

Colored Cork Fabric

Cork Yoga Products

Cork Bag

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cork leather-colored


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cork leather fabric