Vegan Leather—Cork Leather

In the past, people used animal leather to keep out the cold and warmth for survival, and the natural selection of the fittest to survive. This is understandable, but humans no longer worry about survival issues in modern times but use animal leather for clothing. Because of human needs, The global leather industry has to slaughter more than 1 billion animals. What a terrifying number, just for the animal leather in the closet.

animal leather
animal leather

Fortunately, the number of people adopting a vegan culture has increased significantly due to the increasing awareness of animal cruelty and consumers’ increasing concerns about ethics and the environment. Due to this shift in consumer trends, fashion companies are vigorously looking for viable alternatives to animal-free leather.
Therefore, vegan leather came into being, the best substitute for animal leather.

What Is Vegan Leather

Vegan leather is a material that imitates leather but is made of man-made or plant products instead of animal skins, such as cork, cactus, coffee, other fruit waste, and recycled plastic. Vegan leather does not require water to grow and is biodegradable, which is good for the environment and saves animals. In addition, cork is processed into leather without the use of harmful chemicals. This type of leather is the first choice for the fashion industry, leather products, furniture, and automotive industries.

natural cork fabric 9
natural cork leather
Cork leather detail-2
cork leather fabric

Market prospects of vegan leather

A report on the vegan leather market recently released by Infinium Global Research provides an in-depth analysis of the global and regional vegan leather market segments. According to the report, the global vegan leather market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 48.1% during the 2020-2026 forecast period. By 2025, the market value of vegan leather will reach 89.6 billion US dollars.


Market scope and structure analysis:

Report Metric                                  Details

Market size available for years        2020–2027

The Base year considered                2019

Forecast period                                2021–2027

Forecast units                                  Value ($US)

Segments covered                           Product Type, End-users, Industrial Vertical, Sales Channel, and Region

Regions covered                              North America (U.S, Mexico, and Canada), Europe (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (China,

                                                         Japan, India, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Rest of Asia-Pacific), LAMEA (Middle East, Brazil, and Rest of


Geographically, North America has the largest share of the global vegan leather market. In addition, due to the increasing demand for animal-free and environmentally friendly alternative products, Europe is the second-largest market for vegan leather. Due to the rapid growth of markets such as the United Kingdom and France, the European region offers huge market growth potential. Due to the rapid growth of markets such as China, India, Japan, and South Korea, the Asia-Pacific region has a considerable share of the vegan leather market. China is the largest vegan leather market in the Asia-Pacific region.

Cork leather - a gift from nature

Cork is mainly made from the bark of the cork oak (Quercus Suber), and the cork is harvested by removing the bark. The extraction method is 100% safe for trees, uncut, and its surface will not suffer any type of damage. The harvest is cycled every 9 to 10 years. The cork tree must be about 25 years old before the first extraction (raw cork), and then it takes 9 years to harvest. Fortunately, the lifespan of cork trees is 180/200 years and can be extracted 15/20 times.
Cork fabric has special characteristics,
Soft, warm surface
Sound and heat insulation
Very good indoor environmental conditions, thanks to the antibacterial and dust-proof surface quality and excellent moisture control-especially suitable for allergic people
Rugged and durable, even with minor damage, because they can barely see the natural structure of the material indoors
Easy to clean (dry)

cork tree
cork tree
Cork trees
Cork bark

Application of Cork Leather

Google New York Experience Store

Google opened its physical retail store in New York and chose Portuguese cork for decoration. Sofas, benches, and paintings made from one of the best-known Portuguese materials mark the first space of the American company, which has favoured the use of sustainable materials.

The Portuguese material is present in the store’s furniture in the “Big Apple”, which “presents a line of devices and services, which seek to provide interaction with the public that visits it,” said the Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR) in a statement.

The designer responsible for developing the cork furniture for this retail store was Daniel Michalik. “I truly believe that cork is a high-value material for the future of design and architecture,” argues the designer, quoted in a statement. “It has incredible characteristics and performance and, in addition, sustains an entire ecosystem, being a unique example that all materials should follow,” he stresses.

cork furniture
cork furniture

The new MINI, the sustainable concept goes to the end

The MINI brand and the British master fashion designer Paul Smith once again joined forces to create a customized model-MINI STRIP. The customized MINI STRIP will also be exhibited in the MINI Pavilion at the 2021 International Automobile and Smart Mobility Expo (IAA). The pavilion was also jointly designed and built by MINI and Paul Smith. The MINI brand and Paul Smith are both British veteran design celebrities, and they are more like-minded in terms of innovation, sustainable development, and focusing on the future.

MINI STRIP and Paul Smith
MINI STRIP and Paul Smith

In addition to the minimalist geometric design inside the MINI STRIP, the reusable environmentally friendly materials also highlight the sustainable concept of the vehicle. The interior materials completely abandon leather and chrome, and the seats are made of knitted fabrics.

The dashboard cladding, door shoulders, and storage panels also present highly simplified geometric shapes and are made of reusable cork without any synthetic adhesives. The cork is firm and soft to the touch, which is refreshing. Because cork is recyclable, as a renewable raw material, it does not generate additional carbon dioxide during the production process, and it also helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the through-hole structure of knitwear and cork itself can also improve the acoustic effect of the car.

Cork Fashion


German award-winning designer Lena Hasibether discovered the great potential of cork and announced to the world that she would use this material in clothing and accessories.


Singer Lady Gaga also wore cork clothing. She made a stunning appearance in Spain in a dress and cape suit made of Portuguese cork


American actress Jena Malone played Johanna Mason in the movie “The Hunger Games II”. She wore cork fabric clothing in the play. One of the designers of the costume is Alexander McQueen, which was exhibited in Portugal.

cork bag
Ntural Cork Bag

The cork bag is made of cork and pure organic cotton, with unique creativity and design.

A number of brands are now using vegan leather materials to create shoes.

Earlier this year, luxury label Balenciaga launched new vegan leather sneakers. Dubbed the Zen Sneaker, the shoes are made with 100 percent polyurethane. Balenciaga also offers Track Trainers, made from nylon and mesh.

Last fall, Stella McCartney and Adidas teamed up again to launch the newest version of their popular Stan Smith trainers. The duo released the first design in 2018.

The vegan leather shoes feature brightly colored rainbow laces and punched-out rainbow stars in lieu of the Adidas stripes. The tongue of one shoe includes a picture of tennis icon Stan Smith. The other shoe features an outline of Stella McCartney.

Last spring, Canadian shoe, and accessories retailer Call It Spring committed to going 100 percent vegan. The brand’s Spring 2019 collection featured a budget-friendly range of animal-free leather shoes and bags.

Cork contributes to sustainable development, promotes the balance of nature, and maintains its interest
Closely related ecosystems. The cork industry advocates the sustainable development of the environment, economy, and society, so it has a broad
The prospects of development can provide a guarantee for mankind to build a better future.

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cork leather-colored


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cork leather fabric