With the rise of an emerging market for vegan fashion and fashion consumers wanting to find something more eco-friendly, animal and weather friendly, more and more vegan bags in different materials are appearing and it is difficult to choose, in this article we will discuss the 6 most important reasons why vegan cork bags are better than other leather bags on the market.
Cork is extracted from the bark of the cork oak tree, the bark is renewed by about 1.5 mm per year and is peeled by hand approximately every 10 years. The oak tree is neither cut down nor damaged. Cork is a renewable and therefore sustainable raw material. In addition, cork oak forests are a valuable habitat for rare plants and animals, and a livelihood for countless people.
Natural cork leather products are made of pure natural oak bark, which is breathable, non-toxic, impact resistant, non-deforming, non-cracking and environmentally friendly after “softening” treatment; it has unique physical and chemical properties: natural colour, non-corrosive, non-moth-eaten, non-toxic and tasteless, moisture and water resistant, oil and acid resistant (dilute), elastic, anti-slip and wear-resistant, heat insulation and thermal insulation, sound The natural texture and shade of the material makes it a natural material. The natural textures and shades make it an outstanding and unique material, a favourite among consumers with a taste for individuality and culture. Often used as a substitute for leather for bags, wallets, watch straps, jewellery and other fashion accessories.
In traditional leather bags, the use of genuine animal leather is the fashion standard, but billions of animals are killed every year for their skin, wool, feathers or fur for this standard, the vast majority of which endure all the horrors of factory farming. Sensitive creatures are forced to live in cramped, filthy conditions where every bit of freedom and autonomy is taken away. The animals suffer at the hands of workers who may roughly handle, kick and beat them. After a lifetime of torture, they are brutally slaughtered in the cheapest way possible.
The production of cork is different and is being carried out in the most primitive and sustainable way. Cork leather is taken from the bark of the Portuguese cork oak tree, a renewable resource as the trees are not cut down to collect the cork, which is obtained by simply peeling off the bark, as well as a new layer of cork which begins to regenerate when the outer bark is peeled off. The cork collection therefore does not cause any harm or damage to the cork oak. On the contrary, the debarking process promotes the regeneration of the new bark, because under natural conditions it takes 20-25 years for a cork tree to remove the first layer of bark, and with manual debarking approximately every 10 years, cork trees usually live 200-300 years or more.
When it comes to sustainability, cork is unbeatable. Cork oaks are never cut down and usually live for 100 to 300 years, and the cork bark is harvested by hand, which helps to support the growth of the tree and the absorption of CO 2. In fact, harvested cork trees absorb 3 to 5 times more CO2 than unharvested trees.
Cork oak forests are the Earth’s lungs, absorbing 14 million tonnes of CO2 per year, helping to slow global warming and prevent land desertification. It helps to mitigate global warming, reduce soil erosion and regulate the water cycle.
Each cork absorbs an average of 112 grams of carbon dioxide.
Each tonne of cork absorbs 1.83 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
During the conversion of one kilogram of cork, 50 kg of carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere.
For every tonne of cork produced, cork oak forests can sequester up to 73 tonnes of CO2, thus helping to reduce global warming potential.
Portugal’s cork oaks alone – about a third of the area of Mediterranean cork oak forests – absorb 4.8 million tonnes of CO2 per year, which, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, is equivalent to the emissions of every 830,000 passenger cars 1 year.
Cork oak forests provide ideal habitat for more than 200 species of animals, and there are 135 species of plants per square metre in the forest, many of which are used for medicinal herbs, spices or cooking. The cork oak forest has been recognised by private environmental organisations as one of the world’s 35 biodiversity hotspots, comparable in importance to the Amazon rainforest, known as the ‘green paradise’.
As cork is sustainable, the cork industry finds itself needing to adopt more cork oaks to meet the growing demand from buyers, thus indirectly creating a cycle that supports a healthier environment.
The unique honeycomb structure of cork makes it resistant to wear and tear as its cells are 60% air, cork is highly resilient and a wax resin forms on the surface of the cork, which protects the surface structure well. If you run a key across the surface of a cork wrap, it leaves a light mark, but after a few seconds, the surface is as good as new and no trace is even visible. Cork wax grease is great for waterproofing your bag, and thanks to its resilience and toughness, cork can withstand a lot of weight without warping. This is why cork is the material of choice for NASA.
It must be reminded that cork is a natural product and although it is tough and durable, it, like leather, will naturally age over time and possess a different look that can stay with us for many years with proper care.
Cork leather can be processed in a variety of ways, so the resulting cork bags can be made in a number of matching options. Such as natural textures, bamboo textures, shredded textures, dyed ranges, printed ranges and other special finishes. The wide range of cork styles allows the bag designer to be more creative in his ideas.
Secondly, cork fabrics are available in a wide range of colours. By using natural pigments, different colours of cork fabrics such as red, black, blue, orange, etc. are produced. So you don’t have to worry that natural cork won’t allow for interesting and stunning ideas.
In recent years, the fashion world has taken a keen interest in producing cork leather bags, and there is no doubt that they have become one of today’s status symbols. well-known brands such as LV, GUCCI and Chanel offer bags or accessories made from vegan cork. These products have a unique look and feel, with the same toughness and durable benefits of real leather, but are more sustainable and ethical, making them attractive to people. Top quality cork leather is even more expensive than regular leather, so don’t think of natural cork as just a ‘leather substitute’ – cork itself gives Portugal the title of ‘soft gold’.
Cork fabric is a durable material, so the cork bag requires no special maintenance. It can be hand washed in warm water with a mild detergent and then gently wiped to remove stains without the use of abrasives or cloths that could damage it. In Portugal, the birthplace of cork fabrics, people often wear shirts made from cork fabrics for several years. This was possible because the cork fabric absorbed and released perspiration, making it very breathable.
Cork fabrics wash just like conventional fabrics but have natural antibacterial properties that help keep them clean. This makes it an excellent choice for people with sensitive skin or allergies.
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.
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