Vegan Cork Leather – A Cruelty Free Alternative

In the trending fashion world, leather has a long legacy as one of the top product choice. Animal skin has been used as a source of leather for centuries and we find its trace in the Egyptian tombs dating back to 5000 BC. Leather preparation is done by applying variety of chemicals including mineral salts, formaldehyde, tar derivatives, and dyes on the animal skins. Moreover, leather is the material of the moment as it is being used for a variety of fashion products ranging from wallet, jacket, shoes and even find its place in the wall art.

However when the human value system evolved over the time, the cruelty free and vegan culture has taken a leading role in the millennial generations. Every year millions of animals have been killed for food / leather and there is a growing concern about making the fashion industry as cruelty free and sustainable. As a result, vegan alternative to natural leather comes in to the forefront of sustainable fashion industry. Vegan leather is often made from polyurethane comprised of organic compounds that are connected with urethane links thus producing synthetic leather. However in the recent times, plant based leather has got the momentum and cork leather is one of the best plant based leather currently available.

Cork Leather

One of the major alternatives to the natural leather is cork leather and it is made from natural cork tree, a sustainable alternatives to conventional leather. Cork is composed of dead cells that accumulate on the outer surface of the cork oak tree (Quercus Suber)that mostly grows on the southwest Europe and northwest Africa regions, being the majority in Portugal (34% of the world cork forests). This material has been used for quite some time, as it was found cork bottle stoppers in Egyptian tombs dating thousands of years. The Ancient Greeks also used it to make fishing net floats, sandals, and bottle stoppers. Two thousand years ago, Romans widely used cork in a variety of ways, including life jackets for fishermen. Now using modern methods, virtually all leather products can be made replacing the animal skin leather.

There is an abundance of the totally sustainable, vegan and eco-friendly materialin the rural southern region of Portugal and cork industry employs more than 30,000 workers in varied jobs. Some of the major factors of cork harvesting are below:

1. One Cork oak tree takes more than 25 years of growth before its bark can first be harvested.

2. Farmers then must wait another 9-10 years until the trees fully recover and are ready to have their outer bark layer harvested again.

3. This approach yields a high-quality raw material, while enabling the trees to live healthy for more than 300 years.

Beyond the normal accessories, the cork accessories are being designed for those who are looking for ethical fashion. Alternative to conventional leather, there are literally almost all ladies and men fashion accessories are available in vegan leather collections, such as:

1. Laser Cut Mini Backpacks for ladies made from 100% vegan cork.

2. Grey fabric with cork Tote bag - for ladies made from 100% vegan cork.

3. Vegan Leather Cork Wallet - for ladies made from 100% vegan cork.

4. Cork Gym sack backpack made from 100% vegan cork.

5. Cork Urban Laptop and Tablet Bag made from 100% Vegan Cork-Zipper Blue-Blue.

6. Handcrafted Printed heart earrings – Cork earrings, Artisan made.

7. Handcrafted Red Cork Hoop Earrings – Cork earrings, Artisan made.