In 2018, the British Fashion Council banned all real fur from London’s Fashion Week. In that same year, huge brands, such as Versace, Gucci, and Burberry, announced that they were over fur as well.
Sustainable fashion and veganism are increasingly popular and, as faux fur becomes the new normal, the leather industry is starting to feel the same type of transition.
Cork fabric is one of the leather alternatives that exist, and its benefits are countless.
By using cork from trees that are at least 25 years old (and then waiting an additional 9), leaving it to dry for half a year and then steaming and boiling it, producers create cork leather. The fabric is then used in beautiful clothing items, handbags, accessories, and more.
So what makes cork leather so amazing? Keep reading to find 7 benefits of this leather alternative. You will not want to use the real thing ever again.
7 Reasons to Use Cork Fabric
The only reason why people could possibly justify the use of real leather is by the look of the fabric. However, once you realize how aesthetic cork fabric can be, that last excuse goes out the window.
Cork leather can make clothes, shoes, and accessories look beautiful and high-quality, creating unique pieces that do not harm yourself or the environment. Could it get any better than that?
1. It’s Cruelty-Free
The word of the moment. And rightly so!
Nowadays it is impossible not to be aware of the environmental issues we all face. A lot of people want to do their part to improve the state of the environment and one way to do it is by adopting a vegan lifestyle.
Cork leather is a great alternative for anyone who wants to adopt fairer fashion habits. Unlike what happens with leather, no animals need to die to produce cork fabric.
On the contrary, in order for brands to have cork products, producers need to plant cork oak trees, which ultimately means the protection of natural habitats for several animals.
2. It’s Eco-Friendly
When it comes to fabric, it doesn’t get much greener than cork.
Besides creating and protecting natural habitats, cork oak trees can help fight global warming. Every time the trees get harvested (which is every 9 years), they absorb even more carbon dioxide. This means that trees used by cork producers end up storing more CO2 than unharvested ones.
Plus, cork fabric’s ecological footprint is extremely low, as the material is both recyclable and biodegradable.
3. It’s Very Resistant and Durable
Water, wear and tear, stains, fire… cork fabric can survive pretty much anything.
There is a substance in cork called suberin. This is a fatty substance that prevents water retention, which explains why cork is waterproof.
Cork products are also very durable, even if you wear them every single day. The fact that NASA uses cork to help protect rockets says it all, doesn’t it?
When you open a bottle of red wine, is the cork usually stained? Cork leather is very hard to get dirty. 100% clumsy-proof.
Finally, the fire. Cork is a slow combustion material. It’s not a coincidence that it is used to protect cork oak trees from fires in Portugal. But don’t test this at home. Take our word for it.
4. It Doesn’t Have Any Chemicals
Leather wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for a whole set of chemicals. This is awful to the environment because of the production process that’s employed. And it is also awful to you as the consumer because of the toxicity of these chemicals.
Cork fabric is a natural material and it’s prepared through a very simple process. For this reason, it wins when compared to leather and even to many other leather alternatives.
5. It’s Safe for Your Health
Cork is anti-microbial and anti-fungal, which means no mold, termites or other nasty infestations. This is great not only for your own health but, in the case of cork handbags, it’s also very beneficial to keep your belongings safe and sound.
Cork fabric is also anti-allergic since, unlike leather, it doesn’t absorb dust or toxins.
6. It’s Versatile
One look through our website and you can see the number of different products that can be made using cork leather. But that’s not the only thing that makes cork such a versatile material. You can apply several colors to the fabric and make it as unique as you can.
Speaking of uniqueness, you’ll get it even if you don’t buy a colored cork product. Every single piece of cork that’s used to produce fashion items is different. This means that you will always be rocking a piece that is 100% one-of-a-kind.
7. It’s Light
Cork floats on water. Do I need to say anything else?
We all know those bags that are already heavy before you even start putting your things in them. With cork, you don’t have that issue.
Unlike leather, that is quite high density and heavy, cork products are very light and easy to carry. This is easily explained by the composition of cork: 50% cell walls and 50% air.
Who Needs Leather Anyway?
After reading those 7 benefits of cork fabric… we’d say no one does.
With the array of possible substitutes that is available to us, there is no reason to use a fabric that is as damaging to the environment, animals, and humans as leather.
With cork fabric, you get the same final result, without the nasty consequences of using the real thing.
If you have any question about what we like to call “nature’s leather”, you can always shoot us a message. We will be more than happy to get you on board in the world of sustainable fashion!