Cork leather is one of the most eco-friendly materials around. It ticks all of the boxes for an earth-friendly alternative to animal leather or even faux leather.
So what is cork leather?
Cork leather is an eco-friendly material that is made using the bark of cork oak trees, which lives for up to 300 years. It requires minimal processing and has a very low carbon footprint!
A harvested cork oak tree - Photo via Canva Pro
How is cork leather made?
Cork oak tree primarily grows in the south-west Europe and northwest Africa. The cork is commonly harvested from regulated forests in a sustainable way, that does not damage the trees. This extraction has also been shown to prolong its life.
The removed bark is air-dried for half a year and steamed to further increase its elasticity. After this, it is pressed into sheets.
Harvested barks of cork oak tree - Photo via Canva Pro
Why is cork leather a better alternative?
Cork trees need 9 years between harvests. Also, when the bark is removed, the cork trees absorb more carbon and live longer.
Because cork leather is an organic product, it is completely biodegradable. It biodegrades on a similar time scale to other organic materials like bamboo or wood.
It is also completely cruelty free and vegan unlike animal leather. Faux leather is a vegan leather but it is fossil fuel based and takes around 500 years to biodegrade!
Cork leather is extremely light and very resilient making it the better leather replacement.
Also, it has a unique and recognizable earthy look and feel. On top of this, the patterns on each product made from Cork Leather is completely unique!