When people think of cork they often think of wine. For the last few centuries this impermeable material, carefully sourced from Quercus suber (the cork oak), has lent it’s stopping power to preserve one of our most enjoyable ceremonial beverages on its way back from the vineyard. And with good reason. Cork is both water resistant and uniquely durable. But what makes cork truly special and why should I consider buying cork accessories?
You may already know the cork industry is widely considered environmentally friendly but you may not be sure exactly why. It may be shocking to learn that cork products can be sourced 100% sustainably, as the trees do not need to be chopped down to obtain the necessary material. For example, in the Iberian Peninsula, Cork Oak forests prevent desertification, which makes your purchasing of this product a move to protect endangered wildlife! This is another big reason why everyone from casual animal rights enthusiasts to the most serious eco-shoppers appreciate the use of this material, instead of the much nastier and less sustainable sourcing of leather. It also should be noted cork products are recyclable.
This squishy substance is much more durable than it appears. Comprised within each cubic centimeter this material hosts millions of cells with a massive amount of stopping power. Each cell hosts suberin, which is a fatty natural substance. This means there’s almost zero water retention within the cell walls. Therefore any product made of cork can mitigate even the nastiest environmental changes. In fact you may say, cork even likes a little bit of rain to remain shiny and clean for you.
Companies like Thistle + Cork have been pioneering cork accessories by leveraging their vast network in Portugal to bring these products to the United States and Canada. Cork is now trending as one of the leading materials used in handbags, purses and wallets, due primarily to the points made above and their fashionable natural coloring. In fact, one unique feature to note is that no two cork handbags are made alike! There are a plethora of naturally occurring variations of texture and color choices. Needless to say, cork is cool.