In the last few decades, the eco-friendly fashion industry has been evolving at an accelerated pace, everything in order to satisfy a more humane, conscious customer base. However, most inventions and developments remain in the shadows for those who don't follow the news closely.
Great inventions like cork fabric to replace vegan leather continue to be a little-known fact for many. Without a doubt, this hurts the entire industry as customers shop blindly. In terms of eco-friendly fashion and accessories, the cork may be one of the top materials. Did you know it?
What Is Cork and Its Use as Vegan Leather
Cork is a material that comes from the cork oak tree, an abundant species in several regions of the world, as the Iberian Peninsula, France, and North Africa. The tree gets safely harvested and, in the process, big sheets of cork bark are obtained. This harvesting process does not destroy the tree. All the way around, the cork oak tree can be harvested for many decades, which is one of the main reasons why cork is not destroying the environment while being produced.
The raw material obtained during the harvest is processed also in a natural, harmless fashion, only using boiling water to prepare the material and give it the right conditions. In the end, we get a material that is similar in both feel and appearance to leather. The differences are clear but there is an undeniable similitude that makes possible to propose cork as a valid vegan leather alternative.
Fighting a Big Industry
The eco-friendly fashion industry is making huge efforts to promote the use of their accessories, as using a vegan wallet over the leather-made option. Nonetheless, these companies are fighting a well-established, powerful industry that relies on customers choosing leather and other unethical materials.
Producing leather is a multi-billion industry that doesn't only involved cattle breeding but also highly-toxic chemical use. As expected, there is a lot more money involved in cattle breeding than in cork oak cultivation and harvest. Then, processing the raw material is also cheaper and cleaner in the case of cork, which only needs water and small amounts of special glue. On the contrary, leather makes heavy use of toxic chemicals that prepare the product.
The misunderstanding regarding cork is the result of the efforts made by leather companies during the past few decades. This eco-friendly material is relatively new in comparison with leather, which has been present for thousands of years in the human society.
Enjoying Quality While Helping the Environment
Choosing a vegan wallet over a leather one can make a real difference. While cork continues to be unknown among many eco-friendly customers, significant efforts are made by different brands in order to create awareness.A smart, conscious customer will always choose vegan leather over the environment-destroying alternative, which is widely present in our society. Fortunately, we are already experiencing a significant mindset shift in this matter, as the fashion industry is becoming more and more conscious every year.