Hello dear readers,
Today I bring you a little bit of Fashion for sustainability : I’m talking about Cork. Exactly, you heard right – Cork. I’ve been researching for this article this week, which has been hard because my glasses (and husband) only arrive this afternoon.
As you might have heard, Cork is a completely natural material. With a vegetable origin, cork is make out of the outside bark of the Coak Ork ( The portuguese Sobreiro tree, from the Latin Quercus Suber) tree. It is an impermeable, buoyant material, prime-subset of bark tissue, and it’s endemic to southwest Europe and northwest Africa. 50% of the world’s production of Cork comes from my country, Portugal. Did you know that there is Portuguese Cork in the Space Shuttle? More info here.
Cork is composed of suberin, a hydrophobic substance, and because of its impermeability, buoyancy, elasticity, and fire resistance, it is used in a variety of products. The most common of which is wine stoppers.
Wine stoppers are the most common use for Cork and the most recognizable form of it. But, did you know that people can isolate their houses with Cork? It’s a relatively cheap material to use. It’s also been used to build temporary shelters in refugee camps for example. A portuguese Architect called David Mares was awarded the prestigious New York’s Guggenheim Museum award for his brilliant work building a cork block shelter. More info here and here.
Cork has unlimited uses, and some of them are still being discovered now. Among those is floor isolation to keep the temperature in, but also for artistic reasons. It’s a wonderful form of isolation, as I’ve mentioned, but it is also used in the making of musical instruments, decoration articles, in the shoe industry, and to build several car parts, drinks, naval construction, etc.
I bet you weren’t familiar with these uses, right? Most people only remember the wine stoppers… and that’s fine! But did you know of it’s uses in fashion?
Pelcor is a portuguese company that has a long history and tradition of Cork production ( Founded in 1935), and has made several fashion pieces out of cork for Lisbon Fashion week. They did the Limited Edition Love Bag to celebrate Lisbon Fashion Week / Moda Lisboa on their 20th Anniversary last year.
Pelcor produces eco-friendly fashion accessories, clothes, office material, etc. All made out of cork. And if you’re thinking they are ‘ugly’ or look corky, you are wrong – They are ecologically made but still very trendy and fashionable. Last year Sandra Correira, CEO of Pelcor, was awarded the Best European Entrepreneur.
I bet that if you have read all of what I wrote, by this time your saying to yourself: Show us the pictures already! So now, without further ado, let’s have it for Sustainable Cork Fashion! (Clap if you feel like it).
Note: This is not an endorsed post. I truly admire all the sustainable work done at Pelcor and, being a portuguese myself, I’m proud of our heritage and what we have accomplished for being the largest producer of Cork in the world (50%). I strive for a more sustainable future in fashion, and all other areas.