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Sustainable Fashion: Cork Fabric vs Leather


Our fashion needs are effectively destroying the environment. For many decades, the way we dress has been causing an important damage to the planet. While most industries extract what they need from nature without caring about the consequences, there are conscious manufacturers and consumers that are looking for a change.

In the case of fashion, there has been good progress. While leather remains as one of the most precious and expensive materials used to confection accessories like bags and wallets, we are now experiencing a positive mindset shift. The average citizen understands that little actions can lead us to a better future for our fragile environment.

Cork fabric is becoming the ideal alternative to leather (a material that looks amazing but is killing our planet slowly). Let’s review some important considerations about both materials.

Cork Fabric Is Not What You Think

People who don’t know yet what cork fabric is, may be recalling cork boards or wine stoppers, which are common in our society. Still, they aren’t the same.

Cork fabric is an eco-friendly material that is produced by using bark, which is extracted from Cork Oak trees. Thin cork sheets get a lamination process that involves sealants and specialised techniques. At the end, what we get is a strong fabric that is similar to leather, being light, water resistant, anti-fungal, and hypoallergenic.

The durability and feel provided by cork fabric are so similar to leather that it’s commonly known as Nature’s leather. This means that a cork wallet can easily deliver the same sense of quality and lavishness.

Leather’s Chemical Process

While the cork fabric’s manufacturing demands little chemicals, with leather we have a whole different story. To successfully produce this fancy material, the industry must spend massive amounts of highly corrosive chemicals that are destroying the environment.

From the beam house and tanyard to the dye house, chemicals like biocides, caustic soda, soda ash, chromium sulphate, magnesium oxide, polymers, and acrylic lacquers are used to achieve a satisfactory final product.

The list of chemicals used during the leather’s manufacturing process continues, making difficult to know exactly how much the environment is getting harmed.

Ethical Origins

Now, the dispute between cork fabric and leather involves a serious ethical factor. While the cork fabric comes from the Cork Oak without even harming the tree, leather causes the slaughter of millions of animals every year.

From an ethical perspective, leather comes from the killing of animals, a burning debate that gets hotter every day. If you are a conscious person, with a cruelty free consuming behaviour, you will find several issues in spending your money in leather.

In the meanwhile, cork fabric represents a way to enjoy sustainable fashion: no trees or animals are being killed in the process, with a minimum of chemical use during its manufacturing. The perfect vegan wallet can be made with this material.

The Bottom Line

We should be happy about the mindset shift that most people, especially the youth, is making regarding taking care of the environment. Nevertheless, fashion continues to be in love with leather.

Only the consumers can change this for good by choosing sustainable fashion. Get your own vegan wallet made of natural cork and experience how satisfying this material can be.


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