Cork is sourced from the bark of cork oak trees (Quercus Suber) and is carefully harvested in a way that allows the tree to regenerate and live for up to 250-300 years. This makes Cork a wonderful fashion choice for those looking for sustainable, cruelty free products while still ensuring practicality through being lightweight, durable, and water resistant.
In terms of the tree lifecycle, it takes around 25 years for the oak tree to mature before the first bark is extracted. After the first harvest, bark will be removed every 9-10 years after allowing the tree time to regenerate. Its not until the third harvest that the cork has the qualities required to be used for bags, wallets, and other fashion accessories. The bark from the first and second harvests does not go to waste though. As its of a harder, less consistent structure, the cork from the initial harvests are generally used for flooring tiles or other home application.
Extraction of the bark is a skilled craft carried out by experienced specialists and often handed down from generation to generation. At Corkadia, our cork is sourced from plantations in Portugal, where around 50% of the world's cork is produced. Our products also bear the PETA-approved vegan certification and are 100% organic.