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FAQs on Cork Bags and Purses

Are cork bags good?

Yes cork bags are good. Cork bags and purses are plant-based which makes them good for the environment and cruelty-free. This is because the cork is carefully harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree in a sustainable way. This process doesn't harm the tree and is generally considered to extend the life of the average tree up to 300 years.

Cork forests are also helping in the fight against climate change. According to the findings from a recent survey by the Portuguese Higher Institute of Agronomy, the cardon dioxide retention capacity of a cork oak forest can reach 14.7 tons per hectare per year, preventing its release into the environment.

As a material, cork is:

  • soft
  • smooth
  • durable
  • lightweight
  • water resistant
  • hypoallergenic, and
  • anti-microbial.

Compared to other vegan materials and also traditional leather, cork is also relatively inexpensive and long-lasting. These features make cork handbags an ideal choice as a fashion accessory.

Is a cork bag durable?

Yes, one of the best qualities of cork bags is their durability. Its hard-wearing nature means that cork bags are ideal for daily use. Dirt and grime are also very easy to remove – if you’d like a simple how to guide on keeping your cork bag clean, please see our guide here. While cork might be durable, it also has a unique smooth texture and is soft to the touch. Cork is also lightweight, making it everything you could ask for in your next cork bag!

Can cork bags get wet?

Yes, cork fabric can get wet without damage, so no need to worry if your cork bag gets wet. It is a waterproof and water-resistant material that is durable, long-lasting, and has natural antibacterial properties. Cork also doesn’t leave any water stains and will generally dry quickly. If you can’t wait, a quick blast of the hairdryer at a low setting and safe distance should ensure your cork bag looks the part and is ready for use.

Its resistance to water is just one reason why cork is used in wine bottles and cork flooring – cork contains a substance called suberin, which protects it from deterioration when exposed to water, even if it’s been exposed for a prolonged period of time.

Is cork leather real leather?

Cork leather isn’t real leather but it is a type of vegan leather since its made from the bark of the cork oak tree. It therefore provides a viable, cruelty-free alternative to traditional animal-based leather. As cork is sourced from the bark of the cork oak tree, each cork item is unique from the other, and would be suitable for vegans and/or those looking for sustainably sourced, slow fashion accessories.

Is cork stronger than leather?

Yes Cork fabric is just as hard-wearing and sturdy as leather. Cork is carefully extracted from the bark of the cork oak tree and goes through a careful quality control process to ensure its strength and longevity. The rigidity of cork is evidenced by its application across a range of different products– cork is used as a material for flooring, in wine bottles, and as a bag, wallet, or backpack. Cork also makes a great material for a pair of summer sandals!

How long will cork last?

Cork will last a long time if looked after properly. As a material, its a very strong and durable natural material, making it an ideal resource for bags, wallets and other accessories. Its water resistance and longevity, combined with its lightweight design, make it a great choice for those who want to invest in quality leather-free accessories that will last.

Cork should last just as long as animal leather without losing its overall look, feel, or quality.

Does cork go moldy?

Cork should not go moldy. Cork’s anti-microbial and hypoallergenic qualities serve as a deterrent to germs and mold. This is another reason why cork is used extensively in wine bottles and as a flooring product since it can withstand the elements without losing its look, feel, or overall quality.

Does cork retain smell?

Cork is a natural product and so doesn’t have a strong smell. When new or when wet, cork may have a slightly earthy smell, somewhat like musty cardboard. In many cases this should be temporary, however.

Is cork material cheap?

Cork is a much cheaper alternative to traditional leather and given a bag, purse, or backpack made from cork should last around the same time, makes cork a much better option in terms of value for money.

How well do cork purses hold up?

Cork purses will hold up very well. Cork is a very durable material that can withstand wear and tear, plus cork purses come with straps and closures that add extra strength and stability. Cork is also water-resistant so your purse will stay better protected than if you had one made out of leather or canvas. 

What are the disadvantages of cork?

Cork material does have some disadvantages. In particular, cork can be vulnerable to markings or scratches. This risk can be mitigated through good care of the cork material however it's something to be aware of. A guide to taking care of a cork handbag can be found here.