By Emily Georgiou
When it comes to vegan fashion, cork is already well known. Designers ranging from Meg Matthews and NAE to Christian Louboutin and Robyn Brooks use the material to create incredible shoes and bags. And no wonder.
Cork is a super strong, all natural buoyant material, made from bark that’s harvested from Quercus Suber (the Cork Oak), which is native to southwest Europe and northwest Africa. It’s easily dyed and painted, allowing designers like NAE to create interesting patterns on their shoes, for example.
Water and damp-proof, cork is also a fabulous for acoustics and a wonderful thermal insulator, so it’s only logical that it’s being used now to insulate under floors, walls and ceilings–but its rich texture and natural colour also looks great on walls and floor tiles, too.
Until recently, cork has been greatly underused within interiors, but this seems to be changing. This inexpensive, eco friendly material can be used in a variety of different ways in the home to create a high-end look in all decorative items, ranging from furniture and ambient lighting.
Additionally, this eco-friendly material appeals to those who are conscious about their environmental footprint because it is a renewable resource that’s completely non-toxic, unlike many other types of furniture that are made with harmful glues, fireproofing chemicals and other materials that can actually make you sick. Wonderfully modern tables, lamps, chairs and even wash basins have been stylishly made from cork, and of course, households benefit from its anti-bacterial, anti-mold qualities (hey, it’s been used to bottle wine for centuries for a reason!)
While fast-growing bamboo and wicker are also on the rise as an eco-friendly interiors materials, cork is even better, as no plants have to die for its use, and more importantly, when demand for cork rises, protection for Cork Oak forests increases.
Check out our selection of the best in quirky cork. The possibilities seem endless!