Some of our readers may remember that some years back our collections included very popular wallets, bags and belts tailored in traditional vegan leather.
As the leading brand to ditch traditional polyurethane for the vegan leather fabric we are doing the same for our accessory range.
We will make the accessory ranges in the new sustainable water based polyurethane - the non-toxic sustainable vegan leather - just as we do with our outerwear.
And for accessories we've also got the plant-based option of Pinatex pineapple leaf leather and now the addition of cork leather. A great opportunity for eco conscious customers who want the best quality and best looking accessories that are sustainable as well.
Cork leather results from harvesting from a cork oak tree. This magnificent tree - Quercus suber - grows mainly in Portugal where it grows up to 20 meters high. With approximately 2,200,000 hectares of cork forest worldwide (34% in Portugal and 27% in Spain), the annual production is about 200,000 tonnes.
A cork tree takes 25 years to grow enough to a circumference of about 60cm to be harvested. It is then that the cork (bark) is stripped from the tree. The tree takes 9-10 years to recreate the cork and be harvested again. With a lifetime of about 300 years a tree creates a large amount of cork.
Workers who specialize in removing the cork are called extractors. The removal is done with a sharp axe to make vertical cuts to the cork while take care not to damage the underlying phellogen and the tree.
After harvesting the cork is stacked in the factory or the forest and air-dried for six months before carriage to a processor where it is steamed to make the fabric even more elastic. Heat and pressure are applied to the cork to press it into blocks that are cut into slices which are then and flexible with a leather like structure. The fabric can be dyed and printed. Perfect for manufacturing accessories. And importantly, the production of cork fabric does not involve the use of any chemicals.
Cork fabric has many sustainable features:
the cork oak proliferates naturally by dropping acorns that sow themselves and mature into productive grees
when an aged tree is removed after 300 years of existence, 2 new seedinglys are planted in its place
cork products can be easily recycle due to natural production without chemicals
it releases significantly less CO2 than synthetically produced fabrics
cork leather products are top quality and supple and they won't crack or crumble. They are 100% natural, water repellent, stain resistant and scratch-proof .
James&Co is adding cork leather wallets, bags and belts to its collections.
We're loving being part of the growing number of retailers offering sustainable vegan cork accessories to their eco-conscious customers. Email us if you'd like to retail James&C. We can also help you to white label or private label cork accessories so don't hesitate to get in touch.