Monday, December 3, 2012

Corktopia...cork is more than a wine stopper!

by Katy Green

Did you know that cork oak is a naturally waterproof, washable, hypoallergenic, scratch and stain resistant. Well gosh green it's true.

I am going to get nerdy for a moment and share that cork production is most popular in Portugal..say that twice. According to the University of Wisconsin...(for more Cork history, click here)
The cork oak (Quercus suber L.) finds its most suitable habitat in the western MediterraneanThe Portugal climate offers ideal conditions for the economic cultivation of the species. Such conditions are in fact found only in the Mediterranean zone, and, more particularly along the Atlantic shore. In addition, Portugal is a major cork-grower; in fact, nearly one-third of the total cork oak area, estimated at 2,150,000 hectares (5.3 million acres) is in Portugal, which produces approximately half the cork harvested annually in the world (about 310,000 tons).  
Can you imagine Cork Fashion Week...well it's real, Cork Fashion Week is held in the UK in September and tons of designers showcase their creations of cork inspiration.

I am sure you are wondering, why does Shoptobegreen carry cork bags and accessories? Is cork a green item? If it's made in Portugal is it a fair trade practice? 

Yes, three times.

Let's educate shall we...cork is the outer bark of a tree, Quercus suber aka cork tree as (noted above). 

  • Cork bark is usually harvested every nine or ten years. After the slabs of cork bark are harvested they are cleaned, boiled and stripped of the rough outer surface. For example, bottle stopper "corks" are then punched from the best material in the slabs. 
  • The remaining scraps are then ground into small granules, mixed with a binder, molded into large blocks and baked in specialized ovens - making use of every scrap of cork bark.
  • Cork oak is also grown in Algeria, France, Italy, Morocco,Spain and Tunisia.
  • Shoptobegreen offers cork bags and white oak cork board, cork oak roll strap handbag, cork oak coin holder, cork shoulder strap bag and much more.
  • Shoptobegreen deals only with fair trade vendors.

1 comment:

  1. It is great to know that cork is being used for so many other things these days. It always seemed to be quite a resilient and even comfortable material. It would be great if they could manufacture these bags from recycled corks as well.


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