Maybe you’ve read somewhere about cork wallets and accessories, and you’ve grown curious. You are amazed by this exotic material, and how closely it resembles and mimics leather. Perhaps you’ve been looking everywhere for a high-quality alternative to leather, and have seen cork rated as a top choice. One thing led to the other, and you noticed a lot of cork wallets are form Portugal.
However, as you may, or may not know, not all cork wallets and products available have the same quality. There are big differences between cork products, even among Portuguese producers. What should you take into consideration, then, when buying a cork wallet or bag from Portugal? Keep on reading to find out.
1. Portugal is the largest producer of cork in the world
There are about 2.200.000 hectares of cork forest worldwide, 34% of which are located in Portugal. Nearly 50% of the world’s annual production of cork comes from Portugal, the largest producer of cork in the world. If you want the best cork you can have, you should choose Portuguese brands. But beware; not all cork fabric was created equal. Corkor is in a privileged position to source it locally, because we spend a lot of time with producers, making sure we choose only the best cork for our products.
2. Certified, high-quality cork
The future of our planet depends on the preservation of the world’s forests. That’s why we have made the commitment of only using FSC certified cork in our wallets, bags and accessories. The FSC® stamp ensures the cork we use complies with strict environmental, social, and economic standards. These standards are a guarantee that the trees and ecosystems are protected, the communities are respected, and workers are properly paid. The certification shows our commitment to a sustainably managed forest, adds value to our products and empowers our consumers to make better purchasing choices.
3. Tradition and modernity go hand in hand
Wouldn’t it be great if we could take what is unique about Portugal to the rest of the world? That’s exactly what we thought when we created Corkor. For more than five years now, we have been bringing Portuguese traditions to the world, taking full advantage of technology and the globalized world. Now, no matter where you are in the world, you can discover Portuguese artisanship and materials and experience a product created for you in a small Portuguese workshop. We are proud to be at the intersection of tradition and modernity, and be ambassadors of traditional Portuguese materials and techniques.
4. We don’t mass produce
One thing was clear to us from the start, quality of product and service can make or break an idea or business. As we don't mass produce, we manage to concentrate on quality and service and most importantly, people. We strive to be a fun and energetic place to work, we believe that when we're happy, our products and services become great and our customers deserve greatness. Our goal is not to produce more or increase profits: our goal is to provide our customers, with a strong selection of premium, high-quality cork products at competitive prices, backed up with a genuine customer service experience.
5. Locally sourced and produced
Unlike most retailers of cork wallets and bags, Corkor owns its workshop. We are very proud to make our products from to start to finish in Portugal — and, yes, that means every single design and production step. Corkor designs, produces, markets and sells its products, an option that has granted us complete control and ownership over everything we make and sell. By selling directly to you, we have better pricing, without ever compromising on quality.
6. Socially conscious
We believe that when gifted artisans have the right working conditions and fair salaries, their best work shines through. That’s why we insist everyone should be rewarded justly for their contribution. Also, our workshop in Portugal is almost entirely composed of women: a talented and skilled team that lends its femininity and attention to detail to every cork wallet, bag or accessory.
7. Renewable and eco-friendly materials
Sustainability is one of the biggest issues of our times. It touches many aspects of our lives, right down to the materials we choose to buy. In these defining times, when our choices can and will define the future of the planet, cork stands out as the number one eco–friendly raw material. Corkor’s objective is providing people with a premium, high-end alternative to leather, an eco–friendly alternative to other highly polluting vegan products. The extraction of cork also maintains the vitality of the cork oak forest habitat and promotes multiple economic, environmental and social gains, allowing for thousands of people to go on living and working in otherwise deserted areas of Portugal.
8. Cork is part of Portuguese DNA
Cork is part of the Portuguese collective imaginary. Those born and raised in South Portugal have grown up surrounded by cork oak trees, learning from tender age to love and respect them, but also to draw inspiration from them. Childhood play and memories often include family field trips through the cork oak forest, and playing with the bits and pieces of cork lying around on the floor. Crafting with cork comes naturally and is one of the many ways the Portuguese interact with this material. It’s no wonder then, that we have mastery of cork and are pioneers in giving it new and surprising shapes and uses.
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