We give you Cork.
The Sustainable Dream
It is a recyclable and reusable material, where waste
is out of the picture.
What is the cork
The cork oak is an evergreen tree, of the Fagaceae family (Quercus suber), to which the chestnut and oak tree also belong. There are 465 species of Quercus, mainly found in temperate and subtropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The climate makes them happy and in return these lovely trees keep the ground from erosion and drying up. Cork oaks forests are some of the most important ecosystems for animal preservation in the world. They are a home for more than 200 animal species and all most as many different types of plants.
How do cork oaks
The cork oak may be sown, planted or propagate spontaneously, which is often the case in cork oak forests, thanks to the acorns that fall on the ground. The oldest and most productive cork oak in the world is the Whistler Tree, in the Alentejo region (South of Portugal).
The cork oak was planted in 1783, stands over 14 metres tall and the diameter of its trunk is 4.15 metres. Its name comes from the noise made by the numerous songbirds that shelter among its branches. It so important for us that this tree is protected by law since the 18th century.
What is stripping?
Stripping is the ancient process of extracting the bark of the cork oak - the cork. Today, this work is still done by specialised professionals, with absolute precision, who use just a single tool: the axe. This delicate operation takes place between May and August, when the tree is at its most active time of growth and it is easier to remove the bark from the trunk.
When does the first
stripping take place?
The first stripping takes place when the cork oak is 25 years old and the trunk has reached a diameter of 70 centimetres, measured 1.3 metres from the ground. Subsequent stripping take place with an interval of at least nine years. Intervals of at least nine years, which means that the harvesting of the cork will last 150 years, on average.
Stripping is carried out manually and the trees are never cut down.
After each stripping, the cork oak undergoes an original process
of self-regeneration of the bark, which gives the activity
of cork harvesting a uniquely sustainable nature.
Besides cork, what other
parts of the cork oak are
used and for which
Nothing is wasted from the cork oak, all its components have a useful ecological or economic purpose:
• The acorn, which is the fruit of the cork oak, is used to propagate the species, as animal fodder and in the manufacture of cooking oils;
• The leaves are used as fodder and a natural fertiliser;
• The material from tree pruning and decrepit trees provide firewood and charcoal;
• The tannins and natural acids contained within the wood from the tree are used in chemical and beauty products.
The Cork Oak is Portugal’s
At the end of 2011, the cork oak was unanimously established as Portugal’s National Tree. Around 23% of Portugal’s forest area is made up of cork oaks, which support the country’s main industry, besides providing a fundamental contribution against social desertification and making an unparalleled contribution to the preservation of the biodiversity associated with the cork oak forest.
The cork oak’s importance in Portugal has been recognised since the 13th century, a time when the first laws arose for the protection of the species. Nowadays, many brands, especially in the Portuguese shoe industry were seduced by this versatile material, and we were no exception. How can anyone resist to the environmentally friendly, highly sustainable, mesmerizing cork. It can be dark but it can also be really light, like our Vero sandals.
Light in color and weight they are perfect
for sunny days in the city!
Cork is growing in the Fashion industry and we can’t wait to see its future!
Credits to Amorim Cork Composites www.amorimcorkcomposites.com