Native to Southwest Europe and Northern Africa, the cork oak’s bark is not only harvested for wine stoppers and home flooring, it’s also entered the fashion world thanks to companies like Portuguese fashion label Pelcor.
Recently receiving honors for “Most Innovative” at the Pure International Fashion show in London, owner Sandra Correia, Portugal’s Entrepreneur of the Year, has taken cork to new heights.
Because the material is waterproof, washable, hypoallergenic, un-scratchable and stain-proof, shoes, bags, hats and jewelry can be beautifully made and stylishly detailed. Even Madonna seems to have a penchant for Pelcor, having recently tried out an entire cork ensemble: hat,bag, wallet and glasses case.
(The curious want to see her dance in it now).
Cork, a plant fiber, is a growing substitute for leather and doesn’t require a polluting fabrication process thanks to its natural elements and unique cell structure that allows it to retain carbon dioxide.
So one can wear an entire cork outfit and minimize global warming?
To a degree.