Cork is the ultimate sustainable material.
In addition to being natural, lightweight and impermeable, it is also biodegradable, renewable and recyclable.
Where does cork come from?
Cork is the bark of the Cork Oak (Quercus Suber L), a tree with very special characteristics. After the tree has reached maturity (25 years); the bark is stripped from its trunk every nine years, without causing damage to the tree.
Most of the world’s cork comes from Portugal, but there are also large areas of cork oak forests in other Western Mediterranean countries like Spain, Italy, France, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.
Is the cork oak tree an endangered species?
The simple answer is no. The harvesting of cork is a controlled process and the cork oak forests all over the Mediterranean and Iberian basin play an important role for the environment, as they constitute a habitat for over two hundred animal species as well as around 135 types of plants.
Why is cork eco-friendly?
In addition to all its amazing qualities…
Harvests are carefully carried out by hand to prevent any damage to the trees and the surrounding environment. These trees have a high capacity for regeneration and their bark regrows without chemical herbicides, fertilizers or irrigation. During the 9 years between each harvest, it is vital to maintain forest conservation work to protect the trees from harsh weather conditions.
The increase in the planting of cork oaks has helped prevent desertification in southern Portugal, a very dry and arid region, because it reduces soil erosion and provides a livelihood for local populations. Besides their capacity to produce oxygen, like all trees, cork oaks have a unique cell structure that enables them to retain carbon dioxide, which is the main cause of global warming.