Cork is a pretty sustainable material because when it is harvested, the tree doesn't 'die' to have to be completely cut down as its just the bark that has to be peeled off for the material. I think its really fascinating the way the cork is extracted from trees, mainly around regions such as Spain and Portugal. Aside from the usual usage as corks for bottles, cork is increasingly being used in less expected materials such as for bags and shoes. As sustainability becomes a more important consideration in products, big brands such as Vans and Stella McCartney are starting to use this important material more widely. 

Brands such as Mat & Nat really put sustainability at the forefront of their product and brand strategy, using alternatives to leather for their whole range and really shouting about it. Stella McCartney is also an example of a high end fashion brand committed to positively publicizing social responsibity. I think its great!

1) Gourmet trainers with colored cork 2) Delia tiger backpack 3) Cork drawstring bag by Objects without meaning 4) Cork hand bag by Stella McCartney 5) Vans 6) Mat & Nat 7) Dress shoe on shoeography 8) Nike

About the Author
Jacqui Ma is the Director of Footwear & Accessories at WGSN, she is also the founder and designer of cycling bag company Goodordering. With 10 + years working in product design, trends, and manufacturing, her expertise lies in  fashion, accessories, footwear, innovation, business and content strategy.