When you look at cork what do you see? Most of us associate cork as the stopper for wine bottles seeming unaware there is so much more to this renewable resource than meets the eye.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the incredibly kind Jennifer Vandervelde, the name behind the vegan purse line Eve Cork. Jennifer gives us a little insight into her company and how the cork for her line is sourced. Please see the interview below.
Can you tell me about yourself and your company?
I am a huge animal lover who truly cares about the Earth and all living things. I have 2 beautiful daughters that I am raising to think about where the things we purchase come from. I don’t feel good about eating or wearing things derived from animals. I discovered cork bags and fell in love with the material right away. Eve Cork offers sustainable, cruelty-free products to other, like-minded individuals. If you would like to learn more about me and the company, please check out the Our Story page on our website.
Why create a purse line made out of cork?
Cork fabric is soft, light weight and durable, but best of all no living things are harmed in the creation of our products.
Are there any environmental concerns when it comes to sourcing cork?
I am not aware of any environmental concerns when it comes to sourcing cork. As the tree goes through harvest, it will filter more carbon dioxide, resulting in cleaner air for everyone and, therefore, have a positive impact on the environment.
What does sustainability mean to you?
To me, sustainability means that the resource will naturally be replenished. In our case, we use the bark of the cork oak tree, which will naturally regenerate.
On your website it says that your purses are made by artisans in Portugal, can you tell me a little about that?
All of our products are made by hand by skilled artisans. They are not mass produced.
What are some things that people may not be aware of about cork?
Cork is antibacterial and naturally resistant to dust, making it a great choice for people with allergies. It is a highly durable, flexible material that is also waterproof.
Where does the inspiration for your designs come from?
Some come from a designer, with a background in fashion, and others come from the type of bags that I would like to own (I am our ideal customer).
How much work goes into creating one purse?
The bark of the tree cannot be removed until it reaches 25 years of age; thereafter, it is carefully removed by hand every 9 years. The cork planks are stacked and left to dry outdoors for several months to cure. They are then submerged in boiling water to remove dirt, which also softens the cork and makes it more flexible. Once removed, they are left to dry for several more weeks before they are trimmed into the material used to make our bags.
What are some benefits to using cork verses PU Leather Vegan?
Cork is a natural, sustainable material unlike most leather alternatives, which are made from plastics. The process of harvesting cork is beneficial to the environment while the production of plastics releases toxins into the environment.
What is your current best seller?
Our Bora Natural Cork Tote bag
Do you have a go to bag from your line that you never leave home without?
Despite having several bags to choose from, I always gravitate to my Olivia tote. I’ve brought it everywhere from work, to out with friends, to the beach. It’s large enough to carry 3 water bottles when I’m out with my 2 daughters and has multiple compartments that help keep everything organized.
What can we expect from your company in the future?
Covid has hit the business pretty hard; but I am hopeful that we can continue to offer cruelty-free handbags, made from sustainable material, to those who care about the Earth and all living things as much as I do.
Courtesy Images: Eve Cork