Cork trees absorb up to five times more carbon dioxide when their outer layer of bark is removed to harvest the useful material
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Spotted: In a recent report, the World Wildlife Foundation highlighted the biodiversity of cork forests, explaining that, “In cork oak landscapes, plant diversity can reach a level of 135 species per square metre, and many of these species have aromatic, culinary or medicinal uses.” Cork itself is increasingly being used in the home for much more than wine bottle stoppers. London-based design studio mind the cork creates beautiful homewares from cork.
Working closely with craftspeople and small factories in the UK and Portugal, the company creates small-batch collections that emphasise sustainability. Waste from production is tracked and up cycled wherever possible, and the business is working towards becoming plastic-free. Initially known for its planters, the brand now also offers deskwares and other home accessories – including cardholders, bowls, and pots with colourful lids.
Cork is harvested approximately every 10 years once a tree is 25 years or older. Harvesting entails carefully removing the outer layer of a tree’s bark. The living fibre is not disturbed. And once the outer layer is removed, the tree begins absorbing up to five times the usual amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in order to facilitate regrowth. Responsibly harvesting cork therefore helps improve the environment. And the material forms the basis for incredibly useful, lightweight objects when in the hands of artisans.
Written by: Keely Khoury