Keeping the Legacy alive - What true Artisans mean
May to late August, is cork harvesting time in Portugal. These skilled tradesmen will work during the hottest months in the Alentejo region, home to Portugal's Cork fields.
A typical day for these men will start at 6 am until 2:00 pm. at which time the temperatures will have reached 40+ F making it impossible for them to work.
Cork harvesting is one of the highest paid trades at the moment. Only a handful of skilled men have inherited this trade from their fathers and grandfathers, and know how to skillfully insert the machete into the bark of the tree so that the pulp is not hurt during the process. The slightest error will kill the tree.
After speaking to a few of these amazing men, during a recent trip to Portugal, it was evident that they would like nothing more than to leave this legacy to their children. Some will have that opportunity as younger generations are becoming more in tune with nature and truly embracing their heritage and going back to their roots and rustic living. Others, because most of these tradesmen come from small villages in rural locations, will not have the same luck, as their children have left to the bigger cities such as Lisbon looking for opportunities, or will have emigrated abroad.
No matter where life takes them, we are always so incredibly appreciative of the hard labour that goes into this art, which gives us the opportunity to share with you on our journey to making a better future on this planet with our sustainable and ethically manufactured collections of Cork handbags, purses, wallets and shoes.