Pricing Transparency - Fast Fashion vs Ethically Made Fashion

Our brand ethos has always been Quality over Quantity and People over profit.  Our end goal is to provide our customers with a high end quality product at an affordable price point and one that does not compromise the environment or the people making the products. 

Manufacturing our products with a transparent supply chain and materials that are eco friendly and truly sustainable. 

More and more we see new brands riding the sustainable journey, using commonly used words "sustainable, eco friendly, vegan and so many others in a way of greenwashing the consumer, and also a very popular one, PETA APPROVED VEGAN LEATHER, but have you really taken a step back and reflect on what is exactly vegan leather?

Nowadays there's many alternatives to real leather that are eco friendly and sustainable, such as and aside from cork, we have apple leather, pinatex, mushroom, etc. 

But 95% of brands prefer to use the term "vegan leather" but did you know these are just fancy names to deflect the fact that it's simply a material derived from plastic like PU and PVC - they do not contain any animal-derived material but they are far from being sustainable or good for the environment. They are cheap to manufacture, loaded with chemicals and extremely hurtful to the environment and especially to the people making them, enduring working with these harmful chemicals every day. No matter what fancy name you give it, it will always be man made and questionable, and products made from fossil fuels are NOT biodegradable and will indeed sit for hundreds of years on landfills, polluting our planet and the natural habitats of those we want to protect.

Which brings us to price points, as this we get asked often:  such and such brand is also vegan and sells their bags for $80 - $120.00 cad.. how are yours much higher than this..  well, we can honestly say that we receive endless emails every day from manufacturing companies in Asia offering their products, $7.50 up to $12.00 case in point with this image.. 


So brands can afford to sell their items at $80.00 retail and make considerable profit margins, our products however are made in Portugal, with unparallel European craftsmanship, by men and women which we have met and have built relationships with, and who are paid above average salaries each month - so we know they have a comfortable livelihood and are able to provide their families with food, shelter, education and health coverage. 

In all open transparency like Everlane, if our bags have a landed cost of around $90-$110.00 cad plus freight + duties and any other fees we have no control off, at the end of the day our prices are very reasonable,  as we are consciously tranquil that we know:

1) Where they are made

2) Who made them

3) When were they made

4) How were they made

5) And that we are authentically providing fair working conditions to the artisans

This should account for something right?  And we know our customers want this too.

Rok Cork is not about following trends - or mass production, it's about making beautiful and timeless one of a kind pieces that are ethically handcrafted, cruelty-free, sustainable and contributing to a greener future.  

We hope this breakdown helps you to understand the true cost of European Made products, not only are we bound to crazy fluctuating exchange rates, constantly increasing freight costs, and many other elements that we have supported so we don't have to pass those onto to our customers. We are truly wanting to make a difference in this world, and with your continued support we will.

Feel free to ask us any questions, reach out to our team at as you should question the brands you support as well.  Be on this journey with us.  


In the meantime check out the marketplace investigation from CBC News.


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