Frequently Asked Questions

Rok Cork is a Toronto based lifestyle brand offering premium vegan Cork products. Artisan made in Portugal, Cork is a natural, sustainable and renewable source.  Unlike vegan leathers on the market, Cork does not contain any PU/PVC materials, making it environmentally and animal friendly.  Feels like suede, wears like traditional leather, water repellent, easy to clean, lightweight.

Where do Rok Cork products come from?

ROK Cork products come from the outer bark of the evergreen oak known by the Latin name Quercus (oak) Suber (cork), which grows in Southern Europe, 300,000 pounds are harvested annually, with Portugal having the highest harvest percentage of 61.3%.

Does Cork harvesting cause damage to the cork trees?

Not at all. When the cork reaches maturity, it begins to separate naturally from the tree. This process occurs during the spring/summer months when the weather is very dry in the Montado of Portugal. Then using a process refined over centuries, workers assist in the release by harvesting the cork with a special technique and machete, leaving behind a healthy tree. As soon as the tree is harvested, it begins the process all over again. In order to ensure that the trees are healthy, the first, initial harvesting of the cork does not occur until the tree reaches 80 cms in circumference and a maturity of 25 years of age.

What happens to the Cork trees after they are harvested?

Once the harvest takes place the last digit of the corresponding year in which the tree is stripped is painted, this will ensure that the next harvest will be in due time. The trees are left for nine years, the necessary time frame to reproduce new bark. Cork trees can live anywhere from 200-300 years, making them a one of a kind sustainable product.

  • Once harvested the bark is stacked and dried for six months in the open air, the selected planks are stacked in piles to be exposed to sun, wind and rain. During this period, the cork texture stabilizes then it is sorted by thickness and quality.
  • The planks of bark go through a process of boiling and steaming, this will ensure that it rids the material of insects, parasites and dirt. The procedure also removes the tanning agent, which increases the flexibility of the material.
  • After 3 weeks of resting the planks are dry again and then heat and high pressure is used to press the cork into thick blocks that are later sliced into thin sheets. The sheets are cut into panels, sanded and steamed onto a cotton-based core material.  No harsh dyes or chemicals are involved. The long process brings to life Cork fabric: A durable, natural, fashionable material that reflects an aspiration for a world more in tune with nature.

How are Rok Cork products made?

Rok Cork Accessories products are manufactured from the bark of Oak trees. The sustainability of its production and the easy recycling of cork's products and by-products are two of its most distinctive aspects. What makes Cork a unique product is its properties: Lightness, Elasticity, Impermeability, Insulation, and Resistance to wear and tear, Hypoallergenic and Fire resistant. In buying and using cork products, you are contributing to the preservation of a natural, renewable resource and ecological environment in western Mediterranean countries.

How do I care for my Rok Cork product?

Unlike its cousin, leather, cork does not need to be conditioned. It is easily cleaned, simply wipe the stain with a soft damp cloth and a little gentle liquid soap and water. Remove any excess soap with a damp cloth and allow the item to dry naturally. Natural baby wipes can also be used. 

Are Rok Cork products environmentally friendly?

Yes, there is no damage to the trees harvested. Cork is environmentally friendly; In the production process there is no waste (the waste is used for stoppers). All dyes utilized in the process of coloured cork fabric are water based dyes, Cork offers an alternative for people who would like to stay away from leather. It reflects the new global commitment to the environment.

 Cork is:

  • 100% Eco Friendly
  • 100% Sustainable
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Soft to the touch
  • Biodegradable
  • Elegant 
  • Sophisticated

The Journey

Cork bark is naturally processed into thin, supple and velvety fabric-like sheets, the final product is extremely light weight and soft. It possesses the same strength characteristics of leather, but is also sustainable and vegan. In Portugal, the world’s largest provider of cork, this natural wonder is harvested during the hottest months of the year in the Alentejo region, where temperatures soar above 40 degrees celsius so that the bark is at its driest state. Cork harvesting is a highly specialized skill that, to this day, can only be done by hand with traditional tools in order to avoid damaging the cork oak tree and allowing it to regenerate for upwards of two hundred years. Each Rok Cork product reflects the distinctive personality and natural characteristics found in cork bark making each item truly one-of-a-kind.

"We take great pride that every one of our items exemplifies an unparalleled craftsmanship appreciated by our clients. Fashion is no longer about a name, but rather unique quality pieces that enable men and women to confidently express their passions and personal brands.” Elizabeth, CEO