Cork & The “Made In China” Stigma

Cork is a material we don’t hear much about. It goes under the radar, yet it is such an interesting and vital material used in the manufacture of daily consumables. But what is it and why is it such an important element in today’s manufacturing industry?

Cork is produced from the bark of cork oak trees which are usually found along the mediterranean coastline and have evolved to deal with harsh weather conditions such as drought and temperature variations. Due to these harsh weather conditions, this tree has grown to have bark that is rot, fire, and termite resistant, and is soft and lightweight, making it the perfect material to produce wine bottle stoppers and other consumer products.

As the material is obtained from a sustainable source and is vegan, it is a popular choice for environmentally friendly consumers who are concerned about the products that they choose to purchase. You may be surprised to hear that one of the largest manufacturers of cork related products is in China, the business appeal of mass produced and economical consumer goods too good to decline.

You might be concerned about the location of the cork factories. Manufactured cork products made in China may sound like cause for concern but in fact it is quite the opposite as it is not only an environmentally friendly material but the methodology of chinese factories means that the consumables are also manufactured economically, meaning the savings can be passed across to the consumer.

The Supposed Problem With Chinese Consumables

When we pick up products with the “Made in China” label, there is often a stigma associated with the production value which makes us doubt the quality of the goods. This stigma has stemmed from reports about terrible Chinese quality inspection, including hepatitis A found in frozen berries and formaldehyde found in beer. Needless to say, outside of these reports, there are plenty of beneficial consumer products that have emerged from China, including the Xiaomi Iphone copycat which is arguably better than the original at the fraction of the cost.

When products are manufactured in China, they are produced to the quality they are provided with, usually in the form of design samples or prototypes, at the cost the business owners are willing to shed out. With more money pumped into the economical growth of the industry better products are created as a result.

For people looking for quality cork products, they need to be aware of a company’s ethos. Does the company host their own third party checks to assess the quality of the product? Third party checks are a great analysis to look for whether the product is coming from China or even the USA as it offers that added quality assurance for a buyer.

Where to buy quality cork products

Money Smart offers a wide range of cork wallets which are made in china and are quality assessed by a third party to ensure the quality matches the original design. The sustainable cork material allows the wallets to be environmentally friendly but also is able to withstand the daily wear and tear that a wallet is rigorously put through. It is weatherproof and strong.

You can find the collection here, starting from as little as £18.33.

Another example of a sustainable and suitable cork product manufacturer is Charles Cantrill, a UK based distributor, who has a fantastic cork Ipad and Samsung case for those of you who need a hard wearing and protective case for when you’re on the move. You can find the Ipad case here for as little as £38.99 and the Samsung Galaxy case here for £33.95.

At present, there aren’t many cork related products on the market but it looks to be a material that is on the rise as it is now being used in the fashion industry and paired with cruelty free leather to create handbags, purses, and even shoes. Why wouldn’t you want a cork product that is cruelty free, environmentally and animal friendly, that withstands the test of time?

After all, Santosh Kalwar said that “All our wisdom is stored in the trees” and in the case of the cork tree, we can agree that this material is vital to the manufacturing and consumer industry.

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