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Many of you are probably familiar with cork as a bottle stopper for good wine. For a good reason: cork is durable, waterproof and has been a well-known and popular raw material for centuries. We'll tell you here why cork is the trend material of the future thanks to these properties.
How is cork made?
When you think of cork, the first thing that probably comes to mind is its use as a stopper for wine bottles. But did you know that cork is made from the bark of the cork oak tree? The cork oak grows mainly in the Mediterranean region and can grow up to 25 meters high.
After about 20 years, the bark is fully grown and can be carefully harvested by hand without damaging the tree. Various products are then made from the bark, for example floor coverings and insulating materials as well as fitness equipment such as foam rolls and yoga mats .
Cork has some unique properties that make it so special: it is light, elastic and heat-insulating. It is also a renewable raw material and therefore environmentally friendly.
Where does cork come from?
The cork oak grows mainly in the Mediterranean region, especially in Portugal, Spain and North Africa. This very robust tree species can live up to 200 years. A cork oak must have achieved at least 20 of these so that the renewable raw material can be obtained from it.
For this purpose, the cork farmers peel off the bark by hand every seven to nine years without injuring the tree itself. The so-called cork harvest is of great importance for the health of the tree and for the sustainability of cork cultivation.
After harvesting, the cork is dried and sorted before being processed further. By the next harvest, the harvested tree bark will have grown back.
What are the benefits of cork?
Cork is not only light and thermally insulating, but also has an antibacterial effect. This means that bacteria and harmful germs cannot settle permanently on the material. As a result, the sustainable raw material is ideal for fitness products that constantly come into contact with sweaty bodies.
If you have a cork massage tool or yoga mat, all you really need to do after your workout is wipe it down with a damp cloth or some mild disinfectant. In addition, cork is very hard-wearing and simply feels pleasant on the skin. And fitness equipment made from 100% cork is also 100% sustainable and recyclable.
Cork - the trend material of the future?
Will cork soon replace plastics such as PVC and EPP as a material for fitness products? It would be desirable. Because the raw material is completely sustainable and virtually inexhaustible. However, the time-consuming manual extraction makes it comparatively expensive. However, as we know, there is no way around the permanent move away from plastics made from fossil raw materials.
In any case, the aim should be to become more sustainable and environmentally conscious here as well. Fitness equipment made of cork offers the right approach for this. If you also want to make your daily training more sustainable and place just as much value on quality and longevity, you are on the right track with fitness equipment made of cork .