Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak tree, Quercus Suber L, which grows mainly in the Mediterranean region of the world. The bark is a vegetal tissue composed of an agglomeration of cells filled with an air-like gas and lined with alternating layers of cellulose and suberin. Each cubic centimetre of cork's structure contains between 30 and 40 million cells.
Cork oak forests cover approximately 2.5 million hectares primarily in seven countries: Portugal, Algeria, Spain, Morocco, France, Italy and Tunisia.
This tree has a life span of about 300 years and it must be 25 years old before it can provide its first harvest of cork. Cork is stripped from the trunk in a sustainable manner every nine years and does not harm the tree in any way. After harvesting, a new layer of cork starts generating.
With the increasing concern for the environment, cork oak remains the only tree whose bark can regenerate itself after harvest leaving the tree unharmed. It is truly, a renewable, environmentally friendly resource. Furthermore, the cork oak tree has the remarkable capacity to retain carbon and a harvested cork tree fixates almost five times more carbon. This exceptional characteristic makes cork a naturally sustainable product and its use contributes to the preservation of a unique habitat in the world.