'From the cork oak fields, comes cork. Assertive hits are made by skilled workers, so that no piece goes wasted. Separated accordingly to its quality from these cork pieces can come soles, insoles and many other footwear components, besides the famous Portuguese cork stoppers and other various articles. The granulated cork goes to the factories, which manufacture the footwear components. A company in Trofa_Portugal, Innocork, is the responsible for thousands of cork molds. From the 80% of production destined to the footwear sector, 20% of the materials are addressed to the comfort and orthopedic areas. And cork has many qualities.
"It starts with the fact that it is a natural product, also because it’s a product that has the ability to absorb the transpiration of the foot, its lightness on the insole which makes the shoe much lighter. And then the comfort it has, when we apply a foam to it, and the fact that we can mold it according to the customer’s demands. All of these are huge advantages in manufacturing an insole from cork. » Isabel Lopes, Innocork
With the main customers in Germany, USA, France and Portugal, around 3 dozen companies work with Innocork, depending on its granulated cork or insoles, to then be applied to the orthopedic area. It can be the whole insole to assemblage, as also be the orthopedic pieces that then the customer will work according to the final customer’s needs. Cork is in space, housing, design and fashion. Footwear is also a growing investment from Amorim company, a large exporter of cork and its elements worldwide.
« We divide this in three of four core segments: one is the fashion footwear (mostly women’s footwear), which is a relatively cyclical business; We have a segment linked to the ergonomic footwear, from the orthopedic area, so cork is also important for this application; and then we have all of the most recent footwear, such as the Birkenstock, which currently represent the main applications of cork on the footwear segment. The international fashion brands are also attentive of this light, ecological and moldable material. The greatest fashion brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Christian Louboutin, which have several pieces manufactured based on cork, are also relevant because they show than even the best designers in the world see cork as a product of choice, therefore, they take into account the cork into their design, they work with it in the piece’s development and combine it with other materials in the footwear. » António Amorim, Amorim company.
Cork, a Portuguese product, is the present throughout all the world and increasingly aligned with footwear sector and to the greatest international brands.' // What’s UP « Olhar a Moda » by APICAPS
Video credits: What’s UP « Olhar a Moda » by APICAPS
Images : Amorim Cork Company (c) Amorim.com
> Amorim Cork Company : www.amorim.com
Architecture: Portuguese pavillon in Expo 2010 Shanghai with expanded insulation cork exterior facade.