Last week I was introduced to INLU shoe’s through an Influencer partnership. Thanks to brands like INLU, fashion and beauty partnerships have shaped the way I shop and the products I invest in. Just like clean beauty products are safer for your skin, there are clean fashion products that are healthier for you.
When INLU contacted me for a partnership I was unaware of all of the clean fashion products and the advantages of cork versus leather fashion. I was conflicted which shoes I wanted them to send to me because I was obsessed with their cork shoes, but I love leather. I did a little research and found several reasons why my first decision to go with cork shoes was the best choice.
Did you know cork is as durable as leather and it is plant-based? Until now I didn’t. Leather is everywhere. It is widely used in fashion clothing and accessories. The average person does not think of cork as an alternative to leather. Leather is polished, chic, and known for its longevity. Naturally a consumer would invest more money into a product they believe is the most sustainable. That same consumer probably shares my earlier misperception that leather is more durable than cork.
A lot of leather making today involves chemical pollution, animal wastes and dangerous working conditions. The cost of a beautiful accessory could come at the expense of a workers life or health. Leather production consists of chromium tanning, chemical waste, and in some countries, severe safety protection and no environmental regulations.
Cork is made from tree bark that comes from a cork oak tree. It is plant-based and safer for the environment because it is harvested without causing harm to the tree. It does not have any cruelty or pollution. This “vegan leather” has the same lifespan of leather with similar aesthetics. Harvesting cork helps it enter a regeneration process. This process extends the lifespan. Cork is the most natural vegan leather on the market. It grows in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea like Portugal where INLU shoes originated.
Leather and cork are both great for fashion clothing and accessories. Over time they will both age well and remain highly durable. However, leather will typically cost more than cork for the same sustainability. My assessment: Cork is the way of the future. It is safer for the environment and safer for you. Unlike leather, cork is hypoallergenic, water-resistant and flame resistant. Cork is animal cruelty free. This year I started making clean choices for a healthier lifestyle. Cork is an environmental clean fashion choice I am making now that I am aware of its benefits. The $3 trillion fashion industry is the second most polluting industry, just behind oil. Making a conscious choice to be healthier is just the beginning of a larger movement and first step to educate others to make clean choices.
Become environmentally aware of what you are spending money on so the next time you make a purchase you know that it is safest for you. There are ways you can be apart of the clean fashion movement without spending money like recycling. Consider selling or buying from a consignment store. Be aware of clean fashion and instill this knowledge in someone else. It only takes one positive influence to make a global change.
Next week I will be sharing my interview with the Founder and CEO of INLU, Inês Lebre. Inês will be sharing why she made the decision to incorporate cork into her shoe collection, how she made cork fashionable on Kickstarter, and why her female ran company is apart of this global fashion revolution.
Shop These Stylish Cork Shoes