While cork is synonymous with wine bottle stoppers for most of us, here is a brand that has turned this material on its head, and is creating stylish fashion accessories out of it instead.
Arture, derived aptly from ‘art’ and ‘nature’, was launched in 2015 an endeavour to offer accessories that are not just well designed, but also cruelty free, by Shivani Patel and Kesha Vasant (who has now exited the company).
Shivani, a NIFT Chennai graduate, says that she wants people to buy Arture products primarily because of their smart and sleek minimalistic designs. That they are also vegan and cruelty free is a bonus.
Cork became Arture’s choice of material to make coin purses, totes and sling bags, iPad sleeves and wallets, laptop bags and satchels as they were looking for a cruelty free alternative to leather, and were not convinced with using jute, canvas, rexine or synthetic material.
So, how did they decide upon cork? Serendipitously. Shivani hit upon the idea when preparing a notice board for herself.
Cork, also known as ‘nature’s leather’, is water-proof, anti-fungal, sturdy, lightweight and almost zero-maintenance. And trees are not completely cut down to obtain it, only the bark is shaved. Even the lining used for products is organic cotton. Consequently, Arture has bagged a PETA approved vegan certification.
The two founders are also using their brand as a means to create some positive impact in the world. Having partnered with ResQ, a not-for-profit animal charity, Arture donates a percentage of every purchase made towards helping an animal in need.
Given that Arture was launched through a crowdfunding campaign at at time when sustainability or ethical fashion were terms unknown to people in general, this vegan fashion company has come a long way, and is helping to take the slow fashion movement in the country forward.
Written by Anisha Kashwani
All images credit: Arture