One material, multiple advantages

In a variety of different areas, cork’s characteristics enable differentiating solutions to be created that offer major environmental benefits and important added value for consumers. This incredible versatility is evident in the wide range of solutions designed to place cork’s unique properties at the service of consumers, thereby giving rise to distinctive proposals.

Through significant investments in research and innovation programmes, Corticeira Amorim is constantly seeking to capitalise on cork’s tremendous potential, enhancing its use far beyond current applications, and thereby responding to the need to materialise new ideas and projects with cork, many pursued in partnership with professionals, knowledge centres and other organisations, which successfully extend the field of application of cork to the most diverse and unexpected areas.

Boundless creativity. Over recent years, Amorim Cork Ventures, the new business incubator for cork-based projects, has supported several entrepreneurs who are developing cork-related projects, in the creation and development of new cork products and businesses.

Including projects as different as Sugo Cork Rugs, AsPortuguesas flip-flops, and the multifunctional and ecological YogurtNest. They all incorporate innovation, sustainability credentials and the ambition to add value to a unique raw material: cork.

Sugo Cork Rugs supply woven cork rugs that combine traditional methods with contemporary design. Because they are woven with cork, they benefit from the main characteristics of this noble material, such as lightness, impermeability, elasticity, thermal and acoustic insulation, slow combustion and minimisation of allergy risks, due to the fact that cork does not absorb dust and repels dust mites.

YogurtNest is a multifunction yogurt maker, that is a sustainable solution made from 100% natural materials. The product aims to make yogurt more accessible, while significantly lowering its carbon footprint, eliminating the need to use plastic packaging and consume electricity. Cork’s unique characteristics meet all the requirements to create a solution that enables consumers to make delicious and healthy yogurts, and can also be used as a slow cooker for pasta or rice, or as a thermal bag.

Cork’s insulating properties, combined with its ecological credentials, mean that it is also the ideal solution for environmentally friendly refrigeration equipment. Grõwancork's EIC solution - Easy Insulation Cork, is based on an expanded cork agglomerated chassis, covered with metal sheets, that can be applied in refrigeration equipment as an ecological alternative to the current injected polyurethane systems, and offering important energy saving gains.

Sustainable-by-nature absorbents

Cork’s excellent absorption capacity and its buoyancy are extremely efficient when it is necessary to absorb large quantities of oils, hydrocarbons and other organic and polluting solvents, in water and on land.

In 2010, Corticeira Amorim launched an innovative range of natural cork-based absorbents for the control and cleaning of hydrocarbon spills, marketed under the CorkSorb brand. These sustainable absorbents are produced from a natural raw material and have zero impact on the environment - unlike mineral, synthetic or even turf-based absorbents.

In 2011, CorkSorb won the Green Project Awards, the Innovation Award for Sustainability (EBAEpis) and two of the four awards of the European Business Awards for the Environment, in the Product and Companies for Biodiversity categories. The solution has also won major innovation awards, such as the PNIA - National Award for Environmental Innovation, in 2010, and the Cotec-Unicer Product Innovation Award, n 2012.

CorkSorb absorbents are certified by various environmental agencies in Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the USA, and are commercialised in 26 countries, in Europe, Africa, North and South America and Australasia. They are presented as a solution for major oil spills, and also for cleaning up daily spills in workshops, petrol stations or industry.

The principal innovation of this range of absorbents lies in the fact that they are hydrophobic. After being suitably treated by Corticeira Amorim, using clean, environmentally friendly and 100% sustainable processes, cork almost instantly absorbs large amounts of oils and solvents, but does not absorb water. This capability makes CorkSorb solutions ideal for use in aquatic environments (rivers, seas, lakes and oceans) or on wet floors.

Thanks to its robust sustainability credentials, the CorkSorb range has received six national and international awards.

Fashion footwear and accessories with high performance

Fashion footwear and accessories with high performance in terms of comfort, light, fast compression recovery, warm feeling, excellent thermal and hypoallergenic insulation.

Cork is a naturally noble material, that is attractive and pleasant to the touch. It delivers a mark of distinction and originality to the articles in which it is incorporated, making them more valuable - by creating their own individual “fingerprints”, so that each cork object becomes unique.

That is perhaps why cork has been chosen by an impressive list of luxury brands, such as Christian Louboutin, Diane Von Furstenberg, Stella McCartney, Gucci, Prada, Chloé, Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors, and is also adopted in design-conscious segments, by brands such as Guess, Fly London and Benetton. In the field of sports, brands such as Adidas, Nike and Birkenstock, have already embraced the versatility of cork.

The association between cork and shoes is so natural that it is not surprising that the first start up launched by Amorim Cork Ventures was an innovative brand of cork flip-flops: AsPortuguesas. Combining versatility, lightness and convenience, in addition to a unique look, AsPortuguesas constituted a very important first step in stimulating creativity and innovation, with cork as a differentiating proposal.

In the most sophisticated models, or those with greater focus on comfort, Corticeira Amorim has a wide range of visual and technical options that designers and the industry can choose from, in function of their needs or the latest fashion trends.

Cork’s benefits in terms of technical performance also make it a viable option for the sports and orthopaedic footwear segments. It ensures better distribution of body weight, shock absorption, temperature control and allows feet to breathe. Corticeira Amorim offers different ranges of granulated cork, cork sheets, rollers, mouldable components and cork-rubber solutions, which can be used in insoles and orthopaedic shoes, among other possibilities. All of these products are designed to increase walking comfort, reduce foot and leg health problems and improve physical posture.

See brochure Footwear [PDF]

Other Cork Applications

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