Cork-based home goods strike the perfect balance between practicality and sustainability

Mind the Cork is a line of cork-based home goods, ranging from hanging planters to cylindrical storage vessels.

Cork is one of the planet’s most sustainable materials. Every decade, the heavy bark can be stripped off from the cork oak tree through a skilled trade that’s passed down over generations. Once the cork is harvested, the biodegradable material can be used for an array of different purposes.

Designer: Mind the Cork

London-based studio Mind the Cork found one purpose in using cork to produce home goods. The designers behind Mind the Cork produce cork pieces like planters, dishware, and storage containers to create a line of practical home goods rooted in sustainability.

Mind the Cork founder Jenny Espirito Santo initially produced the line of cork goods as her passion project, but its eco-concious and minimalist appeal soon took off. Weaving together the environmental aspect with the current home trend toward green spaces, Santo produced a collection of different planters of varying sizes and shapes.

From hanging to stationery planters, Mind the Cork carries small to medium-sized planters and even features maintenance and care instructions so the cork lasts. Besides planters, Santo works closely with craftspeople and small factories in the UK and Portugal to create cardholders, cork bowls, and cylindrical storage containers with 11 lid options.

Providing safe nesting grounds and a healthy ecosystem, cork oak tree plots are never damaged during the process of cork harvesting. Primarily taking place in Portugal, Santo harvests the cork by peeling the excess bark from cork oak trees, which in turn prompts each tree to begin a regenerative process to grow more bark. With an average lifespan between 170 to 250 years, cork oak trees are first harvested after they reach 25 years. From there, the cork can be stripped from the tree’s bark every ten years.

In addition to desk planters, Mind the Cork carries hanging planters that are lightweight and sustainable.

Cork dishes and bowls provide a soft landing spot for jewelry and other delicate items.