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The cork used in our yoga products is a 100% renewable and recyclable material that is obtained through one of the most environmentally friendly harvesting methods in the world.
What is cork and where is it grown? Cork is the outer bark of the Cork Oak Tree which grows in the Mediterranean area. Cork trees are the only tree in the world that regenerates stripped bark. Approximately 6.6 million acres of cork forest extend across Portugal, Spain, Algeria, Morocco, Italy, Tunisia and France. These oak forests support one of the world's highest levels of forest biodiversity, second only to the Amazonian Rainforest.
How is cork harvested? Not a single tree is cut down to harvest cork, rather, the bark is stripped by hand every 9 years. Cork oak trees store carbon in order to regenerate their bark, and a harvested cork oak tree absorbs up to five times more [carbon dioxide] than one that isn’t harvested. Additionally, no bark is wasted during the cork production process, and the residue is granulated to make other cork products and even cork dust is used for fuel. Harvested cork oak trees can live up to 300 years. Harvesting cork is performed completely by hand and provides over 100,000 jobs. Some entire communities in Africa derive a sustainable annual income from the cork harvest.
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-The Willey Family