Cork is an amazing material. Peeled from the trunks of trees that grow almost exclusively in Spain, Portugal and Italy, cork is both an impermeable and buoyant material. For centuries, most cork has been used to make two things: the stopper in your favorite bottle of wine and the board on which you pin your bills and to-do lists. But a series of independent studies have shown that as a well protected and managed resource, cork is both sustainable and environmentally responsible, and designers have been looking for new ways it can replace plastic, metal and other materials.
Ryan Frank, a U.K. designer best known for his work with sustainable furniture, teamed up with British record label TAPE to create one-of-a-kind cork record sleeves. Customers loved them, and Frank recently expanded the line to include cork sleeves for the iPad, Amazon Kindle, and laptops.
You might not think of cork as a very pliable material, but Frank’s design shows that it can be molded into a variety of utilitarian shapes and sizes. With a simple, clean design accented with nothing but brightly colored stitching around the edges, each iPouch showcases the natural beauty of the cork, similar to this cork iPad case we featured a while ago.
The pouches are available in a variety of sizes, some small enough to fit your MP3 player or smartphone while others are large enough to fit your Macbook. Plus, as noted in this review, each pouch has the added bonus of being completely biodegradable and easily recycled! Prices range between $33 and $39.