Put It In Cork: Sustainable Sleeves For iPads, Kindles

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.

Cork Pouches

image via Ryan Frank/TAPE

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.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog