Flourish Magazine

Fall-Winter 2014

Flourish Magazine, the North Bay's Guide to Sustainable Living. Serving Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties and sharing the stories of local people working towards sustainable living, organic foods and eco-conscious lifestyles.

Issue link: http://www.ifoldsflip.com/i/382330

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Page 14 of 51

FALL/WINTER 2014 • FLOURISH 15 C ork is one of nature's miracles. Soft, durable, mold-resistant and fireproof, it comes from the bark of the cork oak tree and is one of the earth's most sustainable mate- rials. It's well known for its use in wine corks and bulletin boards, but its versatility allows much more, and it shows up in sur- prising places, from trendy wedge heels in fashionable footwear to protective coating for the Space Shuttle's fuel tank. Portugal, the source of more than half the world's supply, even released a postage stamp made from paper-thin cork in 2007. Nancy Lang of Corx, a distributor of cork accessories in Sonoma, discovered the wonders of cork when she and her business partner Brandon Chase visited Portugal. They had a business producing wooden products, such as spice racks, and had started moving into more sustainable products by using bamboo, but cork was a revelation. "It opened up a whole new world of ideas for us," she says. The experi- ence led to a new business that sells cork items, such as jewelry, bags and picture frames made in Portugal, to winery gift shops and on the Corx website. "People are enchanted," says Lang. Also at the head of the fashion trend is Bex Bishop, who learned about the desir- able properties of cork while she was doing research for her winery, BX of Napa. She launched Cork Couture at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013, and her online store by judith m. wilson A sampling of cork products designed by Bex Bishop for BX Wines. Photos by Stuart Lirette.

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