Vegan OAK BAGS
Text: Anna Plaszczyk, photos: press release
6 April 2016
Ecology, vegan-fashion, slow-fashion, fair-trade, cruelty-free - Ewa Engler packed everything into one beautiful bag, creating brand OAK BAGS. Nowadays, the brand consists of a few models of vegan bags made of cork, which delight not only with their ideology, but also the functionality and appearance.
Imagine a forest that grows in the mild Mediterranean climate, and in the forest there is beautiful tree - cork oak. Your bag is made from the bark of this tree, it is hand-sewn and designed with attention to every detail, respecting nature and good craftsmanship.
OAK BAGS brand was founded by Eva Engler, a graphic designer, a post-grad at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warszawa. For many years she worked in advertising for brands such as Coca-Cola, Renault, Netia, ING, cooperated with the Poster Museum in Wilanów. She is currently focused on publishing designing and the creation of visual identification. In 2002 she created Projekt ZOO - a series of posters and a book concerning the protection of endangered animal species. Thanks to the cooperation with Gaja Club and Chopin Airport in Warszawa, the action reached a wide audience. More information on this topic can be found here.
OAK BAGS are her latest, original project, which was created out of love for animals and nature. - It started when I was looking for my dream bag - says Ewa Engler - I do not wear leather jackets, fur, belts, for last twenty years I have been a vegetarian, which has an impact not only on the diet, but also the selection of clothes and accessories. OAK BAGS are unique - a bag is sewn from cork fabric. Two issues were very important in this project: a great design and marvellous workmanship as well as the lack of components of animal origin, bags are supposed to be uncompromising in this respect - she explains.
Cork fabric has properties that no one expected - it is velvety, warm to the touch and waterproof (cork does not absorb water). For this reason, it does not require the use of impregnate and rain is not a threat. Another advantage is its weight, or rather – its lack. Cork fabric is in fact incredibly light, so the bags weigh only as much as we put to them. It is also temperature resistant and very durable.
The material is produced from the bark of cork oak, which grows in the area of Mediterranean Sea. The bark is removed once every 7 years, which does not harm the trees! They are still growing, reaching the age of 150 - 200 years! Plantations of cork oak are simply forests where wild animals live and entire ecosystem is developing easily.
The way from the raw material to the finished bag is the process of designing and developing products, in order to find the best qualities of the material. - I have been looking for designs showing the best side of cork, emphasizing its unique texture and appearance - explains Ewa Engler – recently I have developed my own ways of finishing and sewing, still I am gaining new experiences, checking possibilities, Im learning how to handle the cork. I still admire it! - she emphasizes.
OAK BAGS fit the latest trends in fashion: ecology, vegan-fashion, slow-fashion, fair-trade, cruelty-free. They are not only beautiful in form, very comfortable and functional, but also represent the ethical values: respect for animals and nature, empathy, responsibility, conscious consumerism.
This Polish, handmade brand is a proposal for all those who are looking for functional and beautiful objects. Thanks to OAK BAGS, customers get much more as an added value - in an indirect way they support the environment and do not contribute to animal suffering.
For the production of bags, OAK BAGS uses high quality material imported from Spain. Bags are hand-sewn in a small workshop in Warszawa. Currently, the brand offers 2 models: the clutch and a large shoulder bag. Each in 4 colours: natural cork, brown, green and black.
Within the next few days, OAK BAGS will present another model for women and, in response to strong interest of men, the man variant of the cork bag.
OAK BAGS are 100% vegan – animals- and the environment-friendly. Brand has "V" award, given to products suitable for vegetarians and vegans by Międzynarodowy Ruch Na Rzecz Zwierząt Viva! and Magazyn Vege.
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