Kobi is a recently launched Sydney business offering a beautiful sustainable handbag range.
Local Portuguese artisans lovingly craft the bags using cork. And for every purchase of a Kobi bag, a cork tree is planted. Not only does this help future generations; it also provides an income for the artisan bag makers and harvesters of the cork.
Kobi is the dream come true for Serena, a Sydneysider whose love of cork came about when in she backpacked her way through Portugal 2016. When visiting Lisbon she purchased her first cork handbag from a street vendor which is now her keepsake representing all of the magical memories she had at that time. This particular bag brought her a lot of compliments and when she discovered the environmental benefits of cork trees she started thinking about producing her own brand. Then in 2020 Kobi was launched! 2020 created some good stories too.
KOBI was founded with the mission to empower women through sustainable, ethical and thoughtful design. Sustainability and customer centric design is the core of the business model. The brand's 'One Tree Initiative,' plants a cork tree for every handbag sold. Kobi's long term goal is to raise awareness about the benefits of cork not only in Australia but also internationally in the world of fashion.
Design aspects: adjustable straps, interchangeable flaps, laser cut patterns, one of the bags can be transformed into 3 different designs depending on the purpose. Cork is super soft to touch yet durable. It is also lightweight and stain and water resistant.
The cork used to create the bags is FSC certified and at least 40 years old because it is not until the tree’s third stripping that the cork is viable to produce high quality handbags.
Quercus sober, more commonly known as the cork oak, is native to southwest Europe and northwest Africa due to its Mediterranean climate. 34% of the world's cork oak forests are located in Portugal, making it the largest producer of cork in the world. In Portugal, cork oak trees are either sown or planted in the European Spring from March to May or propagate spontaneously when their acorns fall onto the ground.