Our sneakers are made with the utmost care. The whole process is ethically responsible, from the harvesting of the cork until the production in Portugal. We’re proud of the process, from raw material to sneaker. That’s why we would like to create openness and give you some insight into our process, from start to finish.
The harvesting of cork
The first step is harvesting the bark from the cork oak tree.
Cork oaks are harvested every nine years, once they reach maturity. It doesn't harm the tree, and the cork bark regrows. In fact, harvested cork trees absorb 3-5 times more CO2 than non-harvested trees. Cork oak trees in Portugal alone help offset 10 million tons of carbon every year. Cork harvesting is an environmentally friendly process during which not a single tree is cut down.
After the workers use machetes and bars to properly harvest the trees, the material is taken to the manufacturer’s facilities, where the right equipment is in place. The cork bark, our raw material, is introduced in containers with boiling water. Boiling water alters the cell structure of cork, expanding them to create a more manageable material. This way, the professionals have more freedom to treat the cork as needed. It’s important to mention that only water is used during the boiling process; no chemicals like in the case of leather.
The workers now proceed to shave the boiled cork until they get very thin sheets. After that, a cotton-based backing is added to the sheets in order to increase durability. Several layers of cork sheets are used during this step, something we can notice in the final appearance of our sneakers.
It all started with an idea. A raw sketch of a simplistic sneaker made of cork. Together with a team of experts we managed to create a first prototype back in 2019. From there we’ve made big strides towards the sneaker it is today. Our sneakers are designed in Amsterdam, while the production is done by hand by experienced craftsmen in Portugal.
The designing process is done with the utmost care to make sure the sneaker would fit well on all types of feet. Only the finest raw materials are being collected to ensure high comfort. Besides comfort, there’s another very important aspect that we take into consideration regarding our raw materials. At QURC. we breathe sustainability and we will always make sure that the materials we use to create our sneakers do not harm the environment negatively in any way. We are interested in rebuilding our ecosystem rather than exploiting it.
We’re proud to have partnered with a small family owned factory in Portugal. They maintain an extremely high standard of ethics, pay their employees fairly, and have lots of years of experience.
Our factory gives maximum priority to quality work over quantity. They essentially produce products that stand out for the premium excellence of raw materials, the handcrafting production processes and the finishing touches with loads of care to maintain a perfect final product.
All our raw materials find their origin in Portugal and don't have to be shipped from the other side of the world. Sustainability and working ethics are of paramount importance to us.
The final product
Our sneakers are 100% vegan and handmade in Portugal. Our purpose is to show you, that you don't have to compromise on style or comfort when leather is replaced by non-animal materials.
We make simplistic sneakers of very high quality for all occasions. We work with a minimalistic philosophy and create timeless essentials.
We do not compromise on style. We do not compromise on comfort. And we do not compromise on image, although we use non-animal materials. We set the new standard.