When Serena Christie realised that her own handbag was contributing to the continuing absorption of carbon emissions out of the atmosphere, years after she bought it, she founded her own eco-friendly vegan bags label based on this amazing product. This is the story behind a new line of cork bags, Kobi Collection.
A Backpacking Souvenir
Backpacking through Portugal as a young twenty-something, Serena Christie thoroughly enjoyed walking for days along its coast and dancing the night away in the main square of Porto. As a way of savouring these memories for the future, she bought a simple cork handbag from a street vendor in Lisbon. Little did she know that this was a pivotal moment in her life. Five years later back in Sydney, she would start her own environmentally savvy cork handbag brand KOBI.
A Business Idea
That little cork bag attracted years of compliments, prompting Serena to start researching cork. She learnt that instead of being cut down for their cork, the trees are simply stripped. As they regenerate, they absorb up to five times more carbon-dioxide from the atmosphere than other trees. At that point, Serena had an “AHA” moment. She realised that not only could bag-lovers enjoy these eye-catching accessories, but they could also make a positive environmental impact, by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. By now Serena was convinced that she had found an attractive and eco-friendly alternative to traditional leather bags and those made from plastics.
(Cork) trees are simply stripped. As they regenerate, they absorb up to four times more carbon-dioxide from the atmosphere.
Sustainable & Ethical Production
Fast forward to 2020 and KOBI was founded with the mission to empower through sustainable, ethical and thoughtful design. Every KOBI wallet and handbag is handcrafted in Portugal by combining the traditional skills of Portuguese artisans with laser cut technology. Most brands know their manufacturer as a name and an email address. This didn’t sit well with Serena. She travelled to Portugal to see first hand that employees are paid fairly, their working conditions are safe and the quality of finished products exceptional.
“We are committed to planting a cork tree for every product purchased, leaving something behind for future generations.”– Serena Christie
Planting More Trees
“Often sustainable products aren’t aren’t very fashion-savvy” Serena says. “KOBI’s collection of unique cork bags and wallets and are beautifully designed and give back to nature. We are committed to planting a cork tree for every product purchased, leaving something behind for future generations.” Customers can choose to register their tree and receive updates on the forest they help contribute towards in Portugal.
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