It looks like your typical leather sofa, but up close you’ll notice something very different about Koala’s latest furniture piece: it’s Australia’s first sofa made from cork trees.
Since two mates in Byron Bay decided to shake up the mattress industry, Koala has come a long way, continuing with their disruptive ethos across a range of furniture items. Constantly questioning how design can do things differently, their latest coup is an Australian first — using cork as a sustainable alternative to leather.
You remember cork — we wore it in our wedges on a night out, popped it from our wine bottles, and pinned magazine cut-outs of Tiffani Thiessen and Freddie Prinze Jr. to it on our bedroom vision boards. Now, it’s all grown up.
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Why a cork sofa? Besides cork’s obvious nostalgia factor, there’s two big reasons: its stain resistance, making it ideal for winos and animal lovers, and its inherent sustainability.
You see, the bark from cork oak trees can be harvested every nine years, meaning you can strip cork up to 16 times over the 150-year lifespan of a single tree. Cork trees also absorb a bunch of CO2 and that absorption increases five fold once they’ve been stripped. Nature is amazing.
It’s an incredible material that will pave the way for leather alternatives, at a time we need planet-friendly options more than ever.
The cork sofa itself imitates that distinct luxurious leather look. It’s soft to touch with a matte finish and up close, you can see the cork texture. The design follows classic lines, suiting most spaces.
As you’d expect, only animal-free and eco-friendly dyes and coating materials were used for the two colourways – Yarra Cork (a lovely tan) and Jenolan Black.
There’s a lot to love about this whole concept, but if you’re clumsy like myself, you’ll be thrilled know that cork is also water-resistant. Cheeky spills are no problemo for this cork sofa.
In summary, cork delivers long-lasting durability without the nasty chemicals or moral dilemma and we’re very much here for this kind of innovation.
Like all Koala products, the cork sofa comes with fast, free delivery and their risk-free 120-night trial. Plus, with every Koala sofa purchased, you make a symbolic turtle adoption through Koala’s partnership with WWF-Australia.
(All images courtesy of Koala)
Sonia feels most at home on the road, with travel her greatest passion. But really, she’s hype about a lot of things: beautiful design, tasty food, wellness, nature, interesting people and women’s issues. The Founding Editor of Junkee’s The Cusp and former Homes Editor at Nine, Sonia prides herself on seeking out authentic experiences with charm and loves sharing a personal rec. Catch her on Instagram @sonnietothetee.