You may have heard of vegan cactus leather and apple leather but now, there's a new sustainable plant-based material being used for designer bags, derived from cork. A French brand, Arsayo, founded by brothers Ary and Jonathan Ohayon, has created a collection of designer backpacks and handbags made from vegan leather fabric derived from cork. The bags come in two patterns:‘Cork-odile’ and ‘Snake Skin Cork’ to resemble animal materials.

According to the brand's founders, the duo created the Exotic Cork Skin bags to “address the increased demand for sustainable, animal-free exotic leather alternatives.” Consumers are becoming more conscious of the materials they use in their fashion choices and more and more people are staying away from animal products because of the impact on the animals' welfare and the planet.

“This new exclusive alternative is a tribute to the beauty of amazing exotic animals with the respect of their life and our environment. We want to set an example for the fashion industry, and show that animals shouldn’t be harmed for fashion," said Jonathan Ohayon, Co-Founder of Arsayo.

The brand also wants to make it clear that creating these exotic leathers from cork does not harm trees. By harvesting this material it allows the trees to absorb more carbon dioxide and aid in the bark regeneration process.

“Ethics drives us. We chose cork for ethical reasons, as we wanted to crea†e a bag which does not harm animals or the planet, and decided to start our new collection with a pre-order system for the same reasons. In the conventional fashion industry, designers start by producing their creations and sell them to retailers who mark them up significantly. In the end, you will pay the strong final price. With the pre-order system, we will only produce according to the demand, and since we cut out the middleman, you will pay less," adds Ary Ohayon, Co-Founder of Arsayo

Arsayo's innovative cork leather strives to be a solution to cruel and unsustainable fashion materials that minimize harm to the planet and to animals. The brand is also considerate of the customer's budgets by eliminating the middleman and offering its accessories at affordable price points.