What is ReCORK? About North America's largest wine cork recycling program.

Who we are and why we recycle cork.

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ReCORK™ is a natural cork recycling program, and developer of high-performance, carbon-negative composite materials and components. 

SOLE launched ReCORK in 2008 as a way to address the growing need to create sustainable, planet-friendly footwear products. Cork is one of the most sustainable and versatile materials known to man (read more about the wonders of cork). Most people are hesitant to throw away corks – they recognize that they're too good to be treated like trash, and they're right. At ReCORK we see it as a terrible shame when such an amazing material ends up in landfills.

We created a recycling stream for turning an everyday product (or every other day, maybe just on the weekends) into eco-friendly alternatives for petroleum-based synthetic foams and plastics in consumer goods. Before long we had hundreds, and then thousands of recycling partners signed up across North America. These ReCORK Collection Partners gather natural corks either from the public, or from their own business waste stream, and send them to us to be recycled. To date our amazing partners have helped us collect more than 110 million corks to be recycled. 

We believe ReCORK Recycled Cork will change the way the world sees and thinks about working with nature to satisfy our uniquely human needs. 

While recycling wine-corks from consumers is where we started, we've always been committed to working with, and supporting the cork industry. With growing demand for sustainable materials, and exciting collaborations on our horizon, we've added post-industrial recycled cork to our recycling stream. We take the offcuts from industrial cork production and combine them with the corks we collect from the public. This means more cork saved from landfill, as well as directly supporting the cork industry.

recork wine cork recycling

The ReCORK Recycled Cork stream

SOLE has been creating planet-friendly footbeds and footwear using ReCORK materials for years. Since we started ReCORK we've been determined to amplify the positive impact of cork as far as possible. We'd love to see ALL footwear companies adopting cork, for the good of the planet. 

To realize this dream we needed to do something that nobody has ever been able to do with cork: make it as flexible, cushioning and durable as the petroleum-based foams broadly used in sneaker production.

products made with recycled wine corks

We set up a dedicated R&D team in Portugal, the heartland of cork, with a team of mad scientists (mad about cork). They dedicated years of their lives to innovating a revolutionary way to recycle and process cork. And the result speaks for itself.

ReCORK’s proprietary material, ReCORK™ Recycled Cork, redefines what’s possible using cork, offering a natural, sustainable, versatile alternative to foams and plastics derived from fossil fuels. This material is comparable to fossil fuel foams in all measures of performance. It's lightweight, cushioning, flexible and durable. We believe ReCORK Recycled Cork will change the way the world sees and thinks about working with nature to satisfy our uniquely human needs. 

flexible, durable recycled natural cork material

ReCORK Recycled Cork 

Environmental consciousness is at the heart ReCORK's our operations. That's why we take steps to offset our carbon footprint beyond being carbon-neutral, to the point of being carbon-negative. Planting cork oak trees and using UPS's carbon offsetting program wherever possible are just two parts of how we ensure this priority. 

Our program is ever-growing and as we expand we'll continue to ensure our impact on the environment is a positive one. We've just scratched the surface of the potential in recycled cork, and we want your help! There are millions more corks that we could recycle every year. Take a look at our recycling partner models, and get involved to make a meaningful impact today.

The challenges of climate change and the threats faced by our planet are numerous and complicated. We don't pretend to have all the answers, but sometimes the combined effort of many people taking small, simple steps can help tackle big complex problems.