This week, French vegan brand Arsayo released its new Exotic Cork Skin collection of backpacks made with bark from oak trees. The collection was created by Arsayo co-founder brothers Ary and Jonathan Ohayon—who also founded the F.A.K.E. Movement, a global platform dedicated to promoting ethical vegan fashion—with the mission of providing a sustainable and ethical alternative to skins from animals such as crocodiles and snakes. 

The new line offers two designs (“Cork-odile” and “Snake Skin Cork”) which are featured on sleek backpacks ($249) made with cotton interiors and offered in various sizes. The collection is only available for pre-order, a system that translates into a lower price for the consumer. “In the conventional fashion industry, designers start by producing their creations and sell them to retailers who mark them up significantly,” Ary Ohayon said. “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 middlemen, you will pay less.”

Creating Exotic Cork Skin is also eco-friendly as harvesting cork from trees does not harm them and, in fact, allows them to absorb more carbon dioxide which aids in bark regeneration. “This new exclusive alternative is a tribute to the beauty of amazing exotic animals with the respect for their life and our environment,” Jonathan Ohayon said. “We want to set an example for the fashion industry, and show that animals shouldn’t be harmed for fashion.”

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