Natural materials in unexpected places


I had done a project researching materials that we native to Hawaii a few years ago. One of the natural materials I had found quite interesting, was cork. We’ve seen product and automotive companies branch out with new wood and natural fiber applications, but rarely do you see extremely specific organic substances in the market.

Sprout, a home appliance line made by the Scandinavian design agency No Picnic, features a solid cork bottom on their products. It might sound weird to the average consumer. But I picked up a mug with a cork bottom a few years ago, and to this day, it’s one of my favorite cups. Completely microwave safe, spill proof, and germ-free, it’s a neat design that still captures my attention.

Cork has several attributes that make it so versatile. One of the most intriguing to me, is it’s ability to repel bacteria – effectively warding off insects and small vermin as well. The waxy substance called suberin, gives it this unique property. As one of the more physically soft, yet strong, organic materials, it’s a perfect choice – though definitely unexpected in the best way! – for kitchens.

Sprout products show us that natural materials are just as viable and pleasing as their overly-popular plastic counterparts today.