Ryan Frank

Sustainable Cork Sleeves

Sustainable Sleeves

Cork is a superb material. It’s a natural, renewable source and can be harvested without damaging any trees. Plus it’s completely biodegradable and easily recycled. In the hands of a celebrated furniture designer from South Africa, cork becomes even more irresistible.

Ryan Frank, who’s known for his sustainable furniture designs, teamed with UK record label TAPE to create these cork sleeves for laptops, tablets and e-readers.
His simple design celebrates the raw beauty of cork, juxtaposed with colorful stitched edging. Each sleeve is a tactile, stylish wrap for your electronic device -- yet it’s also practical, since cork is lightweight, soft and surprisingly durable.

We heard about these sustainable sleeves from Kate Castle, who found them in her travels and fell in love with their uniqueness and utility. The sleeves are manufactured in East London, near one of Ryan Frank’s two studios (the other is in Barcelona). As soon as we saw them, we knew we had to find a way to bring them to U.S. buyers. They’re easy on the planet, easy on your electronic devices, and definitely easy on the eyes!
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Silja

    Hi - my name is Silja and I'm really happy to introduce you to our sustainable cork accessory range that is now available via the Daily Grommet site. Today we want to show you how to cover your favourite electronics devices in a sexy, slick and sustainable way. Cork is not only a beautiful and tactile material but also comes from a natural re-newable resource - harvested from the cork oak. I'm here today to answer any question and queries you maybe have about our products or indeed this natural material not often found in the electronics accessories market.

  • Mark
    2/25/2011 2:37 PM

    Very cool product. Form and function...makes me want an iPad.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    2/25/2011 3:11 PM

    @Mark: Me too!

  • Lori
    2/25/2011 5:49 PM

    I like this idea. What keeps the cork from crumbling, getting gouged, etc?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    2/25/2011 6:49 PM

    @Lori: Great question. It is late evening where Ryan and Silja are, but I will have them stop back when they can!

    I found this information about cork fabric. It is laminated to a fabric support backing to give it its durability. It is often called Cork Leather because it is similar in feel to and wears like leather. I also found these images of products also made from cork.

  • Elisabeth Scott
    Elisabeth Scott
    2/26/2011 3:37 PM

    The cork in the video didn't really look laminated. I'd like to know what Ryan says about his product. If it is laminated, I will probably get one for my son't birthday.

    Thank you, and have a great day.


  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    2/26/2011 6:07 PM

    @Lori and Elisabeth...I'll let Ryan and Silja give you their description, but I can tell you that the cork surface feels natural, not laminated. If you are looking for something with perhaps an applied top coat, you won't be happy with the sleeves. It is however laminated to the backing fabric, to keep it from crumbling and cracking. "Cork leather" really is a good description. As far as gouging, it feels pretty much as susceptible to that as regular leather. It does not feel very loose or open grained, where you would worry about it cracking or catching on things. I can imagine it compressing but cork seems to recover immediately from that. Hope that helps.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    2/26/2011 6:33 PM

    Oh yes - let me clarify, by "laminated" I meant adhered to a backing. I worked in a textile mill that laminated fabrics together to create a bonded fabric and so the more traditional image of a laminated product being something sheathed in plastic didn't occur to me! The cork fabric is not laminated in that sense.

  • Silja
    2/27/2011 7:44 AM

    The material we are using is indeed called cork leather. Its thin sheets of cork adhered to material to make the 'leather' smooth and flexible. This allows for your devices to be optimally protected against any scratching as well as guarantees a snug fit for your iPhone, iPad or laptop. The only areas where the cork could crumble are the edges but these are protected by the colourful stitches. The cork is not laminated, so the feel is natural - similar to real leather.

  • Melanie Shellito
    Melanie Shellito
    2/28/2011 10:17 AM

    love the look! but I'm a little confused: Ryan says in the video that 'the more cork we use, the better' but I thought the reason the wine industry was moving AWAY from cork stoppers was because we were essentially plundering the cork trees and they weren't able to sustain the demand. How is this any different (particularly since these are considerably larger than a wine cork?) Thanks!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    2/28/2011 11:04 AM

    @Melanie Shellito: Great question, I have forwarded it to Silja and Ryan.

  • Jasemin
    4/25/2011 12:42 PM

    Touhcwodn! That's a really cool way of putting it!

  • Silja
    3/1/2011 5:50 AM

    Hi Melanie. The main reason the wine industry is using plastic cork stoppers today is due to the plastic stoppers being much cheaper and free of TCA (which is the primary cause of cork taint and released via cork stoppers). The cork industry had a major set back due to this development over the past 10 years and today most cork oak forests in Portugal and Spain are actually producing more than they can sell. Cork Oak’s distribution area reaches 736 700 hectares in Portugal which is a third of the total distribution of the species in the world and 23% of the Portuguese forest. So with less demand for cork and subsequently the cork oak we run the danger of not only diminishing the cork forests with its CO2 regulating function but also the destruction of a lot of the natural habitat of these forests. So the statement from Ryan was referring to this development. Of course we can not use cork everywhere, but since it is a renewable material that in the process of growing functions like a carbon sink and contributes to the mitigating greenhouse gas effects we should really consider this material more in everyday use.

  • patterdo
    4/29/2011 10:25 AM

    I just received two Ryan Frank cork sleeves (for a 13" laptop and the tiny one, the iphone/camera size). First... the cork sleeves are functional, sleek and perfect for our electronic goodies. Second... shipping was super fast and I'm delighted with my purchases! Definitely will recommend Daily Grommet to my friends! (oh, and i love the stickers - thanks!)

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    4/29/2011 10:34 AM

    @patterdo: Thanks for stopping back to let us know and for spreading the word about Daily Grommet!

  • Barb
    6/9/2011 3:14 PM

    Hello! I realize you might not know this, but just in case-- any idea when the size for phones, MP3 players & cameras might be back in stock? That's what I get for waiting too long to purchase! ;-) Thanks so much.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    6/9/2011 4:08 PM

    @Barb: We are hoping to have them back in-stock by Mid-July.

  • Barb
    7/15/2011 1:28 PM

    @Katherine Klinger: Thanks so much for your reply! I'm excited to hear that they might be available again, and I keep checking in every other day to see if that's the case. I can hardly wait! Thanks again, Katherine!

  • Daniela
    7/7/2011 7:46 PM

    Love the look and the use of this renewable material...could you give me some measurements for the ereader/ipad case please? Just wondering since my nook is only about half the size of an ipad, yet you sell the same sleeve for both.

    Thanks! :)


  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    7/7/2011 11:30 PM

    @Daniela: We are glad you like the sleeves so much! The e-reader/iPad size is 240mm x 290mm, which is about 9.4in x 11.4in. I hope that helps!

  • Micah
    7/8/2011 7:38 AM

    Very cool product! Which size is best for a mac Air?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    7/8/2011 9:24 AM

    @Micah chase: We're glad you think so! If you have the 13" MacBook Air the 13" laptop sleeve will work well. If you have the 11" MacBook Air unfortunately none of these are a good fit.

  • Hanne
    8/17/2011 3:17 PM

    I like to buy this sleeve, but i'm not sure which size. i have a 14 inch laptop from Dell(Dell inspiron 14 R; width 13,5 in; depth 9,7 in; height 1,3 in). Should i take the 13 or the 15 inch?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    8/17/2011 3:43 PM

    @Hanne: You may want to order both and return the one that doesn't work. I have been looking at the measurements and to me it looks like the 13" will be either perfect or just a tad too small and therefore unusable.

  • Kevin Schmidt
    Kevin Schmidt
    12/13/2011 2:59 AM

    so, I asked support about this and got no response, so i'l try here...

    when will the 13" sleeves be back in stock? hmmmmm? ;-)

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/13/2011 9:48 AM

    @Kevin Schmidt: Thanks for your persistence, this week is absolute craziness for our support team! Unfortunately, we will not be getting the additional sizes back in.

  • Lisa
    12/21/2011 6:54 PM

    I'm curious: Does the iPad sleeve fit an iPad2 with its magnetic cover? Or would that be too small a fit?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/21/2011 7:13 PM

    @Lisa: The cork sleeve measures 240x290mm. I just measured that against an iPad 2 and that is plenty large to accommodate the magnetic cover. Enjoy!

  •  Donna
    7/1/2012 4:13 AM

    Sounds like the case is overly large for an iPad. My iPad measure

    19 centimeters by 24

  •  Beth
    8/5/2012 11:30 PM

    I really would like one of these for a 13" laptop. They are available in the UK in this size, but not the US... Can we make this happen?

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    8/6/2012 11:02 AM

    @ Beth: Thank you for your interest. We had cases for the 13" laptop. However, it's sold out and will not be available anytime soon.

  • Janet
    8/15/2012 8:44 AM

    Any plans to make an ipod touch cover?

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    8/15/2012 4:05 PM

    @Janet: We had offered the ipod touch cover in the past. It's also sold out and will not be available anytime soon.

  •  Cynthia
    9/17/2012 8:10 PM

    I bought an ipod sleeve for my husband several months ago which he has kept in his back pocket every day since. We're wondering if it's possible to wash it somehow?

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

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