After discovering cork fabric through Nike and Vans collections, By the Sea’s creator Jane, a fashion graduate from Whitehouse Institute of Design, was inspired to start her own line of colourful up-cycled cork bags.
“The By The Sea Collection started with me wanting to create a streetwear accessories brand that is different and suits my coastal lifestyle. I have lived in coastal cities my entire life – the ocean is something I hold very close to my heart. I love the smell of sea water, sand and I want my brand to convey a message to preserve and maintain our beautiful, natural environment that has been given to us unconditionally,” says Jane.
While searching for a material that was a good alternative to leather, Jane came across cork material in a Nike sneaker. She discovered that not only is cork material as tough as leather and water resistant, it’s also a sustainable and eco-friendly material, as cork is the bark from a species of oak tree.
Choosing to use recycled sheets of cork, rather than brand-new manufactured cork sheets, makes her products even more sustainable. “It’s still equally as tough, feels nice, and those pieces don’t have to go to waste as it takes an oak tree about seven to nine years to regenerate bark for another harvest.”
“It’s cruelty free, meaning no animals were harmed to make these bags and wallets. It’s also super unique and hasn’t really been bought to mainstream consciousness by any Australian designers before,” she explains.
By the Sea’s cork range quickly proved popular with the vegan community. Now By the Sea has also produced a vegan soap range, working with a soap maker from South Coast, NSW, to produce traditional handcrafted vegan soaps made out of all-natural fair-trade ingredients.
By the Sea’s slogan is ‘Where sustainable meets vegan’, and all its products are 100% vegan, cruelty-free and environmentally conscious. Customers can feel great purchasing this unique range, knowing that no animals were harmed in making the products.
Find more of Jane’s work on her website, Facebook and Instagram.
Discover more about the makers and craftspeople at The Rocks Markets.