When Helena Silva was pregnant with her first-born, a search for a non-toxic, eco-friendly diaper bag lead only to products made from PVC. Disheartened, Helena sought an alternative. Having grown up in Portugal and around cork, she began to consider the material mostly known for wine stoppers and bulletin boards for totes and more. “I was familiar with cork and knew of its amazing properties” begins Helena, which include being naturally flame retardant, water repellant, allergy-friendly, lightweight, and renewable. “Only the bark of the tree gets extracted and then it regenerates making it one of the most sustainable natural materials.” Today, under the Bent & Bree brand, Helena has founded a luxury line of handbags and accessories all handcrafted with genuine cork.
1. Dixie Vegan Tote, Natural, $249
2. Phlox Tote with Clutch – Embroidery, Coral Red, $249
3. Grace Handbag, $159
4. Blossom Floral Bag, $425
5. Sidney Bracelet, $55
Find at WaterFire Arts Center, at various events including the Newport Flower Show, Newport Food & Wine Festival, Fine Furnishings Show, Newport Broadway Street Fair, and Newport International Boat Show