The story behind Murmali
London brand Murmali creates modern luxury cork goods that merge traditional craftsmanship with sophisticated yet functional designs. They were awarded London’s Leading Vegan & Cruelty-Free Handbag Range in the 2021 LUXLife Magazine Leaders in Luxury awards. The brand has also been featured in VOGUE and Eluxe Magazine.
About the Founders
The brand name is a fusion of the surnames of the partners Marcela Murco and Miguel Chimali. They created the brand after struggling for years as customers to find sustainable vegan fashion options and saw the opportunity to create something.
The brand was in development for six years – nearly four of these went to finding the right manufacturers that could offer the transparency, equality and also environmental attention that Murmali was looking for.
“Our evocative logo refers to a link, one of the most recognised symbols of our days. This link represents Murmali’s aim of introducing nature into our lives through products that are made entirely of natural materials.”
At the very start of their journey, Murmali decided that cork would be the key element of their project. Aside from being a natural, renewable material, cork also helps the forest absorb additional CO2 when harvested. Because of the irregularities of the tree on its bark, the harvesting process is carried out entirely by hand, without using any type of heavy machinery. This also ensures the tree is not hurt and can renew the bark for future harvests. TCork is also waterproof, flexible, lightweight and easy to clean. The brand lines their bags with a 100% natural lining, made from linen and cotton.
All of Murmali’s designs are manufactured in a small family workshop in Portugal, with a history of 40 years. Employees are paid well above the national minimum wage, work for 8 hours per day and are paid for any overtime they do. They are instructed in health and safety, receive skills training and do not have a longer travel time to work than 30 minutes.
The brand often chooses materials that are local to the area where they are produced – cork is a prevalent industry in Portugal – to save on CO2 emissions connected to transport.
Murmali’s packaging has also been carefully considered to reflect their brand values. Each design is placed into a 100% linen dust bag made in the UK, then sent in a branded box that is 100% recycled and recyclable, sourced from a small company based in Spain.
From the very early stages, the two main building blocks of the Murali brand have been veganism and sustainability. These values are reflected in every step of their process.