Rubber is a natural material of plant origin, derived from the transformation of latex from the rubber tree. It is used in a wide range of products. In the textile industry, rubber is mostly used in shoes, as well as in some bags.
Latex is composed of 30% rubber and 70% water. Many people think that latex is the sap of the tree, but this is incorrect – it is actually made from laticifer cells that protect the tree. To extract the latex, the tree trunk must be tapped. Once the leaking latex has coagulated, it is recovered and sent to a factory to be transformed: it is shredded into small pieces, washed, heated (at 120°C for 4 hours), then compressed into rubber blocks.
Today, the rubber market is split between natural rubber and synthetic rubber. Synthetic rubber is an industrial alternative to plant-based rubber, but it is less sustainable and a less responsible method of production because it is requires polluting hydrocarbons.
Products made from rubber sap, whether pure natural latex products or products containing just a portion of it, are naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites and bacteria. Natural rubber is also appreciated for its elasticity, flexibility, shock-resistance and low thermal conductivity.
Although it costs more than synthetic rubber, the return on investment is quick thanks to its exceptional durability and strength. Natural rubber is a much more environmentally friendly option and is part of a responsible purchasing philosophy in terms of raw materials.
100% natural rubber is biodegradable, and could be used for compost in your garden! At the end of its life, latex naturally breaks down, with no waste or toxins emitted.
Rubber cultivation poses the same problems as oil palms in Southeast Asia: deforestation. It is therefore essential to turn to rubber from responsible sources, if possible with the FSC label [link to the glossary], for example, in order to preserve this natural resource under optimal conditions. Finally, it costs slightly more than rubber from petrochemicals, due to a more “manual” manufacturing process.
We would be happy to produce your next natural rubber item. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your future project.