Looking for sustainable bags and purses? Look no further than Sustainable Jungle, a platform dedicated to finding the most eco-friendly options available. With a focus on sustainability, the team at Sustainable Jungle independently researches and tests products to ensure they meet their high standards.
The handbag industry is notorious for its negative impact on the environment, particularly in relation to leather production. However, Sustainable Jungle is committed to finding brands that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best eco-friendly purses and handbags on the market, all of which have been thoroughly vetted by the Sustainable Jungle team.
A Sample Bag Of The Most Sustainable Handbags & Purses
1. Pixie Mood
Pixie Mood is a PETA-approved vegan accessory brand that has been producing sustainable handbags for over a decade. Their selection includes shoulder bags, clutches, and belt bags, all made from sustainable vegan leather. Pixie Mood also offers wallets and travel organizers with RFID blocking technology to protect your identity and bank account. If you prefer sustainable fashion purses, they also have a collection made from recycled canvas and recycled vegan wool.
Pixie Mood’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices
Materials: Pixie Mood uses a variety of GRS-certified recycled materials in their handbags, including recycled canvas and solvent-free vegan leather, wool, and linings made from recycled plastic bottles. They also use cork fabric, meaning all sustainable materials are animal and PVC-free. The hardware on their sustainable purses is also compliant with the European Union REACH standard, so their chemical usage is monitored and regulated. All materials are tested annually to make sure they meet California Prop 65 standards.
Supply chain & labor practices: Pixie Mood audits its Asian manufacturers twice annually to ensure its labor standards are met, including no forced/child labor, no harassment or abuse, safe working environments, and fair wages and benefits.
Green business practices: Pixie Mood’s manufacturing uses water and energy-saving techniques. They partner with TerraPass to offset carbon emissions, including shopping. Their biodegradable packaging is corn-based, and any EPE foam is 100% recyclable.
Community & charitable giving: Pixie Mood partners with 1% for the Planet, One Tree Planet, and the Humane Society to forward environmental initiatives.
Bellroy is an Australian-based Certified B-Corp that offers eco-friendly handbags, backpacks, and wallets. Their sustainable bags are designed with both style and functionality in mind, with lots of pockets and compartments. Bellroy uses leather from LWG Gold-rated tanneries or ECCO Leather, and if you prefer sustainable vegan bags, plenty utilize recycled polyester made from 100% recycled water bottles or recycled nylon made from 100% recycled industrial nylon offcuts. Bellroy also uses TENCEL™ X REFIBRA™ and MIRUM® (a mushroom-based leather alternative) in their sustainable fabric line-up.
Bellroy’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices
Materials: Bellroy uses leather from LWG Gold-rated tanneries or ECCO Leather. The latter’s DriTan™ technique uses moisture already present in the hide to reduce water and chemical usage. Bellroy also uses recycled polyester made from 100% recycled water bottles or recycled nylon made from 100% recycled industrial nylon offcuts. TENCEL™ X REFIBRA™ and MIRUM® (a mushroom-based leather alternative) are also present in their sustainable fabric line-up.
Supply chain & labor practices: Product prototype sustainable bags were made in Australia, and final products are made in China, India, and the Philippines in factories that comply with their Supplier Code of Conduct. Bellroy works closely with each supplier to ensure staff are treated well and that environmental and social responsibilities are taken seriously. Leather is sourced from the Netherlands.
Green business practices: Bellroy’s decision-making is guided by goals to minimize the use of toxins, utilize eco-friendly materials where possible, reduce waste and energy, and understand their impact so they can further reduce it. Above all, they make products that are used and loved for as long as possible and come with a 3-year warranty. These goals are reflected in their Material Impact report, though a broader sustainability report hasn’t been published as yet.
Community & charitable giving: Bellroy donates a portion of its revenue to changemaking charities, as guided by the Centre for Effective Altruism and the Effective Altruism community.
3. Deux Mains
Deux Mains is a woman-owned and managed brand that offers sustainable purses, wallets, and recycled flip flops. They also provide a small selection of ethical bags, including a tote, shoulder bag, bucket bag, and sustainable crossbody bag, all made of deadstock leather or responsibly sourced full-grain leather from Haiti or Mexico.
Deux Mains’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices
Materials: Deux Mains’ bags are made of deadstock leather or responsibly (and locally) sourced full-grain leather from Haiti or Mexico. Their totes feature upcycled tire inner tube bottoms for durability and waterproofing.
Supply chain & labor practices: Deux Mains’ own Haitian factory provides good wages (and overtime) as well as healthcare, paid vacations, and paid maternity/paternity leave.
Green business practices: Deux Mains’ factory and tanneries run partially on solar power, and their tanneries employ water and waste recycling practices
Did You Know We Have a Newsletter?
- Stay up-to-date on sustainable living, fashion, zero waste, beauty, travel, finance, and more.
- Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest news and tips.
- Our newsletter is the perfect way to stay informed and connected.
- Get exclusive content, deals, and promotions delivered straight to your inbox.
- Don’t miss out on the latest trends and information in the world of sustainability.
What Is The Most Sustainable Bag?
When it comes to sustainable bags, there are plenty of options available. However, not all materials are created equal. While leather may be a popular choice for its durability and aesthetic appeal, it’s not the most sustainable option out there. In fact, the leather industry is responsible for the deaths of over a billion animals each year.
Organic cotton is a popular choice for those looking for eco-friendly materials. It’s grown without the use of harmful pesticides and is biodegradable. Recycled materials, such as plastic bottles and polyester, are also popular choices. These materials help reduce waste and pollution by repurposing existing materials.
Vegan leather is another sustainable alternative to traditional leather. Made from materials like cork, apple leather, and recycled plastic, it’s a cruelty-free option that doesn’t harm animals. Additionally, vegetable-tanned leather is an organic alternative to traditional tanning methods that use harmful chemicals.
For those looking for truly eco-friendly bags, raffia and jute are great options. These materials are biodegradable and sustainable, making them a popular choice for environmentally-conscious consumers.
When it comes to packaging, biodegradable materials are the way to go. Deadstock materials, which are unused fabrics from other fashion productions, are also popular choices for reducing waste.
Ultimately, the most sustainable bag is one made from eco-friendly materials that are produced in a way that doesn’t harm people or the planet. By choosing materials like recycled plastic, organic cotton, and vegan leather, consumers can make a positive impact on the environment and support sustainable fashion.
How We Found The Best Sustainable Bags & Purses
Final Thoughts On Ethical Bags & Purses
Finding sustainable bags and purses that align with ethical and eco-friendly criteria can be a daunting task. However, with the right knowledge and tools, it’s possible to make informed decisions that benefit both the planet and its inhabitants.
One of the most critical factors to consider when searching for sustainable bags is the materials used. Organic cotton, lyocell, and cork are excellent options, but they may not be as durable as other materials. Leather is a durable material, but it has limited benefits beyond that. Vegan leather alternatives are abundant, but some are less sustainable than others, such as those made from PVC.
To ensure that animals were not killed explicitly for their skin, ethical leather sourcing policies are crucial. Upcycled and deadstock materials are the best options as they prevent leather from ending up in landfills. Vegetable-tanned leather and chrome-free leather are also good choices, but they are not entirely sustainable. Certifications from organizations like Leather Working Group (LWG), Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), and bluesign® are also helpful.
In addition to materials, it’s important to consider supply chain and labor practices. Brands that prioritize fair wages, healthy work conditions, and respectful treatment of workers are ideal. Certifications like B Corporation, Fair Trade, and Fair Wear Foundation can help verify these claims.
Green business practices, such as the use of renewable energy, carbon offset programs, and closed-loop manufacturing, can also contribute to the sustainability of bags and purses. Brands that offer repair and recycling programs, as well as sustainable shipping initiatives, are also worth considering.
Finally, many sustainable handbag brands prioritize community and charitable giving. By supporting these brands, consumers can contribute to environmental and social causes.
In conclusion, conscious consumerism can be challenging, but by seeking out sustainable and ethical bags and purses, consumers can make a positive impact on the planet and its inhabitants. Whether by upcycling and repurposing items already in their closets or purchasing from environmentally responsible brands, every action counts towards a more sustainable future.