We’ve entered an era of ever-increasing climate instability.
One of the few ways the consumer can actually make a difference is to buy from brands with eco-friendly values that focus on sustainability. With this in mind, here’s a selection of sustainable luggage brands to consider in your search for for a new travel bag.
What is sustainable luggage?
Sustainable luggage is travel equipment that aims to do more than just minimise its environmental impact. Brands specializing in sustainable luggage ought to aim for ethical production methods, and should offer top-notch, fixable luggage that can withstand the passage of time.
What makes an excellent sustainable suitcase?
An excellent sustainable suitcase should be expected to achieve the above-mentioned standards. These standards can be reached in a number of ways. An excellent sustainable suitcase will hit these standards and more using several methods.
Methods can include:
- Constructed from recycled/organic materials
- Strong or lifetime warranty (to reduce waste)
- Carbon neutrality
- Fair worker treatment
- Involvement in social/environmental projects
What materials should you consider for sustainable/eco-friendly travel bag?
To choose an eco-friendly travel bag, look for those made from recycled or organic materials such as vegan leather, recycled polyester, or plastic bottles. Eco-friendly bags are made with a mix of these three materials and use non-toxic chemicals during production.
What should you consider when buying sustainable luggage?
Knowing which luggage brands can be classed as sustainable can be tough to figure out. It’s best to do some research before buying any luggage. As a general rule, any luggage that upholds the qualities mentioned earlier in this article can be considered sustainable.
There are a whole host of sustainable luggage companies providing travel bags of all shapes and sizes for every price range. However, to reduce waste, some eco-friendly luggage makers provide a 'second hand' shop or lifetime warranty to cut down on bags that would usually get thrown into landfill.
Top 5 sustainable suitcases
In addition to its outdoor gear, Patagonia offers a selection of eco-friendly wheeled duffle bags, backpacks, and suitcases.
Well-known for its ethical manufacturing practices and commitment to the environment, Patagonia’s luggage is constructed from recycled materials and Bluesign-approved fabrics.
They offer an “Ironclad Guarantee” and repair centres - Keeping your luggage chugging along for many adventures to come.
If you’re outdoorsy, I'd advise looking into a Patagonia wheeled duffel bag, the versatility of their outdoor gear extends into their luggage ranges.
Price Range: $159-$419 USD / £120-£360 GBP
Solgaard has many feathers in its sustainability cap. Most notable is their commitment to clean 6 lbs of ocean-bound plastic from coastal communities for every bag sold. This alone makes them one of the best sustainable luggage companies out there, alongside creating quality luggage of course.
As for the luggage itself, it’s made from recycled materials and comes with an array of features such as zipperless designs, built-in locks, and more.
One of their best-known innovations is the fact that their suitcases have built-in shelves - so no need to ever unpack!
Price Range: $345-$425 USD / €425-545 EUR
A huge name in the world of eco-travel bags, Paravel’s range combines charming Wes Andersonesque colour schemes with hardcore sustainability credentials.
They have up-cycled over 6 million plastic water bottles into materials that are subsequently used in a variety of their products, including the inner lining of their suitcases, tote bags and more.
Paravel doesn’t stop there though. They’re Climate Neutral Certified and have planted over 400,000 trees to date.
Price Range: $67-840 USD / £54-668 GBP
Built using largely recycled plastics, PVC-free materials and Bluesign-approved fabrics, Eagle Creek has a sustainable suitcase for all.
Eagle Creek’s “No Matter What” warranty means that no matter how many knocks your bag suffers, they’ll always be willing to patch it back up for you. This can prolong the lifespan of your suitcase immeasurably, keeping it out of the landfill.
On a final note, they even have a “renewed” range. These are refurbished old suitcases given a second life, ideal for anyone interested in a low/zero waste lifestyle.
Price Range: $224.25-$489 / £110-£390
A behemoth in the luggage industry, over the past years Samsonite has expanded its extensive range to include eco-friendly luggage and travel bags. Not all Samsonite luggage is sustainable. However, items from their Detour, Outline and Theorym ranges are made from recycled plastic bottles.
This is a brilliant choice for those looking for an eco-friendly suitcase from a company with a pedigree of over 100 years.
Price Range: $44-111.99 USD / £55-165 GBP
Top 5 sustainable carry-on bags
United By Blue
One of the more well-known sustainable luggage brands thanks to their stated mission of removing a pound of waste from our oceans and waterways for every product purchased.
They also use a selection of recycled materials and non-toxic regenerative fibres in their products to keep the Earth healthy.
Their bags come in an ecstasy of fun patterns and colours and are for the most part the perfect carry-on size.
Price Range: $29-74 USD / £23-£59 GBP
These guys offer a tremendous range of carbon-neutral backpacks, duffels, and totes.
Terra Thread was founded as a direct result of its founders discovering the impact fast fashion has on the world and their subsequent desire to make a difference.
Consequently, Terra Thread products are wholly Fair Trade certified, from farm to factory, with their sustainable handbags, bags and travel bags produced from organic cotton grown by Indian smallholder families.
Price Range: $60-$70 USD / £48-£55 GBP
Nisolo is an amazing choice for any of you looking for that timelessly stylish leather look done in a sustainable way.
In particular, their selection of weekender bags are more than up for the role of being your carry-on.
The products are made by Peruvian artisans who are treated ethically. While the materials themselves are actually byproducts of the meat industry! And don’t worry, they’re Climate Neutral Certified too.
Price Range: $70-$300.00 USD/ £146.00-£242.00 GBP
By 2025 this Climate Neutral Certified company plans to use responsibly sourced, recycled, or repurposed materials in all their products. Already 94% of their products contain materials like this.
So, there’s no need to worry about Cotopaxi’s sustainability credentials when you’re shouldering one of their handsome travel packs up the stairs of the plane.
Price Range: $45-395 USD / £65-225 GBP
Lo & Sons
From the get-go, you’re making a sustainable choice with Lo & Sons, with manufacturing taking place in a solar-powered facility where wastewater is treated into drinking water,
These green travel bags are a chic choice for shorter trips where an entire suitcase would be excessive.
As an added plus, you can rest easy knowing that all the workers are compensated fairly and the bags themselves are made from either recycled materials or organic cotton.
Price Range: $120-485 USD / £96-390
Top 5 sustainable travel bags
The Anchal Project offers bags that are riotously joyful in their colour schemes. Not only are they a pleasure to look at, these handmade bags, made from GOTS certified organic cotton, are part of a social enterprise guaranteeing the female artisans making them fair, liveable wages.
Further enhancing their sustainability credentials is their membership of the Fair Trade Federation. By the way, profits go directly toward social programs helping the local communities of the workers.
Price Range: $28-208 USD / £23-£165
Another brand guaranteeing sustainability in both the materials (even the packaging for these bags is plastic-free) and in the treatment of its workers.
Pakt is known for building sturdy bags that will stand the test of time whilst simultaneously being incredibly portable. Pick up one of these bags if you plan to move around a lot on your trip.
These bags are primarily made using recycled plastic. What’s more, Pakt is Climate Neutral Certified.
Price Range: $95-$295 USD / £73-£235 GBP
Roam is unique in that all the colours on your luggage from the shell to the stitching are customizable. As a result, their entire inventory is made to order, cutting waste dramatically down, due to there being no excess stock.
The bags themselves are handmade in Georgia, USA using durable materials that should keep them going for years. If disaster should strike, no need to panic - Roam offers a lifetime warranty on all their products.
This is the bag for anyone wanting a bag that makes them stand out from the crowd.
Price Range: $95-$350 USD / £76-278 GBP
Horizn Studios offers a range of sophisticated luggage pieces produced in a sustainable fashion in a variety of materials. Think biodegradable infused nut handles and flax resins, alongside your more typical recycled materials.
Horizn Studios hosts everything from backpacks to packing cubes and everything in-between. Built with 100% recycled materials even giving you recycled zippers (cool I know).
All the products Horizn Studio offer are produced from plant-based products and are 100% biodegradable, meaning they even have accreditations from PETA as their portfolio is entirely animal cruelty-free, making this the best choice of luggage for any animal lovers and lovers of luxury out there.
Finally, production is almost entirely waste-free and their logistics are carbon neutral.
Price Range: $70-$235 USD / £60-£195 GBP
Clocking in almost 170 years of history, Orvis knows bags. They also understand the importance of the environment.
Orvis devotes 5% of its pre-tax profit to conservation-related non-governmental organization (NGO), they’re also working to be climate-positive by 2030.
The often camouflaged Trekkage range by Orvis is built entirely from recycled materials and is a brilliant sustainable travel bag. You even get a lifetime guarantee!
Price Range: $50-$499 USD / £20.95-£419 GBP
What luggage is non-toxic?
Non-toxic luggage usually has certifications such as OKEO-TEX Standard 100 or REACH Compliance. Luggage made from natural, organic, or recycled materials will likely be non-toxic too.
What makes a bag sustainable?
A sustainable bag has little to no impact on the environment, offers good working conditions to those involved in its production, and is of high/long-lasting quality.
What is the best brand for sustainable luggage?
This depends on what you are looking for - do you want a weekend bag, a suitcase, or a carry-on? The best thing is to figure out what kind of bag you need and go from there.
Is sustainable luggage durable?
Any sustainable luggage worth its salt should be durable. If not, it should at least have an excellent warranty.
Where can I buy sustainable travel bags?
You can buy sustainable luggage in major luggage shops, at the various brands’ respective websites, and of course Amazon.
To sum up, finding a sustainable and eco-friendly travel bag isn’t difficult - there’s an large array of choices out there for every type of travel and price range. Any one of the bags listed above will allow you to do your small part in making the Earth a better place.
Buy a bag with a mission that speaks to you or an aesthetic you love and then look forward to the many years of adventuring you’ll have with it by your side.
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