What's this? A pocket with handles? That's not the case. We can use a handbag for a variety of functions and personalities. A beautiful bag may brighten and bolden, at times exposing another side of our inner self, from ordinary workwear to a night on the town. However, finding the ideal bag that satisfies all of our requirements might be difficult. For other people, the prices of leather are not worth it, highlighting the need for better, more environmentally friendly alternatives.
When it comes to sustainability, bags are tough since there are so many different materials to choose from, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Leather has a host of tanning, ethical, and cruelty difficulties, whereas vegan alternatives are often plastic or have plastic coatings. When choosing a sustainable bag, there are several factors to consider.
In this article, we have collected a variety of different types of bags that are fashionable yet serve their sustainable purpose too. However, before we start here is another thing to keep in mind.
Materials: The vegan leather business is always coming up with new ways to make sustainable alternatives that mimic the texture of leather while reducing environmental impact. There are plenty of firms using eco-friendly, cruelty-free, vegan leathers, from Pinatex's pineapple leather to solvent-free vegan leather, which uses 95 percent less water, 50 percent less energy, and zero chemicals.
Look for brands that employ recycled leather, vegetable-tanned leather, or deadstock/offcut leather if you wish to buy genuine leather (meaning the leather used is already in the system, preventing it from ending up in landfills). More manufacturers are upcycling waste materials such as old carpets, mountain climbing cables, and vintage apparel to make one-of-a-kind, collectible bags. And because repurposed textiles are usually produced in small batches, you're unlikely to see anybody else carrying your purse.
Social Impact: Many outstanding designers collaborate with artisan crafters all over the world to create handbags using locally produced materials like jute, handwoven brocades, raffia, and other traditional fabrics. Not only do these create vivid, gorgeous bags that represent diverse traditions from throughout the world, but the brands that use artisans' talents also promote local economies, provide job opportunities for women, and partner with local organizations to give back to the communities they work with.
Transparency: Look for brands that value paying fair salaries, providing appropriate working conditions, and producing in an environmentally friendly manner. Attention to detail is crucial for brands who work closely with artisan communities or small family-run firms, or make everything in-house. This implies that their production and manufacturing processes are more transparent, and you can rest confident that they are aware of every connection in their supply chain.
Consider the life cycle of the product while purchasing an ethically created handbag. Look for styles and colors that you know will be ageless, multipurpose, and fit into your wardrobe, as well as styles and colors that can be fixed by the brand or customized to meet your specific demands. It's worth researching particular fabrics to ensure they're durable and made to last for years, as well as thinking about a product's end of life (is it recyclable or biodegradable?).
Now that that’s done with, let’s continue on to sustainable handbags.
Ree Projects believes that leather is a sustainable material because of its low cost per wear, and the leather it uses is a by-product of the food industry. Ree Projects and its manufacturing partners pay fair wages to promote equality, inclusivity, and empowerment for women, so you can unabashedly embrace your inner bohemian as you sling around this gorgeous crisp white fringed Helene!
This Basket Tote makes use of leather parts that would otherwise be wasted, using colorful strips of surplus smooth calfskin and finely textured soft-grained calfskin – the contrast of bright and soft hues making it all the more joyful! This tote is a must-have for everyone looking to get the most out of life!
It's probably a sin in the Grand Book of High Fashion to discuss sustainability without including Stella McCartney, so here it is. It's also rather lovely! This foldover tote can be dressed up or down, while boldly announcing its contribution to saving the environment, thanks to its infinitely recyclable aluminum chain, 100 percent polyester body, and monogram satin inside made from recycled polyester collected from post-consumer waste like water bottles.
Given that it's absolutely sold out everywhere online, this one isn't technically available for purchase right now. But, c'mon, it's not a bag; it's a Baguette and one that's also environmentally friendly! It's every ethical fashionista's dream purse, the one that lets you channel Carrie Bradshaw in the year 2021! This Baguette is made of certified FF cotton and recycled polyester and is made by cutting, assembling, and hand-knotting individual stripes, which are then folded on the other side and completed with a large metal needle.
Bum bags have taken the globe by storm and reintroduced functionality to fashion. They are now considered a wardrobe necessity. What if this cool new accessory was also made of environmentally friendly ECONYL, which is manufactured from recycled fishing nets, fabric scraps, and industrial plastics and has the potential to rescue the planet? And what if it included a historic check from a traditional English luxury brand? Is it also possible to turn it into a backpack? Sweet!
Jill Fraser teamed together with Milan Lazich in 2010 to create Jill Milan after being disappointed in her search for a luxury purse that wasn't made of animal leather. Additionally, this brand is making strides in the sustainability world: they collaborate with Tuscan fabric suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint, are always on the lookout for new, eco-friendly materials, and reportedly donate over 10% of their sales to animal welfare organizations like PCRM and Mercy for Animals. The house's wares are a favorite of celebs like Anne Hathaway and Eva Longoria, and its Thoroughbred bag, roomy enough for work or college and elegant enough for everything else, looks, well, thoroughbred.
I couldn't help but mention it because it hails from Dhaka, Bangladesh, where I was born and raised! Lidia May works together with the Lidia Hope Centre to support 400+ families in Dhaka slums, not only to empower women artisans but also to preserve disappearing native handicrafts like the Jamdani weave. In fact, the Lidia Hope Center School will receive 100% of the proceeds from the first 1500 bags sold in certain of the collections.