12 sustainable and eco-friendly bag brands to crack in 2022
Making conscious fashion choices doesn’t just apply to our clothes (opens in a new tab)shoes (opens in a new tab)and jewelry (opens in a new tab) selected. Sustainable bag selections are also an essential piece of the puzzle – and we’re not just talking about replacing plastic grocery bags with canvas bags. With an increasing number of alternative materials and plant-based leathers available that both look like the real deal, you don’t have to give up style to make conscious bag choices.
When researching how to choose and support sustainable accessory brands, consider a few things: Does the brand consciously source materials? Ensuring fair labor practices (opens in a new tab)? Take a stand against overproduction (which often leads to landfilling)? These are the eco-friendly bag brands that champion sustainability and style, from roomy totes you can take anywhere to compact clutches for nights out.
Santos by Monica
Puerto Rican designer Mónica Santos Gil launched her eponymous brand, Santos By Mónica, in 2020, which offers a timeless and versatile collection of handbags made from cactus leather, a plant-based alternative to leather. Ethically made in New York, each bag is made to order by its small network of artisans based in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
buy Santos by Mónica
Stella McCartney’s vegan handbag collections have won unanimity among sustainable luxury. The brand is committed to using no animal by-products in its handbags, relying on green alternatives, like mushroom-based leather, recycled polyesters and recycled brass for hardware.
Stella McCartney shop (opens in a new tab)
MARIAS By Alida Boer
Focused on social change, Alida Boer launched her handbag collection to showcase traditional Guatemalan textiles while supporting women artisans fighting for job security and fair wages. Each bag is made from natural leather and incorporates traditional Mayan techniques. Boer currently works with a network of over 500 women artisans across the country.
buy Marias by Alida Boer
Cuyana’s timeless and functional handbags use leather certified by the Leather Working Group (opens in a new tab)GOTS certified recycled and uncoated plastics (opens in a new tab) Turkish canvas. The brand has a transparent supply chain and close relationships with family factories in Vietnam, Italy, Turkey and Argentina. Consumers can track suppliers through an interactive map (opens in a new tab) on the Cuyana website.
Cuyana shop (opens in a new tab)
Petit Kouraj, which means “little courage” in Haitian Creole, was founded by Brooklyn-based fashion designer Nasrin Jean-Baptiste. Each bag is handmade in Haiti in partnership with the women-led organization DOT Haiti (opens in a new tab)and takes between eight and 12 hours carefully crafted, using sustainable materials and practices.
store Petit-Kouraj (opens in a new tab)
As a newly certified B Corporation (opens in a new tab), Chloé is committed to transforming its operations to comply with evolving social and environmental standards while providing greater transparency and accountability for each of its collections. The brand also introduced a Chloé Craft category, expanding the number of products handcrafted by independent artisans.
Chloe shop (opens in a new tab)
With sustainability in mind and a firm belief that it could approach the handbag world more responsibly, Australia-based brand A_C sought to bring more circular bag options to consumers. They use alternative materials like dead stock and plant-based leathers in their bags, have a buy-back program for pre-loved pieces, offer repair services for general bag wear, and recently launched a program internal rental.
A_C shop (opens in a new tab)
Piper and Skye
Piper & Skye meticulously sources materials to ensure durability is at the forefront of their brand. Their sustainability goals are available on their website, along with the mandatory standards for all brands they partner with.
Piper & Skye shop
House of MĀRĪCĪ
Handbag brand House of MĀRĪCĪ merges a circular design ethos with a luxury aesthetic, using upcycled plant by-products to create handmade bags in Venice, Italy. MĀRĪCĪ bags are only available in a limited run of styles and colors to avoid overproduction.
shop Maison de MĀRĪCĪ
Inspired by art deco interiors and Bronze Age architecture, Greek brand Mashu uses ethical practices to craft their edgy bags entirely from vegan materials. The handbags are locally made in Athens, Greece, which positively impacts the community and maintains a low carbon footprint. To encourage longevity and circularity, MASHU offers customers free bag repairs for life.
MASHU shop (opens in a new tab)
New York-based brand Advene offers essential products made from 100% traceable Italian cowhide leather certified by the Leather Working Group (opens in a new tab). Since last year, all Advene bags are handmade in a carbon neutral factory in Italy.
Behno’s core mission is to redefine what it means to be sustainable in fashion. The brand supports fair wages and champions social mobility through leadership opportunities and educational resources, proving bags can look good without compromising the well-being of people or the planet.
behno shop (opens in a new tab)