Looking for eco-friendly handbags? You may think that your options are limited, but that cannot be farther from the truth! 

There are plenty of sustainable handbag makers, most of them selling online. With different price points, materials, and designs, you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you—and one that’s great for the planet too!

What to Look for in a Sustainable Handbag

Here’s a rundown of important things to look for when scouting for a planet-friendly purse:

Transparency is key

An important value to look for in a responsible manufacturer is transparency. A quick check on a brand’s website should tell you the materials they use and where they source them, who makes them, and whether they follow ecologically and ethically responsible manufacturing practices in each step of the supply chain.

Check the label

Vegan, cruelty-free, fair-trade, and organic are just some of the key words to look for when checking a brand’s ethics and sustainability. Additionally, look for any certifications. Here are the most common:

  • B Corporation – a certification for social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency
  • Fairtrade – products bearing this certification have been checked to ensure that they come from factories, farms, and organizations that provide fair wages and a safe working environment 
  • GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) – a production certification for textiles organic fibres to ensure that they are made ethically and with the least environmentally damaging processes possible
  • OEKO-TEX – a certification that assures a product contains no harmful or banned chemicals. There are specific OEKO-TEX® labels, including Made in Green, Standard 100, and STeP.

Look it up

Ethical and sustainable fashion watchdog Good On You has an extensive list of handbag labels that they have rated according to how good they are to the planet, people, and animals. You can also check out product reviews from independent bloggers

We’ve rounded up the best sustainable handbags in the market and let you in on what makes them a wonderful addition to your wardrobe.

1. ABLE

Price range: £16–£250

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Provides living wages
  • closely audits partners for safety, equality, and wages
  • Locally sourced and manufactured materials

We can devote an entire post about the things we love about ABLE, which is one of our top sustainable and ethical fashion brands. 

Unlike other companies that only vaguely claim to be ethical employers, ABLE publishes its lowest wages so consumers know that the brand holds itself to the highest standards when it comes to compensating its workers. 

While it’s headquartered in Nashville, the company also has manufacturing partners in Brazil, Ethiopia, India, and Mexico, working closely with community leaders to ensure that their workers are paid and treated fairly. 

As a brand built on empowering and lifting women out of poverty, ABLE stands out for its genuine commitment to worker welfare.

2. Ahimsa Collective

Price range: £15–155

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Works only with ethical suppliers
  • Uses recycled fabrics and eco-friendly materials
  • Exclusively vegan 

Australian brand Ahimsa Collective creates trendy, IG-worthy bags from sustainable materials like Piñatex (from pineapple leaf fibers), fabric scraps, recycled polyester, and cellulose (a.k.a. washable paper). 

Another thing to admire about this brand is its commitment to upholding social responsibility with its suppliers and partners. It conducts regular audits on its suppliers in China and the UK to make sure that they continue to maintain ethical work processes.

3. Angela Roi

Price range: £50–£200

Ethics & Sustainability

  • No child labor
  • Fair work environment for factory workers
  • Exclusively vegan
  • Cruelty-free products

Angela Roi is a New York-based luxury vegan handbag maker. Launched in 2013, the brand is proving that vegan leather is just as (if not more) durable, long-lasting, and fashionable as real leather—minus the expensive price tag.

Each Angela Roi handbag is made exclusively by hand in boutique factories in Seoul that offer fair wages and clean, comfortable workspaces. 

Their most popular design to date is their Hamilton crossbody which, like their other bags, is made of polyurethane, which has the same look and feel as leather, but without harming animals.

Read: 10 Sustainable Clothing Brands Worth Checking Out (and Why)

4. Artesano

Price range: £25–£570

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Works with local artisans in impoverished communities
  • 100% handcrafted
  • Eco-friendly and locally sourced materials
  • Exclusively vegan

Miami-based entrepreneurs founded Artesano in 2014, with the vision of proudly showcasing excellently handmade handbags, hats, and shoes from their native Ecuador.

Artesano’s most popular creations are its woven bags, made of biodegradable Toquilla straws. It also works with other sustainable and locally sourced materials like Pinatex, Ecuadorian wool, Tagua beads, and Macora straw.

5. Baggu

Price range: £8–£210

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Works only with ethical manufacturers 
  • Uses recycled materials
  • Follows sustainable manufacturing processes

Baggu first started by selling reusable shopping bags made of recycled nylon in 2007. Today, its lineup has expanded to include handbags, fanny packs, pouches, crossbody, backpacks, and wallets. 

Majority of the materials used in Baggu products are recycled, such as nylon from pre-consumer waste and scrap cotton that would otherwise have made it to landfill. 

The company also makes sure to conserve resources and minimize its environmental impact in each step of the production process. Some of the ways it’s doing this is by using environmentally responsible dyes, using water-efficient leather-tanning technology, and ensuring waste is kept to a minimum by making some of their smaller items from scrap materials.

6. Bottletop

Price range: £25–£650

Ethics

  • Above-industry wages
  • Healthy working conditions
  • Uses recycled materials and sustainable leather
  • Plastic-free packaging

UK-based luxury sustainable bag designer Bottletop turns trash to treasure with clutches, hobos, weekenders, crossbodies, and backpacks made from crocheted ring pulls, hence the name.

Bottletop’s materials and products are all sourced from Brazil, handcrafted by the local women artisans of Santiago who earn 45% more than the Brazilian industry average. 

While the bag maker uses leather, it makes sure these are sustainably sourced by using only zero-deforestation Amazon leather.

7. Corkor

Price range: £60–£160

Ethics

  • Provides healthy working conditions and fair salaries
  • 100% vegan and cruelty-free
  • Uses locally and sustainably sourced materials
  • Handcrafted
  • Small-batch production

Trivia time: Did you know cork harvesting is a carbon-negative process? Each time a cork oak is harvested, it regenerates by absorbing more CO2. Cork is also a wonderful vegan material, offering the same look, feel, and quality as leather minus the cruelty and carbon footprint. 

In their quest to uphold 100% vegan and cruelty-free fashion, founders Natália Guerreiro and Vitor Lopes came up with the idea of using sustainable, FSC-certified cork to come up with their line of bags, wallets, and accessories. 

Each Corkor product is made by hand in Guerreiro and Lopes’s own workshop in their native Portugal. The company proudly professes that each of its artisans receive fair wages and work in a healthy and safe environment.    

8. Elvis & Kresse

Price range: £100–£350

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Certified Social Enterprise
  • Donates to charity
  • Certified B Corp
  • Uses recycled materials
  • Handcrafted

Here’s a story that has a happy ending: Once upon a time, entrepreneurs James Henrit and Kresse Wesling visited the London Fire Brigade, where they found that damaged and decommissioned fire hoses ended up in landfills, where they can stay for hundreds of years without decomposing. 

Putting their brains together, Henrit and Wesling immediately set a plan in motion to save these fire hoses and, in the process, save the environment too. 

The result: fashionable upcycled bags, purses, wallets, and belts that are waterproof and technically last a lifetime. 

Staying true to their aim of being a sustainable enterprise, Elvis & Kresse also partners with The Burberry Foundation by salvaging leather scraps and using these as material for its Fire and Hide line.

Aside from eliminating waste, Elvis & Kresse also believes in giving back. The brand generously donates half of its profits to charities and nonprofits.

9. Everlane

Price range: £25–£198

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Transparent pricing
  • Works only with certified factories
  • Closely audits partners for worker safety, health, and fair wages
  • Uses recycled, organic, and certified materials
  • Uses less-waste processes

Everlane first gained prominence as an exclusive e-tailer with a “radically transparent” approach to pricing. It extends this open-book philosophy to its supply chain, letting consumers know the faces behind who makes their favorite shirts, shoes, and bags. 

Aside from high-quality, reasonably priced shirts, Everlane also makes durable bags made of recycled materials. Its ReNew collection features totes, weekenders, and backpacks made of either partially or completely recycled materials, including polyester and leather.

The company is currently working on being more environmentally responsible by eliminating virgin plastic from its production line by 2021. 

10. GUNAS New York

Price range: £45–£125

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Transparent supply chain
  • Cruelty-free
  • 100% vegan
  • Uses recycled materials
  • Handmade
  • Above-industry wages

Recognizing the environmental impact of leather production, industrial designer Sugandh Agrawal set out to create a handbag collection that combined her values as a life-long vegetarian and sense of fashion. Thus was vegan luxury brand GUNAS born in 2009. 

GUNAS is 100% committed to making beautiful products that don’t harm animals, people, and the planet. It uses mainly polyurethane-coated cotton canvas, as well as recycled materials like PET bottles and paperboard. 

The brand is also proud to be a fair-trade company, offering above-industry wages to its artisans and healthy working conditions. 

Read:

5 Ways to Have a Greener Wardrobe?…

11 Sustainable & Ethical Jewellery Brands to Up Your Style Game

13 Sustainable Sneakers That’ll Let You Walk Your Talk

11 Sustainable Clothing Brands for Your Minimalist Wardrobe

10 Sustainable Clothing Brands Worth Checking Out (and Why)

11. HFS Collective

Price range: £80–£340

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Uses recycled and sustainable materials
  • Locally made
  • Cruelty-free
  • Provides living wages
  • Gives to charity

Debra and Rachel Denniston are the mother-and-daughter team behind Los Angeles-based ethical and sustainable bags brand HFS Collective. The brand first shot to fame when it released its line of festival-friendly hands-free bags that are sized just enough to carry your essentials. 

HFS Collective bags are proudly animal-friendly, using a cocktail of sustainable or eco-friendly leather alternatives like Piñatex, eco suede (from recycled polyester and PET bottles), upcycled denim, and deadstock. 

All HFS Collective products are handmade in a small family-owned factory in Los Angeles, where the workers are paid a living wage and work under healthy and safe conditions.

12. JW Pei

Price range:  £25–£160

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Vegan
  • Uses recycled materials
  • Gives to charity
  • Fair-trade supply chain

If you had in your hands a fabric material that looks and feels exactly like leather, down to its microscopic structure, without having to harm animals in the process, what need would you have for real leather at all? That’s the question husband-and-wife duo Aaron Pei and Stephanie Li are answering with JW Pei, a luxury vegan accessories brand. 

Using ultra microfiber and recycled plastic, JW Pei comes up with timeless, minimalist “leather” pieces that not only look like the real thing, but are actually more durable and priced more affordably.

The label not only respects animals and the environment, it makes sure to respect people as well, by practicing ethical and fair-trade policies throughout their supply chain.

13. Kayu

Price range: £60–£250 

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Handcrafted
  • Uses locally sourced, renewable materials
  • Partners with local communities
  • Provides living wages
  • Gives to charity

California-based bag brand Kayu is making waves not only for its handcrafted accessories, but also for its philosophy and ethics.

Kayu makes clutches, pouches, and tote bags using all-natural and sustainably sourced materials: natural straw, farmed shell (by-products of the food industry), and engineered plywood (from furniture industry waste).

In making its signature handwoven straw bags, Kayu partners with local women’s cooperatives in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Monogramming is done by embroiderers in the Philippines as well as by new immigrants in San Francisco who do not speak English and may have difficulty finding work. Kayu Design is proud to say that they offer each member of their workforce a living wage. 

14. LaBante London

Price range: £30–£200

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Provides living wages
  • Partners only with certified suppliers
  • Uses recycled and sustainable materials
  • Gives to charity

For LaBante London founder Vanita Badlani Bagri, the choice to go vegan, sustainable, and ethical when she decided to come up with her own accessories brand was a no-brainer.

Unlike other vegan leather brands that aren’t really “sustainable” since they use non-biodegradable PVC as a leather alternative, LaBante proudly shares that they use 50% vegetable oil for their outers, and the polyurethane they use is water-based and solvent-free. Aside from this, they also use post-consumer PET bottles for their inners and recycled organic cotton for their dust bags. 

LaBante also exclusively works with SEDEX-certified factories, and gives 10% of its profits to charity.  

15. Mashu

Price range: £200–£400

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Locally produced
  • Uses recycled and sustainable materials
  • Provides fair wages and good working conditions

Luxury handbag maker Mashu is known for its modern, Art Deco-inspired designs. But there’s more to the brand than its bags’ signature solid top handles. 

Sustainability is at the forefront of Mashu’s business philosophy. When choosing materials, the brand makes sure that what they’re using is either organic, plant based, recycled, circular, or cruelty-free. These include Piñatex, PVC-free vegan leather, hemp, and repurposed wood.

All Mashu bags are handcrafted in founder Ioanna Topouzoglou’s native Greece, by small, family-run artisan factories that the company regularly inspects to make sure that they provide fair wages and safe working environments.

16. Matt & Nat

Price range: £95–£300

Ethics & Sustainability:

  • Vegan
  • Uses recycled materials

You may think that this vegan accessories brand is named after two guys. No, Matt and Nat do not exist. Rather, the brand name stands for “MAT(T)ERIAL and NATURE,” which founder Inder Bedi claims are the two inspirations that led him to establish the brand in 1995. 

An exclusively vegan label, Matt & Nat uses no animal products in any step of its production. Instead, it relies on recycled and sustainable materials—recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber, cork, PET bottles, and even bike tires—to come up with its vegan handbags, accessories, outerwear, and footwear.

17. Melie Bianco

Price range: £16–£110

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Fair-trade
  • Operate under a profit-sharing model with suppliers and vendors

If you’re looking for “accessories with purpose,” look no further than this vegan handbag brand. 

Melie Bianco uses water-based and biodegradable PU (polyurethane) instead of icky non-biodegradable PVC for its vegan leather.

While Melie Bianco’s products are manufactured in China, the label claims that it runs a fair-trade and ethical workplace that offers fair pay, a strict “no child labor” policy, breaks, gender-equal opportunities, free lunches, and paid vacations. Interestingly, Melie Bianco mentions in its web site that it operates under a profit-sharing model. 

18. Nisolo

Price range: £10–£220

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Transparent supply chain
  • Provides living wages
  • Certified B Corporation
  • Fairtrade certified

Nisolo is one of the sustainable brands that we trust. Not only do they come up with excellently made products that respect the environment, their company policy also makes sure that each person working their supply chain is fairly treated.

While the brand does carry leather goods, it’s still responsibly made using vegetable tanning and handcrafted in their ethical factory in Peru.

Also worthy of note is Nisolo’s transparency. The company openly discloses where it sources its materials as well as where its products are made. Consumers are also welcome to check out the lowest wage the company offers on its web site. 

19. Paradise Row

Price range: £325–£425

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Locally made
  • Handcrafted

Nika Diamond-Krendel is on a mission to put East London craftsmanship back on the map again with her leather goods brand Paradise Row.

Each Paradise Row handbag showcases the fine craftsmanship East London leather workshops are known for. And the label is proud to say that each bag in its collection is locally produced. 

20. Pixie Mood

Price range: £18–£80

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Uses recycled and sustainable materials
  • Provides fair wages

Sustainability meets style in this Canadian vegan handbag brand. Each Pixie Mood product features recycled bottle linings, PVC-free vegan leather, responsibly harvested cork, and EU REACH-certified metal components.

Pixie Mood also stands by its promise of upholding worker rights and safety, ensuring that all employees are paid fairly and operate within a safe and healthy environment. 

21. Sarah’s Bag

Price range: £32–£795

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Handcrafted
  • Social enterprise

Lebanese accessories brand Sarah’s Bag is known for quirky, whimsically designed handcrafted handbags and accessories. Entrepreneur Sarah Beydoun started the brand in 2000 with the mission of empowering underprivileged women.

Sarah’s Bag employs a team of about 200 women, most of whom are prisoners, ex-prisoners, and underprivileged. Each colorfully designed bag is a showcase of their traditional craftsmanship: crocheting,  sequinning, hand beading, embroidery, and fabric manipulation.  

22. Stella McCartney

Price range: £290–£1,000

Ethics & Sustainability

  • 100% vegan
  • Uses sustainable and recycled materials
  • Provides fair wages

Stella McCartney is one of the first luxury brands to completely ban leather, fur, and feathers from its production. Instead, it relies on sustainable alternatives such as re-engineered cashmere, organic cotton, sustainably sourced wood fibres, recycled nylon and polyester, and alter-nappa (a leather alternative made from a combination of polyester and polyurethane).

The company is a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and regularly conducts audits across their supply chain to ensure responsible working practices. The label is also committed to measuring its environmental impact, which helps guide its decisions.

23. Reformation

Price range:  £13–£400

Ethics & Sustainability

  • Uses sustainable, recycled, and certified materials
  • Transparent supply chain
  • Pays living wages
  • 100% climate neutral

Sustainable clothing and accessories brand Reformation is leading the pack when it comes to being an environmentally and socially responsible fashion label. 

First off, Reformation has been 100% climate-neutral since 2015. Whatever emissions it has produced or resources consumed, the brand makes sure to offset it by investing in water restoration and forest conservation initiatives. It regularly keeps stakeholders updated on its progress by releasing its sustainability report yearly. 

While its handbags line does feature some leather items, there are more eco-friendly options too like totes made from banana fibres, natural straw, and jute.

Taylor Swift, Karlie Kloss, and Rihanna are few of the celebrities who wear the brand.

These are just some of the sustainable bag labels that are proving you can wear your cause around your arm and still look every bit as fashionable. Send some love their way by making the more environmentally responsible choice. The earth will surely thank you for it! 
















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