What Does Sustainable Bag Mean? [2023]

does sustainable bag mean?

Are you one of those people who likes to think about the impact of your actions on the environment? One area you might want to consider is your choice of bags. Sustainable bags are becoming increasingly popular and for good reason. These bags aren't just better for the environment, but they're also more durable and stylish. But what exactly does sustainable bag mean? How can you tell if a bag is sustainable or not? In this article, we will answer all your questions and give you expert advice on sustainable bags.

What Makes a Bag Sustainable?

A sustainable bag is a bag that is made from eco-friendly, recycled or upcycled materials. These bags are created in a way that is kind to the environment and sustainable in the long run.

Eco-Friendly Materials

Eco-friendly materials are materials that have been harvested without causing significant harm to the environment. For example, some sustainable bags are made from bamboo, organic cotton, or even pineapple leaves. These materials are renewable and biodegradable, meaning they will not end up in landfill sites.

Recycled Materials

Recycled materials are materials that have been repurposed or reused from waste materials. Sustainable bags made from these materials prevent waste and reduce the need for new materials. For example, recycled plastic bags can be turned into new bags, pencil cases, and wallets.

Upcycled Materials

Upcycled materials are materials that have been repurposed from used or damaged items. For example, an old denim jacket can be cut up and transformed into a cool tote bag. These materials are often limited edition and unique, making them perfect for stand-out accessories.

Durability and Repairability

Sustainable bags that are durable and repairable are also considered sustainable. A bag that lasts a long time will save you money in the long run by not having to constantly replace it. If a bag does happen to break, being able to repair it means it doesn't end up in the landfill and avoids the need to purchase a new bag.

What Are Sustainable Bags Made Of?

Men play chess on the bench in the park.

Sustainable bags can be made from a variety of materials that are environmentally friendly. Here are some of the popular ones:

  • Organic Cotton: Bags made from organic cotton have a lower carbon footprint compared to conventional cotton. This is because it is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, which are harmful to the environment.
  • Recycled PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate): Recycled PET bags are made from recycled plastic bottles. They are lightweight, durable, and water-resistant.
  • Piñatex: Piñatex is made from pineapple leaves, which are a byproduct of the pineapple harvest. This material is not only eco-friendly but also biodegradable and easy to dye.
  • Cork: Cork is a renewable material that is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees. It is lightweight, water-resistant, and durable.
  • Hemp: Hemp is a sustainable and versatile material that can be used to make bags. It requires fewer chemicals and less water to grow compared to traditional cotton.
  • Upcycled materials: As previously mentioned upcycled materials are a growing trend in sustainable fashion and can be used to make stand-out bags.

Can Leather Bags Be Sustainable?

This is a tricky question as it depends on the specific leather being used. The leather industry has been known for the significant environmental impact it has caused in the past. However, if it is sourced from sustainable and ethically-minded brands, then it can be considered sustainable. Look for brands that use only vegetable tanning, consider animal welfare and carbon footprint, and have environmental certifications.

Sustainable Bags Vs. Fast Fashion Bags

Fast fashion bags are cheaply made, mass-produced bags that need to be constantly replaced due to their poor quality. On the other hand, sustainable bags are made from durable materials that last longer and reduce the need for constant replacements.

Environmental Impact

Fast fashion bags have a significant impact on the environment, from their production to their disposal. They require large amounts of energy, water, and chemicals to produce, which causes pollution and waste within the environment.


Fast fashion bags are often made from cheap, synthetic materials, such as nylon or polyester. These materials are not biodegradable or renewable and often end up in landfill sites.

Ethical Concerns

Fast fashion bags are linked with exploitation, human rights violations, and workspaces that aren't safe in many countries. The material from which they are made and the labour handling it are both affecting the environment and communities taking part in this industry.

Sustainable Bag Brands

Here are a few sustainable bag brands worth checking out:

  • Rothy's: This sustainable bag brand uses recycled water bottles in their bags.
  • Mielie: This brand uses upcycled and recycled materials, such as old seatbelts and plastic bags.
  • Everlane: This brand is committed to transparency and sustainable practices. They use eco-friendly materials and ethical factories.
  • Nisolo: This brand makes leather bags while keeping ethical and environmental practices in mind. They use vegetable-tanned leather which is more environmentally friendly.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • Choosing sustainable bags can be an effortless way to reduce your carbon footprint and make a difference in the world.
  • A sustainable bag has a longer lifespan than a fast fashion bag.
  • Sustainable brands use environmentally friendly materials, and practice transparency and ethical manufacturing processes.
  • There are wonderful upcycled and recycled options. For example, some bags are made of water bottles and recycled seat belts.
  • Sustainable bags come in a wide range of styles, colors, and sizes, so you won't have to compromise your fashion sense to be eco-conscious.


Handmade leather goods by Bouquet: https://www.facebook.com/bouquetmtl/

What Makes a Handbag Sustainable?

A handbag made from eco-friendly, recycled, or upcycled materials with durability and repairability in mind is considered a sustainable handbag.

What Are Sustainable Handbags Made Of?

Sustainable handbags can be made from various eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, recycled plastic, Piñatex, cork, hemp, or upcycled items.

Can Leather Bags Be Sustainable?

Yes, but it depends on the specific leather brand. Check for vegetable tanning, animal welfare certifications, environmental certifications, and transparency.


Sustainable bags are perfect for the eco-conscious individual who doesn't want to sacrifice fashion sense. They are made from materials that are eco-friendly, recycled, or upcycled with durability and repairability in mind. Choosing sustainable bags over fast fashion bags can help reduce environmental impact and waste created in this industry. Brands like Rothy's, Mielie, Everlane, and Nisolo are great for sustainable bags. When it comes to choosing a new bag, consider the bag's material, production process, environmental impact, and brand transparency. By choosing sustainable handbags, you are making an impact that is not only fashionable but also eco-friendly. As one delighted customer states, "Sustainable bags are the future, and I feel good when carrying them around."


A leather and canvas sand-colored duffel bag. An Eames chair in white is in the background.

(Links accessed on 3 October 2023)

Review Team
Review Team

The Popular Brands Review Team is a collective of seasoned professionals boasting an extensive and varied portfolio in the field of product evaluation. Composed of experts with specialties across a myriad of industries, the team’s collective experience spans across numerous decades, allowing them a unique depth and breadth of understanding when it comes to reviewing different brands and products.

Leaders in their respective fields, the team's expertise ranges from technology and electronics to fashion, luxury goods, outdoor and sports equipment, and even food and beverages. Their years of dedication and acute understanding of their sectors have given them an uncanny ability to discern the most subtle nuances of product design, functionality, and overall quality.

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