In the wake of a year of unprecedented flooding, wildfires and record-breaking temperatures, it’s more important than ever to shop consciously – and backpacks are no exception.
Backpacks aren’t just for school kids, they’re a wardrobe staple. Regardless of whether it’s accompanying you on a day at the office or a countryside hike, all good backpacks should be comfortable, practical, stylish and sustainable. But in a world that increasingly favours faster, cheaper fashion, meeting all of these requirements is easier said than done. If you’re looking to make more mindful and socially responsible choices when it comes to what you wear and how you buy, we’ve rounded up five sustainable backpack brands that stand out. Each of these uses sustainably-sourced, natural or recycled materials, promote fair wages and transparency and are built to last. Some even offer carbon offsetting initiatives too. Here are the best sustainable backpack brands to help you enjoy a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Terra Thread prides itself on offering ‘truly sustainable’ bags. Created with conscious consumers in mind, backpacks are made from organic cotton that is fairtrade certified, carbon neutral and vegan. The brand was founded by a father and daughter duo with a mission to create the world’s most affordable, durable, sustainable and ethically produced backpacks. Backpacks come in a mini or regular size in a wide variety of colours and patterns. Products are all delivered free of plastic packaging and your purchase also supports carbon offset projects devoted to keeping the planet cleaner and greener.
Find out more at TerraThread.com
Solgaard is aiming to help cut ocean plastic in half by 2025, and it’s doing more than its fair share to meet that ambitious target For every item sold, Solgaard removes 229 ocean-bound plastic bottles. Backpacks are constructed from innovative eco-friendly fabrics such as shore-tex (made from ocean-bound plastic) and recycled polycarbonate (made from recycled plastic). There’s no compromise on design and functionality either. The flagship ‘Lifepack Backpack’ is made from upcycled ocean plastic and features a solar-powered charger for your phone, anti-theft locks and Bluetooth speakers. The brand works with grassroots organisations in the Philippines, Indonesia and China to create jobs for locals to pull plastic out of the ocean for upcycling too.
Find out more at Solgaard.co
Founded in 2004, Sandqvist offers cutting-edge Scandinavian design that is kind to people, the planet and animals. Their backpacks combine high-quality craftsmanship and uncompromising functionality too. Almost all bags are made entirely – or partly – from eco-friendly and organic materials with limited chemical, water and wastewater production. For instance, the ‘Forest Hike’ is constructed from ultra-strong recycled polyester and the trimmings from recycled webbing. ‘The Konrad’ is expertly crafted from pre-consumer waste. Sandquist is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation and is committed to implementing the Fair Wear Foundation Code of Labour Practices across suppliers too.
Find out more at Sandqvist.com
Fjallraven is committed to sustainable design, materials and production. The Swedish-born brand specialises in outdoor clothing and equipment that is timeless, functional and durable, as well as responsible and inspiring. Backpacks use natural and recycled materials that are free from harmful chemics and sourced directly from the environment, such as wool, cotton and down. Care and Repair is a big part of their ethos too and the brand offers limited repair services, as well as helpful tools to help you to fix your kit. Some of the brand’s most popular products include the ‘Foldsak’, made with G-1000 HeavyDuty Eco and the Keb Hike 2, made with recycled polyester and organic cotton.
Find out more at Fjallraven.com
For something a little different, try Beekeeper Parade. The brand offers one-of-a-kind backpacks made from discarded textiles and remnants from local factories that would otherwise be thrown into landfills. They’re experts in upcycling and most of the bags are one-offs or limited-edition, so if you’re keen on a design you’ll want to snap it up quickly. Bags are as functional as they are stylish, usually featuring secret zip-up compartments for valuables, laptop compartments and side pockets for bottles. Linings vary depending on which fabrics are available, so every bag is unique. Every purchase helps a child access quality education in rural Cambodia too.
Find out more at BeekeeperParade.com