Image by Paravel
Image by Pakt
Image by Solgaard

Pack for the Planet with 11 Sustainable & Eco Friendly Luggage Brands

*This post contains affilate links


With all the time spent at home lately, we’ve been struck hard with some serious wanderlust.

Unfortunately, our health isn’t the only thing we need to worry about when it comes to travel these days. From carbon emissions to the enormous amount of plastic waste generated on flights, travel is tough on our planet, too.

Though we can mitigate the impact of our wandering ways, and it starts with the products we use.  

By choosing to buy from sustainable and eco friendly luggage brands, we’re taking the first step of a less impactful trip of a lifetime.

Kind of puts a whole new meaning on packing lightly…

Speaking of packing, If you’re in a rush to satisfy your own wanderlust and don’t have time to read exactly what makes luggage sustainable, Everlane and Solgaard are great choices for their dedicated selections of sustainable luggage made of entirely recycled materials for the sophisticated and adventure-seeking, respectively. While Pakt, the small and innovative brand creates versatile eco-luggage for any occasion.

If you’re looking for an ultra durable hard shell, Paravel’s 100% recycled polycarbonates are some of the most durable and eco friendly luggage around.

1. EVERLANE

Pack for the Planet with Sustainable & Eco Friendly Luggage Image by Everlane #ecofriendlyluggage #sustainableluggage #sustainablejungle
Image by Everlane
About Everlane

Everlane’s ReNew Transit line of ethical travel luggage may just be our new favorite travel tote from the San Francisco brand that we already consider to be one of the best sustainable fashion brands around.

For day or overnight trips, they offer backpacks and the ReNew Tote, which is also great for shopping errands. For larger trips, the Weekender duffel, featuring a padded laptop sleeve, two water bottle holders, and multiple carry straps is the way to go. It also features a back slot for a rolling luggage handle, especially handy when you’re running to catch that flight.

With an impressive selection of ethical men’s clothing and women’s clothing alike (from frilly pajamas to formal dresses), you’ll not only have the perfect travel companion, but plenty of sustainable clothes to fill it with.

Everlane’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

The ReNew Transit collection (save for the recycled nylon tote) is made of 100% recycled polyester right down to the lining. Each bag contains 36.6 renewed plastic bottles, to be precise. The zipper pulls, too, are either recyclable metal or recycled polyester and the only virgin plastic is the zipper teeth (though they’ve hinted that they’re working on making those recycled, too).

All products in Everlane’s sustainable travel luggage collection are dyed with bluesign®-approved dyes and bear a fluorine-free water-resistant finish.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Everlane carved out their name as an ethical fashion legend in 2010 thanks to their “Radical Transparency”, referring to the fact that all product descriptions tell customers in which country and which factory it was manufactured.  Their luggage comes from the  PungKook Saigon Three Co factory in Thuận An, Vietnam.

For more manufacturing info, see their interactive factory map, complete with code of conduct and audit history.

Green business practices: 

The ReNew line, which includes more than just luggage, is Everlane’s first step toward their goal of removing all virgin plastic from production by 2021.

Community & charitable giving: 

Each year around Thanksgiving, Everlane organizes a huge give-back campaign called the Black Friday fund. For every order placed, they donate $15 to Oceana, which amounted to $300,000 in 2019. That was enough to fund their ocean plastic cleaning efforts for an entire year!

Available:  Everlane


2. SOLGAARD

Pack for the Planet with Sustainable & Eco Friendly Luggage Image by Solgaard #ecofriendlyluggage #sustainableluggage #sustainablejungle
Image by Solgaard
About Solgaard

Inspired by the remote lifestyle (and started by a fully remote team located all over the world under the name Lifepack), Solgaard aims to provide “gear for global citizens” that are just as adventurous as they themselves. 

The most notable of their eco friendly women and mens luggage and suitcases are their Carry-On Closet and Trunk Check-In Closet, equipped with a built-in lock, 360⁰ rotating wheels for easy towing, a built-in solar charger, and of course, a super sleek hard exterior. The Trunk even has pop-up internal shelving so there’s no need to unpack – yup you heard that right!  

Now there’s some travel pro eco friendly luggage.

For smaller and more versatile luggage that also stand as Solgaard’s most sustainable products, check out their Shore-Tex™ line of sustainable backpacks and sling packs, not only eco friendly but innovative with optional built-in solar panels and a boombox.

Solgaard’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Not all of Solgaard’s luggage is entirely sustainable. Both closet models bear a lining made entirely from post-consumer recycled plastic. The outer shell, however, is made of standard polycarbonate. While not a sustainable material in and of itself, they do call it “unbreakable” which is sustainable as far as durability and quality go. 

The Shore-Tex™ line is even better, as these sustainable backpacks are made entirely of recycled plastic. For this reason, they’ve been selected as a 2020 finalist in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Solgaard is now based in New York City, they don’t disclose much more about their manufacturing.  We’ve reached out to them to confirm details of their supply chain, specifically makers and suppliers and general policies around sustainability.

Green business practices: 

Solgaard backs-up the quality of their products with a 10-year warranty.

Community & charitable giving: 

Aside from using recycled plastic in some of their products, they also partner with The Plastic Bank, an ocean plastic recovery organization based in the Philippines (which employs locals). For each item sold, they remove 5 pounds of plastic trash from the ocean, totaling 75,000 pounds last year alone.

Available:   Solgaard


3. PARAVEL

Pack for the Planet with Sustainable & Eco Friendly Luggage Image by Paravel #ecofriendlyluggage #sustainableluggage #sustainablejungle
Image by Paravel
About Paravel

Paravel personifies sustainable packing solutions. With tons of luggage, hand bags, duffels, totes, packing cubes, and travel kits, Paravel will solve your packing pain. And… they’re all more or less eco friendly.

The winner of all Paravel products is their Aviator Carry On (available in either a regular or Plus size). TSA approved and equipped with “impossibly smooth” carbon steel bearing wheels and tons of efficient, space-saving features, this recycled hardshell luggage option is not just sustainable, but durable enough to handle the most careless of baggage loaders.

Paravel’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

The Aviator bags feature a fully recycled polycarbonate exterior shell, recycled PET lining made from 15 post-consumer plastic water bottles, aircraft-grade recycled aluminum telescoping handle, vegan leather-wrapped steel haul handles, and even recycled zippers.

For soft-sided stowaway bags, check out their GRS and OEKO-Tex 100 certified Negative Nylon collection which includes a fold-up bag (made of 22 bottles), fold-up backpack (made of 15 bottles), and packing cubes (made of 16 bottles).

They also make cotton canvas duffels (though not organic cotton) and various Café Totes made of 100% repurposed jute coffee bag bodies with handmade sustainable cork and natural leather handles.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

While we don’t know where Paravel manufactures, we do know their supply chain is legally held to their published Code of Social Responsibility, which includes points such as: no child or forced labor, dignity at work (i.e. no abuse or harassment), non-discrimination, fair wages, 24 consecutive hours off in a 7 day period, a healthy and safe work environment, environmental protection, and animal welfare. 

All entities must also keep records to prove all of the above so they know it’s truly ethical travel luggage.

They note where some of their recycled materials are sourced, particularly in their Cafe Totes. Many of the upcycled bags come from the Italian roaster Spiga, “noted for their traceable process and commitment to improving coffee quality and worker conditions”.

Green business practices: 

Paravel backs the lifespan of its products with a 5-year warranty and ships using carbon-neutral shipping.

Available:  Paravel


4. PAKT

Pack for the Planet with Sustainable & Eco Friendly Luggage #ecofriendlyluggage #sustainableluggage #sustainablejungle
About Pakt

Founder Malcolm Fontier had been packing away unsustainable travel products long before Pakt was a brand.  

After his discontinued Getaway bag (the precursor to the Pakt One) was featured on the documentary Minimalism (you know, the movement The Minimalists inspired), he was persuaded by hundreds of requests. 

So in 2017, he launched a crowdfunding campaign to “resurrect a cult travel bag” and the newly named Pakt was back in business.

Now Pakt sells a select range of products: a packable tote bag, a set of packing cubes, a travel backpack rain cover, and the Pakt Coffee Kit. Stay tuned for a sustainable backpack version of the Pakt One – now available after much anticipation! 

I was gifted the Pakt One to put to the travel test. Now, if you don’t know anything about me, I live in a van full time on the road, so travel is synonymous with living in my case. After using the bag to not only help me stay organized in my van but also to use when staying with friends along the way, I can honestly say the Pakt One does not disappoint.

My favorite feature of the bag is its briefcase design. I can unzip the middle and unfold the bag to conveniently access both side compartments. This makes packing and unpacking a breeze. No rummaging at the bottom of this suitcase! Thanks to this folding feature and the handy exterior zippered pockets, the 35L capacity feels much larger than say, a backpack of the same size.

The durability of the exterior is another huge pro of this bag. I opted for the Black bag, both due to its extra durable waterproof 420D nylon dobby exterior and its resistance at showing dirt. Nothing stays clean very long when you live in a van, but the Pakt One does.

This bag is lovely not just for weekend road trips, but as a gym bag or for those long days out when you have a ton of stuff with you. I would be even more thrilled to take it on some air travel (eventually…), being the perfect carry-on size.

Pakt’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

While Pakt’s materials are not sustainable in the traditional sense that we usually include, they do carefully select the best materials available to make bags that will truly last. This means water resistant 420D nylon dobby (for the more technically suited Black bag), and PU Coated polyester canvas (for the grey and blue bags). 

All of these vegan sustainable luggage options use extremely durable hardware and no PVC. They write:

“We only use modern, durable, technical materials that are animal-friendly and have the lowest possible environmental impact. We are also working to constantly improve our supply chain and products by looking for lower impact replacements for every step and every material.”

We hope to see Pakt continue toward these goals and perhaps begin incorporating more recycled fibers.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Pakt ensures “fair working conditions for factory employees”. They also work to educate each of their suppliers on ethical and sustainable business practices, as well as other companies by acting as an  “open-source” model for ethical and sustainable business practices.

Green business practices: 

The Pakt One was actually “a case study in going plastic-free with packaging”. Considering Pakt is pretty much free of single-use plastic in their supply chain, we’d say it was a pretty successful one.

For shipping, they use paper packaging and boxes designed by their sister company, SeaHive, and choose plastic-free shipping partners.

Pakt’s bags also achieve sustainability through versatility (i.e. creating a limited number of bags that serve all your needs). In combination with the fact that they only add new products after lots of careful deliberation, they do a lot to promote slow fashion and intentional consumption:

“The last thing we want to do is add more unnecessary stuff to the world. We would rather have a small line of great products where each product clearly adds value to people’s lives rather than grow the line simply because ‘that’s what companies do’.”

Did we mention their products come with a lifetime guarantee?!

Community & charitable giving: 

The efforts and experiments with plastic free shipping are actually what gave birth to SeaHive. Now, SeaHive provides plastic-free packaging solutions to a bunch of other companies also hoping to operate with the oceans in mind (the very reason Pakt started in the first place).

Available:  Pakt


5. PATAGONIA

Pack for the Planet with Sustainable & Eco Friendly Luggage Image by Patagonia #ecofriendlyluggage #sustainableluggage #sustainablejungle
Image by Patagonia
About Patagonia

Patagonia’s go-to go-bags are their famous Black Hole® Duffel, the “workhorse” of all their already work-ready outdoor packs. With tons of colors, wheeled and non-wheeled versions, and 40L, 55L, 70L, and 100L size options, you can find exactly what you need.

Their eco friendly recycled luggage also features a padded base to protect your belongings, exterior daisy chains for lashing extra gear to the outside, reinforced haul handles, the ability to stow-away into its own internal pocket, and removable padded shoulder straps that turn your duffel into a backpack.  

In addition to the duffels, the Black Hole® collection includes backpacks, fanny packs, totes, and even packing cubes to completely round out your sustainable travel needs and help you craft the perfect eco friendly luggage set.

Patagonia’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

All Patagonia Black Hole® bags are made of 100% recycled polyester ripstop coated with TPU-film laminate making these bags super weather and damage resistant. The interior lining is also 100% recycled polyester with polyurethane coating. Even the straps and webbings are made of (you guessed it) recycled poly.

Fully bluesign® approved, PVC-free, and phthalate-free.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Patagonia is one of the most transparent companies around. Just ask Fashion Revolution’s Fashion Transparency Index, where they’ve ranked in the top tier for the last few years, scoring 70% last year.

This transparency manifests in their The Footprint Chronicles, which tells consumers exactly what factory in what country each product was made (along with more factory details). The Black Hole® line is all made in Vietnam.

Patagonia is also a Fair Trade certified brand, so all manufacturing partners abide by fair labor laws and are subject to regular third parties audits.

Green business practices: 

Patagonia’s green initiatives are plentiful…and the increasing % of garments using recycled fabrics, for that matter (72% by the way).

The Black Hole® bags specifically are made using a Zero-Wastewater Discharging System that treats all water used in the process until it’s completely non-toxic.

When it comes to shipping, they use partially recycled polybags that are recyclable in any of their stores to be turned into decking. They know that’s still not ideal, however, which is why they’re testing various biodegradable and paper-based options.

Community & charitable giving: 

Aside from founding 1% for the Planet (of which we’re proud members too, and so many of the best sustainable fashion brands have also joined), Patagonia gives back on many levels, from encouraging others to get involved with their Patagonia Action Works to fighting for the planet on a political level.

They’re also big on educating and promoting ethical business practices and corporate responsibility beyond their own practices. No secrets involved here, because they want other brands to replicate what they’re doing. For more on their business philosophy, read CEO Yvon Chouinard’s memoir Let My People Go Surfing.

Available:  Patagonia


6. UNITED BY BLUE

Pack for the Planet with Sustainable & Eco Friendly Luggage Image by United by Blue #ecofriendlyluggage #sustainableluggage #sustainablejungle
Image by United by Blue
About United By Blue

Another sustainable outdoor brand, United By Blue is out to show that “change comes in waves.”  

Whether you’re riding actual waves in their sustainable swimwear or an airplane with their eco friendly carry on luggage, this certified B-Corp’s goal is to make your adventures a little more environmentally sound.

Depending on your travel style, they offer a selective range of colorful duffels, like the Carry On 55L duffel or Westward 35L duffel, and TSA-compliant backpacks. While extended travel options are not their forte, these would be great for shorter trips or in conjunction with a larger piece of luggage.

United By Blue’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Just as United By Blue uses a host of sustainable materials and signature fabric innovations for their clothing, their backpacks and duffels are sustainably crafted out of 100% recycled polyester and vegetable-tanned leather accents. They also use vegetable dyes. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Despite their wide product range, they manufacture in only 7 factories across Turkey, China, Vietnam, and the USA.  All have at least one certification (GOTS, OCS, and/or Fair Trade).

Their sustainable carry on luggage duffels are “responsibly made in Vietnam”. They were also named B-Corp’s ‘Best for the World Honoree’ three years running with a high impact score.

Green business practices: 

Aside from offering a Lifetime Guarantee for their durable products, United By Blue is committed to seeing constant improvement on their yearly Impact Report.  

Their current green initiative is removing single-use plastics from all company operations, with target dates for eliminating things like poly bags, hang tags, trim bags, fabric roll packaging, office plastic, shrink and bubble wrap, and plastic tape. By selling everyday reusable products, they encourage customers to #QuitSingleUse, too.

Community & charitable giving: 

Out “to prove that a for-profit company could do serious, dirty conservation work”, United By Blue donates enough money to remove one pound of trash from the ocean for every product sold. Between that and organizing their own beach cleanups, they’ve helped remove over 3 million pounds and counting.

Available:  United By Blue


7. LO & SONS

Pack for the Planet with Sustainable & Eco Friendly Luggage Image by Lo & Sons #ecofriendlyluggage #sustainableluggage #sustainablejungle
Image by Lo & Sons
About Lo & Sons

This family-run ethical luggage brand was founded by Helen Lo (you’ll want to give her fascinating story a read, trust us) and is at the cutting edge of sustainable progress (even if they aren’t perfect yet).

Lo & Sons most sustainable offerings are their Catalina Deluxe, Catalina Deluxe Tote, and the Catalina Day Tote. While differing in size, these bags feature a functional top-loading design, back slot to secure it on rolling luggage handles, and a rigid base that opens into its own lined compartment for hardier items like shoes. 

The hundreds of stellar reviews speak for themselves. For weekend getaways and short business trips, the Catalina products are easily some of the best sustainable carry on luggage we’ve found. 

We love their brand ethos:

For us, it’s not enough to “do no harm” when it comes to environmental impact. We are part of a growing movement that believes businesses can actually lead the way in reversing environmental damage and creating innovative solutions.”

Lo & Sons’ Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

These bags give you a choice between three different outer materials: 

1) Recycled polyester made of plastic bottles, at 600D and 1200D thickness giving it water-resistant and super durable properties. Each bag saved about 2.5 lbs of CO2 compared to regular poly, totaling 41,880 pounds of reduced emissions last year. To date, they’ve recycled 1,687,249 bottles.

2) Organic cotton canvas

3) Nappa leather, which will soon be 100% certified by the Leather Working Group with their silver-rated status.

All three come with the same signature hummingbird lining made of 50% recycled materials.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Lo & Sons is working on becoming B-Corp certified, but as current members of the Future Fit Changemaker Community, they already work to eliminate social issues and ensure fair labor practices. 

They’re even in the process of partnering with a small solar-powered domestic workshop for a capsule collection of ethical luggage that’s USA-made.

Green business practices: 

With plans to start using biodegradable poly shipping bags, this Future Fit Business is working to minimize their environmental impact. For instance, they moved most production to a solar-powered facility with a Water-Reclamation-System, which converts wastewater to drinkable clean water.

Since partnering with The Renewal Workshop, they now have the means to repair and renew damaged bags, already saving over 5,000 pounds of waste from landfills in just half a year. Track their progress in the most recent Sustainability Report.

Community & charitable giving: 

Lo & Sons gives back to the environment through partnerships with their local Brooklyn Bridge Park and EcoHealth Alliance.

Available:  Lo & Sons


8. SAMSONITE

Pack for the Planet with Sustainable & Eco Friendly Luggage Image by Samsonite #ecofriendlyluggage #sustainableluggage #sustainablejungle
Image by Samsonite
About Samsonite

By far the oldest brand on our list, Samsonite has been in the luggage industry for over 100 years.  

Our focus is their Eco-Nu line, with five rolling luggage options if you need something specific or a full eco friendly luggage set. 

For light packers, they have a simple eco friendly carry on luggage option. For you “everything but the kitchen sink” travelers, the spacious 68L capacity of their Extra Large Expandable Spinner might be more your speed.

Samsonite’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

The Eco-Nu line is made of Recyclex™, a 100% recycled PET plastic fabric that’s durable and flexible. It’s combined with cotton inlays coated with a water and stain-resistant vinyl acetate copolymer coating.

Across its global product line, Samsonite has launched 21 collections using Recyclex™ in some capacity. They estimate a saving of 30 million plastic bottles from landfills as a result.

If you live in Europe, you have the added choice of their S’Cure Eco (a hardshell rolling suitcase line made of 85% post-industrial recycled polypropylene – leftover scraps from making their other hard suitcases).

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Samsonite writes, “The wellbeing of our people is of paramount importance[…] they are our greatest asset and we treat them as such.” Aside from safe workplaces and fair wages, they strive to provide their 14,400 employees with equal employment and meaningful development opportunities through training and professional development to help their employees thrive.

They have a Code of Conduct and Social Compliance Program holding all suppliers to equal standards. They perform unannounced, on-site audits (both personally and by independent third parties).

In the name of transparency, they’ve publish all of their Environmental, Social, and Governance reports.

Green business practices: 

As all luggage should be, Samsonite’s are rigorously tested to last the tough world of airplane underbellies and baggage belts. That’s why they come with long warranties and a company repair promise.

For packaging, they use mostly recycled and recyclable materials, though they aren’t yet plastic free. Still, they continue to invest in researching better options.

They also reduce their carbon emissions by installing rooftop solar voltaic panels on two of their manufacturing sites, replacing structural components to increase thermal efficiency of their Hungary factory, and switching to low energy LED lighting in their stores and offices.

Community & charitable giving: 

Through their CITYPAK program, Samsonite donates backpacks to orphaned children in Indonesia, teachers in rural South Africa, and the homeless in America.

They also support mental health organizations such as Crisis Text Line and plant hundreds of thousands of trees every year in an effort to negate the impact of deforestation.

Available: Samsonite


9. TUMI

Pack for the Planet with Sustainable & Eco Friendly Luggage Image by TUMI #ecofriendlyluggage #sustainableluggage #sustainablejungle
Image by TUMI
About TUMI

Founded in 1975, TUMI focuses on “three main areas: promoting wellbeing; empowering vulnerable communities; and protecting the earth’s beautiful places.” It’s fitting that their former Peace Corp founder named the brand after the Peruvian Incan knife used in rituals to honor the sun god.

But instead of animal sacrifices, TUMI honors the natural world by creating a vast selection of eco friendly recycled luggage

While not all their products are such, their Recycled Collection is made up of several smaller ones depending on your travel needs. Shop the carry-on and full-sized rolling luggage in the Merge and Alpha Bravo collections, and the totes and backpacks in the Devoe collection. You can even get complimentary monogramming to make your suitcase stand out at baggage claim.

TUMI’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

TUMI makes it easy to shop by their range of materials, under categories such as hardside, ballistic nylon, nylon, fabric, and leather. Just about all products are PVC-free.

But the fabric options are what we’re mostly looking at, as that’s what their recycled collections fall into. These bags feature post-industrial recycled nylon outers and post-consumer PET linings, zipper tape, webbing, and binding… which has helped them divert almost 100,000 plastic bottles from landfills.

Most collections also feature a water-based polyurethane coating (which results in fewer contaminants in the water supply) and recycled zinc hardware.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

 As per their modern slavery statement, TUMI has a zero-tolerance policy for modern slavery, which “represents some of the gravest forms of human rights abuse”.  To protect against it, they have Standards of Engagement (aka a supplier code of conduct) in place to ensure a “thriving supply chain”.

Green business practices: 

TUMI writes, “Sustainability affects all of our operations and so we’ve created a roadmap to help us on the journey. It has four areas: Innovative Products, Carbon Action, Thriving Supply Chains, People Focused.”

TUMI starts striving toward sustainability by creating products built to last.  Each design undergoes 30 performance tests on things like zipper tensile strength, mileage cycle of the wheels, handle jerk strength, and the “tumble test” which required loaded bags to pass 125 cycles in a tumbler without breaking (whereas average luggage breaks between 15 and 60 cycles).

In the unlikely event that something does happen to your TUMI, they repair it, either immediately in-store for minor repairs or online. If any damage (even normal wear and tear from rough airplane handling) happens in the first 12 months, they repair it FREE right down to the shipping.

They also have a TUMI Tracer® product recovery program, are working toward the goal of using 100% renewable energy by 2025,  and use recycled paper hang tags with soy-based inks.

Community & charitable giving: 

They’ve partnered with the St Jude Thanks and Giving® for the last decade. But most recently, they’ve expanded their philanthropic efforts by providing clean water solutions to those in need through Waves for Water and rebuilding schools in areas impacted by natural disasters through All Hands and Hearts.

Available:  TUMI


10. OGIO

Pack for the Planet with Sustainable & Eco Friendly Luggage Image by OGIO #ecofriendlyluggage #sustainableluggage #sustainablejungle
Image by OGIO
About OGIO

OGIO is in part an environmentally friendly luggage brand with a selection size that rivals that of their bags.  They sell rolling luggage, duffels, backpacks, totes, and even golf bags, all of which bear at least some degree recycled plastic.  

However, only their ALPHA Convoy collection takes “discarded to durable” to the extreme with fully recycled Cordura fabric built for rugged trips and rough handling.  

More than a bag for the adventure-inclined, they also bear all the features necessary for the modern traveler, such as built-in laptop sleeves and a Modular Organizational Design (or MOD) storage system which allows you to add or remove storage inside or outside the bag.

While they do have some flashier options, most are basic colored and especially geared toward satisfying sustainable men’s luggage and suitcases needs.

OGIO’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

All Alpha Convoy bags are made of 600D and 1200D (short for denier, meaning it boasts incredible abrasion resistance) Cordura® Eco polyester.

It’s made from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic water bottles which are cleaned, ground into flakes, melted and spun into high-tenacity yarn to make the final fabric. Each rolling luggage contains anywhere from 32-41 bottles.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

OGIO is owned by parent company Callaway Golf, and thus all their supply chain regulations stem directly down from overall conglomerate policies.  Callaway has both a Company Code of Conduct and Supplier Code of Conduct in place “designed to educate our suppliers about the importance of providing safe working conditions, treating workers with respect and using responsible manufacturing processes”.

They verify compliance through regular supplier assessment questionnaires (aka self-audits) and biennial third-party audits.

Any minerals and metals are acquired through Conflict Free Sourcing.

Green business practices: 

According to design director Jeff Rang, “Durability has always been a major design pillar for OGIO, and this fabric exceeds our expectations. Sustainability and the recycled content used in this collection creates a new pillar for us, and we will keep building upon that eco premise.”

They offer a lifetime warranty to back up these durability claims.

Available:  OGIO


11. PARKER CLAY

Pack for the Planet with Sustainable & Eco Friendly Luggage Image by Parker Clay #ecofriendlyluggage #sustainableluggage #sustainablejungle
Image by Parker Clay
About Parker Clay

Parker Clay creates leather hand luggage for men and women that are “built for adventure and styled for the city”. 

Their luxurious eco friendly luggage (which includes mostly carry-on options like weekender duffels, tablet and laptop cases, handbags, crossbody bags, backpacks, and totes) may not come cheap, but think of it as an investment, not just in the planet, but to the future family you might pass it down to… that’s how long they’re designed to last!

This Certified B-Corp states outright, “We believe that Parker Clay bags are the most ethical handbags made.”

Every purchase invests in the Ethiopian communities in which they are made. You see, Ethiopia is near and dear to co-founding couple Brittany and Ian. They adopted their two daughters from Ethiopia and even moved there for three years.

Parker Clay’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Parker Clay’s ethical hand luggage is made from premium Ethiopian full grain “sustainable leather”.  But wait, leather is not a sustainable fabric?

In most cases, that’s correct, and we wouldn’t normally include a real leather option but Parker Clay do all they can to mitigate its harm by first sourcing their leather from local Ethiopian farmers “who treat their animals with care and respect” and are raised for food (so the hide is just a would-be-wasted byproduct of Africa’s largest cattle industry). 

Part of the Green Tannin Initiative, Parker Clay uses traditional Chrome and sulfide-free tanning practices. While not all their tanning is natural yet, they’re using a majority of organic vegetable based dyes.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

 In the words of Parker Clay artisan Zewditu, “Buying a bag can change someone’s entire life.”

Designed in California and ethically made in their own factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this brand provides pensions, health care, paid time off, transportation to and from work, laundry services, and even daily team coffee breaks. 

They even started the Parker Clay Center of Excellence for skill training, which graduated employees as experts in artisan practices certified by the Ethiopian Leather Industries Development Institute (LIDI) to give employees job prospects beyond Parker Clay.

They pay fair trade wages to leather farmers and their salaried artisans are paid over twice that of typical local jobs, with regular adjustments based on their “Basket of Goods” cost of living assessments. All labor contracts are based on the USD to protect from currency devaluation.

Parker Clay empowers women with professional skills and dignified work. With the help of their sister non-profit Ellilta-Women At Risk, they employ most local women who have been impacted by the sex trade, 46% of whom have never had sustainable employment.

“Our products are hand made by exceptionally skilled artisans, not by machine. […] Each of our bags represents the skills of a gifted crafter whose hard work is a statement of human artistry and dignity, a statement that people can lift themselves out of poverty.”

Green business practices: 

These bags are designed for long term durability… apparently multigenerational durability! They “want your Parker Clay bag to be passed down in your family. Fashion should not be disposable but treasured.” Here’s CEO Ian Bentley’s TEDx Talk on conscious consumerism.

They also hold their tanneries to high environmental standards and require them to recycle all the water used in the tanning process.

Community & charitable giving: 

Upon joining the Green Legacy Challenge to plant 5 billion trees in Ethiopia, Parker Clay committed to planting 5,000 of those.

Available:  Parker Clay


HOW WE CHOSE THESE SUSTAINABLE LUGGAGE BRANDS

While sustainable luggage is more function than fashion, our criteria we typically use to judge sustainable clothing against is still appropriate for this category of product. In short:

Materials:

The challenge with finding eco friendly luggage and suitcases is balancing inherently sustainable materials with durable ones. Things like organic cotton just won’t stand up to being tossed around in baggage claim. That means we primarily resort to recycled synthetics. 

Ideally, the bags were 100% recycled, but we still considered some virgin synthetics if the brand demonstrated dedication to ensure the durability and versatility of the bag. In other words, we really wanted to see bags made of materials designed to last for life. These items should be a one off purchase. 

Some bags also have coatings to give them weather and stain resistance, and here we looked for eco friendly, polyurethane coatings, rather than PVC ones (the most environmentally damaging plastic BTW).

Supply chain & labor practices:

We also sought out ethical luggage brands, or those that responsibly manage their entire supply chain, ensuring fair wages and safe, non-abusive working conditions throughout.  In addition to those fair trade manufacturing basics, it’s nice to see additional benefits granted to employees like transportation, healthcare, retirement funds, training for professional advancement, and the like. 

To prevent greenwashing in this department, we look for companies that are transparent, disclosing as many details about their production as possible. Third-party certifications are sort of the holy grail of reassurance.  These include certifications from Fair Trade, B-Corp, WRAP, among many others popping up nowadays.

Green business practices:

Aside from using long lasting, sustainable materials, there are lots of things a brand can do to minimize their environmental harm. These things include (but are certainly not limited to): buying carbon offsets, using renewable energy, employing ways to reduce and reuse production waste, offer product recycling and repair services, using compostable and plastic-free packaging, and shipping as sustainably as possible.

Charitable endeavors:

A little bit of selfless do-gooding can travel a long way in our passport book. We try to prioritize brands that give back beyond themselves. That might mean donating money, planting trees, volunteering, or even organizing events like a beach cleanup.


FINAL THOUGHTS ON The Best ECO FRIENDLY LUGGAGE

If you’re like us, after reading this you’re probably itching to buy a bag and book an air ticket.

But hold the plane for a second: First, let’s take that luggage on a trip down memory lane with some oft-quoted eco-wisdom we can’t help but give. Remember to only upgrade to first class environmentally friendly luggage when you really need it. After all, the best eco friendly luggage is the one that’s still under your bed.

It’s also worth checking out second-hand luggage before buying new. It will save you money and give a perfectly good tote a different destination besides the landfill. Check out these online thrift stores for some gems. 

If you do buy new though, consider supporting one of these sustainable luggage brands who are trying to do the right thing by our planet. 

Now, you can plan that dream vacation. Zero waste travel tips down?  Check. Sustainable luggage? Check. Carbon offsets? Check. Look like you’re jet set for sustainability!

And since vacations are always more fun with friends, be sure to share this list with a few if you found it helpful. Oh and before you jump aboard, let us know if we missed any great brands in the comments below.


Pack for the Planet with Sustainable & Eco Friendly Luggage Image by Pakt #ecofriendlyluggage #sustainableluggage #sustainablejungle

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