From carbon emissions to plastic waste, travel has an undeniable environmental impact. Luckily, our wanderlust ways can be mitigated, and it starts with what we pack – or in this instance, our suitcases!

Buying eco-friendly travel bags from ethical luggage brands not only reduces the carbon footprint of your trip, but it supports a kinder treatment of people and the planet – whether it’s responsibly sourced materials, ethical supply chains or less waste in landfills. 

Sustainable luggage is practical, versatile and lasts a lifetime. You only need to buy once and you’re set. 

So, want to pack a lighter footprint? Keep reading to discover why eco-friendly bags are essential to a low-impact trip and find my tried and tested top picks for the best bags of the year!

The best eco-friendly and ethical luggage brands

Eco-friendly travel bags comparison table 

11 best eco-friendly travel bags 2024

Here are the best eco-friendly bags for all your travel needs. Whether you’re backpacking, hiking, or going on a weekend city break, there’s a travel bag for every occasion. 

Each one has been chosen for its eco-credentials, durable design and practicality. There is a range of price points to browse too. 

1. Osprey Europe Fairview & Farpoint

Osprey champions durable backpacks that last no matter where your travels take you. The Fairview 40 backpack (Farpoint for men) has been my long-term favourite backpack for years now. 

I always use it as a carry-on bag. I took it on a three-week trip to Costa Rica and it made travelling so much easier thanks to it being compact and lightweight. 

This OG and bestselling bag of Osprey’s ethical luggage line has size dimensions (55H X 35W X 23D CM) that are well-suited to carry-on requirements for most airlines. 

It’s NOT suitable for budget airlines like Wizzair or Ryanair though. 

The backpack features a suitcase-style opening and can fit a couple of packing cubes in the main compartment (I use Travel Dude compression cubes to maximise space). 

It also has a comfortable stowaway backpanel, backpack straps and a grab handle on the side so you can carry it in multiple ways—no tension headaches with this one. 

Plus, roomy inside pockets and a well-padded laptop sleeve allow you to carry electronics securely. 

Editor’s tip: Need more space? The Fairview & Farpoint backpacks go up to 55, 70 and 80. They also have a wheeled carry-on and daypack.

Ethical and sustainable practices

Materials: 

Osprey’s Fairview & Farpoint series has had an exciting new makeover with an improved sleek design and eco-friendly materials. 

The bag is made from bluesign® approved 450D recycled twist dobby polyester. Everything from plastic bottles to plastic manufacturing materials is woven together to create a durable, weatherproof material. 

Osprey’s eco-friendly features don’t stop there. They use a PFAS-free Durable Water Repellent coating to waterproof the materials.

Supply chain: 

Osprey has partnered with the Worldwide Ethical Alliance to ensure factory audits are performed with transparency and compliance. 

Charity work:

Osprey is a member of the European Outdoor Conservation Association. One project it supported included clearing barbed wire from fragile mountain habitats across Europe. 

2. Tropicfeel Nook 

Tropicfeel makes smart backpacks; the kind that have clever pockets and pouches that allow you to maximise space as much as possible. 

I recently bought their Nook backpack as my old pack was getting a bit battered. It’s a cleverly constructed bag which can go from 14-34L depending on how you expand it. 

Ideal for weekends away or everyday commutes, the backpack features a top-opening compartment for clothes and an organised back compartment which can fit a laptop or other items. 

The bottom of the bag has a hidden pouch which can be pulled out for extra storage. I will note that you’re better off using the bag’s packing cubes (extra add-on) rather than your own as they have dimensions which fit better. 

The bag isn’t as flexible as I like (I tend to overstuff), but without the add-ons, it can fit as a carry-on bag for budget airlines as its dimensions are Height: 44cm, Width: 28cm, Depth: 14cm. I love that you can make this bag entirely your own though with its customisable storage pouches and pockets.

Editor’s tip: Tropicfeel does bigger backpacks for longer trips. Check out their Shelter and Shell series. 

Ethical and sustainable practices  

Materials: 

Tropicfeel’s backpacks are made from recycled polyester from plastic bottles. Some bags also contain recycled nylon. They work with bluesign and Global Recycled Standard suppliers. 

They do use Durable Water Repellant coating on their bags but I couldn’t verify if it was PFAS-free or not. 

Supply chain:

The brand is transparent about its supply chain. They collaborate with Retraced to show you every step of the product’s production process and all suppliers must meet their code of ethics. 

Their bags are made by a long-term ethical supplier in Vietnam.

3. Paravel Aviator Grand

Paravel checked luggage suitcase.

Paravel is here to make your sustainable packing a breeze. It has got everything from duffels to suitcases. If you’re unsure, you can take their quiz to help you find the bag for you. 

For a sophisticated eco-friendly suitcase, the hands-down winner is the Aviator Grand. Designed for checked luggage (although you can get carry-on sizes in the same set!), the Aviator has an ‘impossibly smooth’ steel bearing and a ‘scuff-hiding’ finish to handle whatever your travels throw at it.

It’s also TSA-approved and equipped with plenty of space-saving pockets and interior compression if you tend to overpack. 

Better still? The Aviator is completely carbon-neutral. An additional .33 tonnes of carbon emissions are donated to help offset your first trip with it in tow too. 

Ethical and sustainable practices  

Materials: 

The Aviator is a stylish recycled suitcase with a durable recycled polycarbonate exterior shell. The lining is made from no less than 21 recycled plastic bottles. 

Its handle is made from recycled, aircraft-grade aluminium and even its zips are recycled. All leather-style detailing is vegan. 

Supply chain:

Paravel maintains a published Code of Social Responsibility that covers topics such as no child or forced labour, a dignified workplace, fair wages and environmental protection. 

All suppliers must also keep an on-site record and be willing to undergo inspections to prove that they make ethical travel bags. 

Charity work: 

All carbon offsets support a wind farm project in Rajasthan, India, through Gold Standard. Money goes towards renewable energy, stable jobs, clean water, healthcare and education. 

4. Kovered Eden Backpack

Kovered’s sustainable travel bags are utterly beautiful. The brand does the wax canvas style to an absolute T and each one is expertly crafted to the highest quality. What’s more, you can choose from a range of messenger bags, holdalls and backpacks to suit you. 

The travel bag I want to highlight from Kovered isn’t a wax canvas style, however. It’s a fairly simple-looking backpack but it’s become my absolute go-to for short trips away. I always use it on budget airlines. I took it on a winter trip to Georgia and managed to pack a week’s worth of winter clothes!

Called Eden, the bag is made from hard-wearing vinyl material. It has a 14-litre capacity and I can confirm it’s very roomy. Paired with a space-saving packing cube, I was able to squeeze in everything for a week-long trip – including high heels! 

The bag has a sleeve big enough for a 17-inch laptop. I can fit my laptop case inside it without a problem. The compartment is useful for clothing too when I’m not taking my laptop.

It has generous pockets on the inside and outside which I tend to fill with electronics and toiletries. I keep my liquids in the front pouch for easy access when going through airport security. 

At less than £60, this bag is an absolute steal. The only downside is that it’s highly sought-after and frequently sold out. Read my full review here.

Editor’s tip: It looks like Kovered has paused Eden for now. I hope it comes back soon but in the meantime, I recommend taking a look at their new Arrow backpack which is a similar design to Eden but just with a roll-top and different laptop compartment.

Ethical and sustainable practices 

Materials: 

The Eden backpack is made from hard-wearing vinyl material. Although it’s water-resistant, it’s not 100% waterproof so it’s worth bearing in mind!

While the vinyl material is perhaps not as sustainable as the canvas bags, it’s sturdy and long-lasting. Plus Kovered works to ensure it doesn’t overproduce products so no stock is wasted. The bag is vegan-friendly too. 

Their new Arrow backpack features bluesign-approved recycled polyester and recycled ballistic nylon. All recycled materials meet their Recycled Claims Standard.

Supply chain: 

Craftsmanship is a core part of the brand. Kovered works closely with a select few manufacturing partners in the UK as well as China and Vietnam to ensure trust, traceability, and long-term partnerships within the supply chain.

5. Patagonia Black Hole Duffel

Patagonia Black Hole duffel bag with a fish pattern on it.

A leader in eco-friendly outdoor gear, Patagonia’s famous Black Hole® duffel bags are a fan favourite for their durability and stylish design. 

There is a range of duffel sizes to suit your needs from 26L up to 100L. You also have plenty of colours to choose from on top of wheeled and non-wheeled versions. 

These eco-friendly duffel bags have a roomy main compartment. You’ve also got zippered pockets and interior mesh pockets to stash smaller items. 

Wheeled duffels have reinforced haul handles whereas the non-wheeled versions have padded removable shoulder straps to carry the bag like a backpack. 

The Black Hole® range has packing cubes to backpacks for a complete collection of sustainable luggage. 

Ethical and sustainable practices  

Materials: 

All Black Hole® bags are made from durable 100% recycled polyester ripstop. Their TPU-film laminate coating makes the bags exceptionally weather and rip-resistant, making it a good option if you’re in the market for a sustainable waterproof holdall.

The lining is made from 100% recycled polyester with a tough polyurethane coating. 

Supply chain: 

According to Fashion Revolution’s Fashion Transparency Index, Patagonia is one of only five brands to publish a ‘time-bound measurable roadmap’ for achieving a fair wage for all their workers across every supply chain. 

Its goal is to get 100% of apparel products made in factories that pay a living wage by 2025. Now that’s an ethical duffel bag you can trust!

Charity work: 

On top of being a 1% For The Planet member, Patagonia encourages consumers to get involved with the Action Works projects that fight for the planet on a political level. 

Plus, Founder Yvon Chouinard has given away all of the company’s profits to fight climate change and protect undeveloped land around the world. Now that’s commitment!

6. Eastpak Resist Waste Backpack

Blue and black Eastpak Resist Waste backpack made from fabric scraps.

Another sustainable luggage brand, Eastpak has an extensive range of bags from backpacks to suitcases. However, it recently stepped up a notch with its new eco-conscious collection. 

Eastpak’s Resist Waste collection uses leftover materials and surplus fabrics to create eco-friendly backpacks that prevent scraps from being incinerated or sent to landfills. 

The collection upcycles excess materials into bright designs with an impressive 0% waste. 

The Resist Waste backpack makes a handy daypack when you want something light to travel with. It’s a good choice if you want sustainable carry-on luggage that gets past budget airline bag allowances.

With a 30-year warranty to boot, you can be sure they’re made to last too. 

Ethical and sustainable practices  

Materials: 

The Resist Waste collection is made from 100% surplus nylon and polyester. 

Supply chain: 

Eastpak is owned by parent company VF Corporation which is committed to making positive changes throughout supply chains through its Made to Change initiative. You can read about that here. 

Charity work: 

The brand supports Depaul International, a charity working to end homelessness. 

7. Fjallraven Splitpack Large

Fjallraven splitpack backpack in green with a fox logo.

Ethical Swedish luggage brand, Fjallraven’s signature Kanken backpacks are legendary. They also have gear for hiking and backpacking from daypacks to travel bags and everything in between. 

A favourite sustainable travel bag of theirs is the Splitpack Large. This versatile bag is somewhere between a duffel and a backpack, making it easy to carry and offering two equally sized compartments. Perfect for organising. 

The 55-litre bag also has comfortable shoulder straps and a padded back to make it extra sturdy. Ideal for a weekend away or longer trips, this bag can also be padlocked to keep your belongings safe. 

Editor’s tip: For even more eco-luggage options, browse Fjallraven’s Samlaren Collection. It’s a limited edition series of bags and more made out of leftover fabrics!

Ethical and sustainable practices 

Materials: 

Fjallraven’s eco-travel bags reflect its brand ethos to ‘consider nature when we design.’ The Splitpack is made from robust G-1000 HeavyDuty Eco, which is a combination of recycled and organic cotton and a polyamide lining. 

The bag is water-resistant with Greenland Wax, made from paraffin and beeswax rather than toxic PFCs. 

All of Fjallraven’s products are designed to last. If there’s any damage, you can use its Care and Repair scheme. 

Supply chain: 

Fjallraven is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and Fair Labor Association, organisations that tackle environmental and social issues caused by the industry. 

Charity work: 

Fjallraven supports renewable energy projects by offsetting some of its unavoidable carbon emissions through the Gold Standard. 

8. Home of Millican Miles The Duffle

Home of Millican Miles The Duffle backpack in slate blue. one of the best eco-friendly travel bags.

If you want a ‘workhorse for modern life’ that takes you from overnight getaways to long-distance journeys, check out the ethical luggage brand, Home of Millican. 

It has daypacks in every colour, but Miles The Duffle is my favourite. The duffel-backpack hybrid has removable shoulder straps so you can carry it whichever way feels most comfortable. 

Underneath its outer shell, it has an easy-access external laptop sleeve (18 inches), a lockable hidden external zip pocket for valuables and a secure internal pocket. 

It has a fairly soft exterior save for the back but with compression straps, you can squeeze it down so it doesn’t get baggy (and fits most airline requirements). There are plenty of colours and styles to choose from so it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a sustainable duffel bag!

Ethical and sustainable practices  

Materials: 

All bags are made from 100% RPET polyester made from recycled plastic. This cuts energy by 50%, saves 20% of water and reduces air pollution by 60%. 

Every 1kg of RPET fabric prevents 60 plastic water bottles from going to landfills. 

All wastewater from dyes is cleaned of contaminants using bluesign-approved dyestuffs. 

Supply chain: 

House of Millican only works with suppliers that share its ethical values. 

Its fabric producer is a bluesign System Partner in Daehyun/Busung South Korea. The bags are made in Outdoor Park Vina in Vietnam. 

Charity work: 

As part of its Re-Home Your Bag project, the brand invited customers to send in old bags to be repaired and given to someone in need through charities like Action 4 Conservation. 

9. SALKAN The Backpacker

SALKAN The Backpacker. Main pack with a daypack hooked onto it.

If SALKAN’s reviews are anything to go by, its backpacks are a favourite in the travel community. Indie Traveller, The Independent and GQ all seem to think so. 

So what’s the secret to its success? Customisation and flexibility. Its travel bag, The Backpacker is a 45L backpack with a detachable 20L daypack on the front. You can also customise the entire set to suit your style. 

The sizing is flexible and can be adjusted to your height. You’ve also got a lot of pockets to make use of, including a laptop sleeve (15 inches), expandable side pockets and top and front access so you can easily pack and reach your belongings. 

It also comes with a laundry sling so you can separate dirty from clean without the hassle!

Ethical and sustainable practices  

Materials: 

The Backpacker is a practical travel bag, but its eco-friendly materials aren’t quite there yet (watch this space). 

While SALKAN’s goal is to close the loop, in the meantime, it’s taken the lifetime guarantee approach by making bags that last. Its motto is ‘buy well, buy once.’ 

You can also send in your bag to be repaired or if it’s too far gone, it’ll use the materials in other bags and you’ll get a discount on a new one. 

Supply chain: 

I’m yet to find any information about their supply chain. I will update this as soon as I know. 

Charity work: 

SALKAN is a member of 1% For The Planet.

10. Elvis & Kresse Weekend Bag

Elvis & Kresse fire-hose weekender bag in red.

Elvis & Kresse is an expert at combining luxury with sustainability. Its eco-friendly bags aren’t exactly budget-friendly – but consider them an investment that offers a lifetime of use. 

You’re also doing the planet a favour. Each bag has been made out of decommissioned fire hoses and waste leather offcuts that would have otherwise been sent to landfills. 

Its fire-hose Weekend Bag is so iconic that it’s part of a permanent collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Sporting a choice of four styles, this unique recycled weekend bag is hard not to fall in love with. 

Complete with three internal pockets, an external pocket and padded straps, you can wear this bag either on your arm or sling it over your shoulder when you’ve got a train to catch. 

Check out my ethical gift guide to find more travel essentials from Elvis & Kresse!

Ethical and sustainable practices

Materials: 

This sustainable weekend bag is made from genuine decommissioned British fire hoses or reclaimed printing blankets. 

The lining is reclaimed military-grade parachute silk and rescued Burberry textiles. It’s also water-resistant, wipe-clean and vegan. 

Supply chain: 

Elvis & Kresse is a certified Living Wage Employer. It’s also a founding UK BCorp and certified Social Enterprise. 

Its products are either made in its workshop in Kent or in Istanbul, Turkey. All staff are paid well and treated fairly. 

Charity work: 

50% of profits from the fire hose collection are donated to The Firefighters Charity. 

11. Sandqvist Milton Duffel

Milton weekender bag fom Sandqvist in olive.

The Swedish brand Sandqvist has become known for its well-crafted, design-led and environmentally-friendly bags. 

Its eco-friendly luggage takes the form of Weekend Bags which include duffels and backpacks. The Milton duffel can carry up to 30L either using the handles or sling over your shoulder with its adjustable shoulder strap.

The eco-friendly holdall has a main compartment to fit all your clothes for the weekend. You can also use the inner mesh pocket and external zipper pocket for smaller items you want to reach easily.  Compression straps at the sides help you with tricky airline luggage allowances so you can make the most of the space. In black, it’s a very stylish eco duffel bag too! 

Milton can be used as a carry-on but if you’re looking for smaller sustainable carry-on luggage, check out the roll-top Konrad with reflective webbing to keep you visible at night.

Ethical and sustainable practices  

Materials: 

Sandqvist’s bags are made from organic cotton, recycled polyester and recycled nylon. It only uses leather from cattle bred for meat production in accordance with strict animal welfare standards. 

The Milton is fabricated from water-resistant Cordura® EcoMade polyester made from 40% recycled polyester.

Supply chain: 

It’s a member of the Fair Wear Foundation and it ensures every supplier it works with abides by the Foundation’s Code of Labour Practices. 

It shares information on who makes its bags and where which you can read here. 

Charity work: 

Sandqvist has donated its bags to a number of Swedish charities over the years. 

One such project was the Style it Forward & The Hunger Project, a pop-up where all proceeds were donated to support women in Africa, Asia and Latin America. 

Tips on choosing eco-friendly luggage brands  

Blue tropicfeel shell bag on a colourful orange patterned rug.

When it comes to buying the right bag, you don’t necessarily need to compromise on style for functionality. 

Below are the key criteria to take into consideration:  

Materials 

Durability is key to eco-friendly luggage. You don’t want something that’s easily damaged if tossed around in transit. 

This is where recycled synthetic materials come in handy. They’re more sustainable than virgin synthetics because they require less energy and reuse otherwise wasted resources.  

Bags made from virgin synthetic materials can still be considered eco-friendly as long as they’re designed to be a one-off purchase that lasts for life. 

Bags with a weatherproof coating should use wax or polyurethane as they’re kinder to the planet than PVC or PFCs. 

Supply chain 

The best eco bags are transparent about their supply chain. Look for luggage brands that are honest about their suppliers. 

Check if they carry out factory audits and if they make sure workers are paid and treated fairly. 

For the best reassurance, look for third-party accreditations from BCorp, Fair Trade, Fair Wear Foundation and Living Wage Foundation. 

Eco-friendly practices

Look at how luggage brands are minimising and mitigating their own environmental footprint, whether it’s cutting emissions, using sustainable packaging, working with eco-friendly suppliers or offsetting anything that can’t be avoided.  

Charity work

Brands that give back to the community show that they’re committed to having a positive impact. 

Look for brands that donate money, get involved with events or raise awareness of important issues.

Buying the right eco-friendly travel bag for you

Girl with a backpack on standing and looking at a volcano in Costa Rica.

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a travel bag. Here are some things to keep in mind to help you pick: 

Size 

The best travel bag for you comes down to size. If you like to pack everything but the kitchen sink then bigger is better, but you might not be able to travel with a carry-on only. This is where packing cubes can be a lifesaver because you can squeeze a lot more in. 

If you want a carry-on to fly with, it’s worth being mindful that airline luggage restrictions tend to differ. Typically, bags can’t exceed 56x45x25 cm. 

Features

There are so many luggage styles to choose from with features including wheels, hard exteriors, shoulder straps and more. 

Think about what’s best suited to your travels so you can find something that’s practical.

Wheels may come in handy until you reach cobblestones or venture somewhere more intrepid. You might prefer a backpack with wheels that can be tucked away. 

Weatherproofing 

On top of durable materials, weatherproofing is another important feature that you don’t want to overlook. 

A soggy bag is never a good look, and you run the risk of all your possessions getting ruined! Ideally, always choose a bag that offers some kind of protection from the elements whether it’s the material or the coating. 

Final thoughts on sustainable luggage for travel

Sold on using sustainable travel bags? Before you get your hands on one, I should add that the most eco-friendly travel bags are the ones you already own. So make sure you give those old bags some love. 

If you are in the market for a new travel bag, consider supporting these ethical and eco-friendly luggage brands that do their bit for people and the planet!


Need more travel gear inspiration? Check out these guides

Inspired? Pin for later!

Looking for new luggage? Read more to discover the best travel bags you need for your trip. Whether you want a carry-on or checked luggage, each one of these bags is eco-friendly to help you have an ethical trip.

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