10 Best Backpacks For Summer—Eco-Friendly, Vegan, And Seriously Chic

May 26, 2017

10 Ethical, Vegan Backpacks to Daytrip With This Summer

Is your shoulder aching from carrying around your mega-stuffed tote on one arm all day? Or are you simply needing more space to cram in your water bottle and other zero-waste essentials? If so, it is definitely worth considering a vegan, eco-friendly backpack to help you out a little. No, I’m not suggesting carrying around something hideous and bulky and reminiscent of school days running after the bus (just me?). There are so many great, ethically-made and vegan options on the market these days. I’ve got 10 best backpacks to share with you today that will add to your outfit and support the conscious fashion movement in the process.

When you’re out and about day-tripping your way either through your own city or on your travels, backpacks are a great way of keeping all your essentials on you without having something bulky to hold and weigh down one side of your body. They also allow you to transport your tablet, laptop, camera gear, and larger essentials like food containers and water bottles. Ideal for festivals, day hikes, or a day exploring city parks and museums, it is worth investing in a well-made, chic backpack or two to give you the support that you are probably needing.

  1. Matt & Nat Chanda, $145Matt & Nat ChandaIf you’ve never heard of Matt & Nat, where have you been? This gorgeous, luxury vegan accessory brand makes the most stunning selection of bags and shoes. Matt (short for MATerial) and Nat (short for NATure) was founded in Canada in 1995. Their ethos is to live beautifully without sacrificing man or beast in the process. They have experimented with different sustainable practices and materials over the years, and these days, you’ll find all of their bag linings made of 100% recycled plastic bottles. Score! Each season they release a fresh new color palette, and I love the chic “Koala” Chanda above.
  2. Wilby Primrose Chain, £95 (ships worldwide)Wilby Primrose ChainShoutout to UK brand, Wilby, founded only recently in 2013. These vegan bags are “eco-sensitive” and “environmentally-aware,” and their linings are organic cotton or recycled fabric. Plus, the backpack featured above is made of cork leather for those consciously trying to avoid PU.
  3. Angela Roi Madison, $250Angela Roi MadisonA luxury, ethical handbag brand, Angela Roi’s gorgeousness is unparalleled. With people-friendly craftsmanship in Korea and animal-friendly resources, this would make an incredible gift to any style-conscious vegan.
  4. Onyx & Green Ramie Leaf & Jute Blend Backpack, £45Onyx & Green Sustainable stationary suppliers Onyx + Green have a small collection of natural jute and ramie bags that are so cute and perfect for outdoor adventures. They are biodegradable and recyclable, so if your biggest concern is the footprint you’ll leave on this earth, this could be the one for you.
  5. Sol & Selene Cloud Nine, $90Sol & Selene Cloud NineSol & Selene have the nicest selection of athleisure backpacks I think I’ve ever seen, but the Cloud Nine is my favorite. Made of water-repellant nylon, these are great for a day hiking or if you live in a rainy city. Super high quality and with an extra nylon laundry bag thrown in, these are great for taking to the gym or serving as an overnighter.
  6. Patagonia Ironwood Ikat Fish, $69Patagonia IronwoodFor a more athletic style, this is my pick from Patagonia, a brand known for its environmental policies. Made with waterproof fabric, recycled polyester, and a traceable supply chain, this is an excellent choice for something with an interesting print that isn’t garish.
  7. Urban Expressions Jasmine, $90 Urban Expressions JasmineAnother place to look for loads of really stunning options, Urban Expressions is a PETA-approved vegan company. Their bags are beautifully made and come in a range of sizes and styles. The “Jasmine” featured above also comes in grey.
  8. Fjallraven Re-Kanken, $90Fjallraven Re-kankenYou’re likely familiar with the swedish bestselling Kanken, originally designed for schoolkids to aleviate back problems in the 1970’s. They’ve stuck around and become a classic backpack style, with later editions to include larger Kankens, laptop Kankens, and my personal favourite, the Re-Kanken. These monochromatic versions are made entirely from recycled plastic bottles! The color range isn’t as diverse as the original Kanken, but there is definitely something there for everyone, and you know you’re doing good in purchasing one.
  9. Wills Vegan Shoes Backpack, $119Wills Vegan Shoes BackpackA simple, structured design from PETA-approved London brand, Wills Vegan Shoes, this bag is streamlined, crafted with soft, durable faux-leather, ethically-made in Portugal, and fits most 14″ laptops. The brand also makes THE most high-quality, gorgeous vegan leather shoes that I highly recommend checking out. I love mine!
  10. Freitag Woolf, $340Freitag WoolfA piece of true ingenuity and sustainability, Freitag uses recycled truck tarpaulins to construct their bags. For those needing serious waterproof capabilities (for cameras or other electronic gear), this is an investment piece worth looking into. I love the style of the Woolf (featured above) and truly love seeing brands using innovative materials to create something beautiful.

Are you a backpack babe already? If so, what’s your style? Have you got any ethical recommendations?

Also by Kat: 5 Magical London Vegan Spots That Will Inspire You To Book A Flight, STAT

Related: These Eco-Chic Vegan Handbags Have “It Girl” Written All Over Them

Slay It Forward With These Sexy, Trendy, Vegan *And* Sustainable Shoes

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Kat Kennedy is an Arizona-based physiology doctoral student and holistic health advocate writing about science, health, and her experiences as a third culture kid and global nomad. She's @sphynxkennedy everywhere.


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