As a new season arrives and we shop for wardrobe updates, lots of us are looking for chic accessories that are both eco-friendly and on-trend. Heritage brands like Stella McCartney have been at this for years, of course. And a relatively new crop of designers is expanding our choices when it comes to eco-friendly luxury fashion. We’re talking about sustainable bag brands with practices like sourcing leather responsibly or offering vegan options, for example. Our correspondent Julie Chang Murphy has curated a list of 8 of the best sustainable eco-friendly luxury designer bags and purses of 2022 from brands that are on-trend or timelessly chic.
what are the best sustainable luxury designer bags of the spring summer 2022 season?
Unfortunately, a cotton tote is not the answer to our environmental problems. Sure, they’re better than plastic bags. But according to a recent investigation by the New York Times, an organic cotton tote needs to be used 20,000 times to offset its overall impact of production.
In other words, you need to use it daily for 54 years. Cotton is water intensive and those cute logos and graphics are often PVC-based and difficult to break down chemically.
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It got us thinking — what are the latest new luxury sustainable handbag options? If you’re in the market for a bag that is ethically made and has a low-impact on the environment, you might be surprised by what we found.
There are some gorgeous options made from recycled and upcycled materials, as well as fruit leathers made from apples, pineapples, and more. There’s never been a more stylish time to go green. Here are 8 new luxury, eco-friendly handbag and accessories brands to have on your radar.
8 of the best eco-friendly luxury designer bags and purses of 2022
Mārīcī produces limited edition handbags using traditional techniques by master artisans in Venice. But that’s hardly the most noteworthy fact about this brand. All of their handbags from are made from Piñatex – a biodegradable fruit leather made from waste pineapple leaves. This vegan friendly material can be created without using any additional land, water, pesticides, or fertilizer. With 18k gold-plated hardware, these bags look seriously luxurious.
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Scandi-chic with a minimalist aesthetic, Christina Fischer’s bags only use upcycled leather — giving leather that is already in circulation a new life. The leather she sources typically comes from charity stores around Europe. From quilted buckets to androgynous bum bags with a cult following, every piece is handcrafted in Denmark.
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Women-owned Allégorie is committed to pushing the boundary of sustainable fashion while solving the food waste problem, one fruit at a time. Think luxurious-looking and ethically crafted bags from discarded fruits like mango, cactus, and apples. The Gala backpack, for example, utilizes peels from about 550 apples collected from the scraps produced by the juice industry. And yes, some bags even smell like fruit!
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Married couple/entrepreneurs Angela and Roi Lee, who share a passion for fashion and sustainability, set out to create an ethical and artisan-minded handbag line in 2013. The New York-based brand specializes in making luxury bags with timeless designs and muted, elegant colors. They’re made with an environmentally friendly vegan leather with a smooth, matte finish that looks seriously high-end.
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London-based LaBante creates all of their stylish bags with recycled materials and vegetable by-products. To date, they have already saved 10 million bottles from hitting the landfills. Another feel-good fact is that the brand is dedicated to female empowerment – 99% of its design and production team are women. As for the designs, LaBante’s main forte are fashion-forward crossbody bags with both bold and pastel colors and eye-catching hardware treatments.
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Founded in 2009 by Sugandh G. Agrawal, all of GUNAS’s handbags are crafted from vegan leather. In 2018, they developed a textile made from mulberry leaf pulp — it is 100% plastic free and has an authentic silky coating that is naturally waterproof. Beyond the sustainability factor, the first thing you notice about the bags are the pops of colors and whimsical details. Just because you might be serious about the environment, doesn’t mean your bag can’t have some fun.
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Svala is inspired by founder, Helga Douglas’ love of animals and nature. Her line of luxury, vegan handbags are made from premium European innovative fabrics like pineapple leaf fiber, Piñatex, cork, or Italian vegan leather. The bags are lined with a textile made from organic cotton and recycled plastic bottles. Silhouettes range from feminine backpacks and elegant totes to chain wallet purses.
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For Spring 2022, one of our favorite sustainable brands, Everlane, launched a handbag collection made from organic cactus leather! Not surprisingly, the new bags are eco-friendly and on-trend. The shapes: a hobo, sling, and tote are designed with clean lines in beautifully saturated tones that look and feel like real leather. According to Everlane, cactus leather “has great CO2 sequestering capacity and acts like a natural carbon sink, while using zero irrigation and naturally regenerating soil.” In addition, 50% of the byproduct is redirected to the food industry and used to feed cattle.
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sustainable luxury designer bags from brands that are both eco-friendly and on-trend
That’s our take on the best sustainable eco-friendly luxury designer bags and purses of 2022, from brands that are also on-trend or timelessly chic.
Cheers to these fashion visionaries who are changing the way we design and shop. Which bag do you have your eye on, dear reader?
join our community
For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.
This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links.
Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, and fitness. Julie lives in New York where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing. And spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.