7 Genuinely Ethical Backpacks for the Ultimate in Practicality

SenseOrient Sustainable Backpacks

The world is changing, and people are becoming more aware of the impact their purchases have on the environment. This has given rise to an increase in demand for ethically made products. If you’re looking to purchase a backpack, there are many options available with ethical labels attached. We’ve compiled a list of seven backpacks that will not only serve your practical needs but also leave you feeling good about your purchase!

Beekeeper Parade 

Best For | One-of-a-kind backpacks

Ethics | Upcycled materials, gives back

Price Range | $109–$129

Using discarded textiles and remnants from local factories (that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill), Beekeeper Parade creates beautifully upcycled bags, purses, pouches, and more. This means that some pieces are one-offs or limited-edition. And that their linings may even vary, making them all the more special. Their goal is to reduce the amount of waste on our planet by using less materials and maintaining a focus on durability for their products. They have created eco-friendly bags that are made from recycled materials and they also offer vegan leather options. Beekeeper Parade also offers recycling programs for those who want to clean up their old bags as well as reduce their own waste footprint. 

Fjällräven

Best For | Hiking, trekking, & everyday bags

Ethics | Sustainable materials & production, ethically made, climate-compensation 

Price Range | $50–$425

Fjällräven was founded in 1960 by Åke Nordin, an experienced mountaineer and businessman. They were the first company to make backpacks with a lifetime guarantee – for those who live their lives outside of the office. Fjällräven’s goal is to provide gear that will last for decades and withstand years of adventures. With sustainability at the core of everything they do, Fjällräven continues to be one of Sweden’s most loved brands. Fjällräven always strives to produce sustainable products by using natural materials and promoting environmental awareness. This brand has been around for decades. But it continues to grow as more people are becoming aware of their commitment to sustainability. From daypacks to backpacks, if you’re looking for a durable bag without sacrificing the planet’s future then Fjällräven is your go-to brand!

Lo & Sons

Best For | Minimalist, functional bags

Ethics | Recycled & organic materials, gives back, eco-friendly packaging & practices

Price Range | $71.40–$485

Lo & Sons was born out of a desire to create safe and sustainable products. Lo & Sons is an eco-friendly backpack company that produces only 100% recycled, non-toxic materials. All of their bags are made from post consumer plastic bottles and other waste material. This means that when you buy one of their bags, your purchase will help prevent plastic bottles and other trash from reaching our planet’s oceans and landfills! The cool thing about this company is they offer so many different styles so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a large bag or a small bag, whether it be canvas or neoprene, Lo & sons has got you covered – pun intended! They have combined modern design with traditional weaving techniques in order to create bags which are more durable than most other companies on the market. The result has been a backpack that can withstand any adventure!

STATE

Best For | Personalized backpacks

Ethics | Certified B Corp, gives back, ethically made in China, nontoxic

Price Range | $60–$175

A common misconception is that sustainable backpacks are not as durable or have limited features. After all, if you’re investing in a backpack made of natural materials like jute or recycled plastic bottles, why would you expect it to last for years? The truth is that sustainability doesn’t need to come at the expense of performance. State Backpack Co has created packs with sustainable materials and thoughtful design that can withstand daily use and abuse. They’ve also ensured their products are made ethically by partnering with factories in Bangladesh who provide fair wages for workers, safe working conditions (including safety gear), and on-site medical care. With a focus on sustainability and innovation, these packs have been crafted without any synthetic materials or chemicals that may harm our environment – making them perfect for anyone looking for an environmentally friendly option!

Terra Thread

Best For | Everyday & mini backpacks

Ethics | Certified B Corp, fair trade, GOTS certified organic materials, gives back, carbon-neutral, eco-friendly packaging

Price Range | $55–$65

Terra Thread is a company that manufactures backpacks with the intention of creating products that are durable, sustainable, and long-lasting. They provide packs for both children and adults in various colors to suit their needs. This company offers environmentally friendly goods throughout their supply chain so they can live up to their “green” name. Terra Thread strives to create products with an eye on future generations by using materials like recycled polyester or organic cotton canvas, which will not break down in landfills over time like most plastics do today. Even when these items wear out after years of use, the fabric can be turned into new thread for more bags! Nowadays Terra Thread has grown over the years into an internationally recognized brand that strives to produce high-quality products that are also environmentally conscious.

Patagonia

Best For | Technical & casual backpacks

Ethics | Certified B Corp, recycled & sustainable materials, fair trade, gives back

Price Range | $79–$299

Patagonia is an outdoor clothing company that has been making sustainable, high-quality products for over 40 years. They are known for their commitment to environmental preservation and the outdoors lifestyle. Patagonia’s mission statement reads “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis”. To uphold this mission, they make sure everything they do – from fabric selection to production practices – is environmentally friendly. They do not use any form of animal products, or petroleum-based materials in their production process. This includes all of their sustainable clothing and backpacks. Patagonia’s goal is to be an ethical company while making quality gear for people who love outdoor adventures just as much as they do.

United By Blue

Best For | Functional, convertible backpacks

Ethics | Certified B Corp, Waterway Cleanup Program, recycled & eco-friendly materials, ethically made in Vietnam

Price Range | $78–$148

It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race of life. We work hard, stress about deadlines and what we need to do next, and always feel like there is more to do than time permits. Work-life balance can be difficult for anyone. But it becomes even harder when you’re trying to find a job that fits your needs while also making sure that you live sustainably. United By Blue is an American company focused on sustainability that produces high quality products with durable materials. So you have one less thing to worry about!

If you’re looking for a brand that’s committed to sustainability and giving back, then United By Blue is the perfect choice for you. With products from reusable water bottles to sustainable backpacks, they have something for everyone! They even donate a portion of their profits to help clean up our environment. More importantly, they make sure all of their products are made in the USA and without harmful chemicals or dyes.

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Conclusion

There are many reasons to buy a backpack. Some might need one for school, some may be looking for backpacks with enough space and compartments to carry everything they need on their daily commute, while others might want the perfect bag for hiking or camping trips. Whatever your reason is, there’s bound to be an ethical backpack that will fit your needs perfectly–and you can have peace of mind knowing it was made under fair working conditions too! We hope that you’ve found a few final contenders after reading through our picks! What do you think? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below at SenseOrient!

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