Ethical Fashion

14 Ethically Made Bags & Wallet Brands

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How many of us leave home without our travel buddies – our bags and wallets? I’m betting none of us. These items are essential to our lives as our cell (mobile) phones.

So here are 14 brands that ethically manufacture stylish bags and wallets you can feel good about taking with you wherever you go. No matter you’re ethics – whether you’re vegan or just enjoy ethically-sourced leather goods – there’s something in this list for you.

1. Matt & Nat

This popular vegan brand has sophisticated and modern collections of bags that come in various forms, styles, purposes. Its beautiful collections has taken vegan to new levels of ethical luxury. Products from this Canadian brand are completely vegan and continuously feature lining made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.

With over 20 different categories for bags and handbags, ranging from satchels, diaper bags, yoga and bowling bags, purses and accessories, to men’s shoulder bags, Matt & Nat’s style opportunities are endless. Ships internationally.

2. Raven & Lily

Featuring a handful of sustainable essentials like organic cotton bags, totes, handbags, clutches, wallets, computer and tablet sleeves; the brand highlights its vision of empowering women by launching modern and useful collections that reflect the genuine “essence of being a woman” while rewarding them with something stylish, long-lasting and value for money. Ships to most international locations. Shop Raven & Lily here.

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Credit: Raven & Lily, Azeb Wallet

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Credit: Raven & Lily

3. Purse for the People

Most of its “petite” and “grande” handbags are made from the eco-friendly, beautifully hand woven material, rattan. Crafted by its creative team and local artisans, the handbag represents a true labor of love. It mutually benefits local communities and global partners, who work together towards sustainable economic development and a healthier planet.

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Credit: Purse for the People

4. Everlane

This popular ethical brand offer a range of bags that come in a variety of beautiful styles, color and sizes. Artistically crafted to give you what you want and deserve, its staple products can be found in their “pay what you want” section where they donate all proceeds to local nonprofits. Top picks include the beautiful mini modern zip backpack, the handcrafted twill weekender and some sassy multi-functional bags. Our only criticism? That the bags are often made from cotton and polyester, and aren’t made from organic cotton and reclaimed leather. While we appreciate this brand’s commitment to transparency, as champions for sustainability, we feel this is something they can improve on. Ships only to USA and Canada… for now. To browse its collection, visit www.everlane.com.

The 'Petra' Backpack by Everlane

The ‘Petra’ Backpack by Everlane

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Credit: Everlane

5. Purple Mango

Bringing Brazilian sustainable fashion accessories to Australia, Purple Mango is the exclusive stockist of the Troppica sustainable clutch bag made from old VHS tapes that exemplifies world-class design and quality whilst solving the problem of waste. Huge round of applause for its award-winning sustainable design concept. Learn more about the brand here.

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Credit: Purple Mango

6. Harlequin Belle

Australian-based brand Harlequin Belle make its bags out of “premium quality” and is a “triumph of form and function”. One look at the website and you can understand why this young brand – at just three years old – has grown popular in conscious consumer circles. It leads by design first which is essential in gaining customer attention. The brand also offers freebies like a free triangle shoulder bag when you buy any of their leather bags. The totes, backpacks and clutch bags are simply stunning too. The brand offers free shipping worldwide. Shop Harlequin Belle here.

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Credit: Harlequin Belle, The Trinity Bag in Duck Egg Blue/Dark Tan

7. Kayu

Kayu bags are handcrafted by women in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, helping them to preserve their indigenous crafts as well as providing them a living wage. The brand offers a variety of bag collections to suit all tastes and styles. Whether you’re after a colourful tote or want a vintage style clutch bag, you’ll find it online at Kayu. They offer free shipping on all domestic (USA) orders and also ships internationally.

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Credit: Kayu

8. Mayamiko

This lifestyle fashion brand offers designs that are sophisticated yet playful and modern. Its signature bags suit anyone who craves colour, vibrancy and personality in fashion. Its hand-dyed totes with unique crochet or knitted details, as well as its clutch and grab bag collections are popular with millennials looking for self expression. To browse its bag collection, visit www.mayamiko.com.

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Credit: Mayamiko bag, printed clutch bag in blue batik

9. Rags 2 Riches

Proudly made in the Philippines, these hand-woven bags from Rags 2 Riches empower artisan communities. The brand integrates collaborative, eco-conscious and human-centered designs and pour in the best of the human spirit in each bag. They partner with local artisans across the country to create eco-ethical fashion and other home accessories out of upcycled, overstock cloth and indigenous fabrics. Ships to international locations. To browse the website, click here.

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Credit: Rags 2 Riches

10. Uashmama

Handmade in Tuscany, these fashionable bags are made from sustainable paper that is durable enough to withstand laundry. You can choose from a variety of styles in both matte and metallic finishes to find the perfect tote, handbag and carrybag for you and your loved ones. Free shipping across Australia. International orders now welcome. Shop Uashmama here: www.uashmama.com.au

uashmama-washable-paper-ethical-bags

 

11. Temono

Looking for durable and classy totes, backpacks, sling satchel, clutch or messenger bags? Temono could be the right choice for you. Handmade with care and passion in their Melbourne studio, its line of bags, wallets, belts and other accessories possesses warm and charming characteristics that everyone would really love. Free shipping Australia-wide for orders over $100. Free international shipping for orders over $350. To browse the collections, make sure you check them out here.

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12. United By Blue

With its commitment and love for the people and the planet, United By Blue remains true to its words that “For every product sold, the brand removes one pound of trash from our world’s oceans and waterways.” To date, the brand has led 168 cleanups among 26 states and removed 322,121 pounds of trash – amazing, isn’t it? So if you’re looking for stylish bags that suit your ethical lifestyle and want to be a good samaritan too, shop www.unitedbyblue.com.

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Credit: United By Blue, Juniper Crossbody Bag

13. Krochet Kids

Started out as a hobby, this non-profit social enterprise produces classy and comfy apparel, bags and accessories, promotes crocheting to “transform lives”. With its noble aim to inspire others especially the “economically deprived”, it has encouraged over 150 women to be a part of the movement for sustainable employment and opportunity. Each of its pieces is delivered with the signature of the woman who created it. What’s more amazing is that you can visit their website to send a personalized thank you gesture to each artisan. To learn more about Crochet Kids, visit www.krochetkids.org.

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Krochet Kids, Overnight Bag. Prices start from $98.00

14. Issara

This brand infuses quality and substance into its merchandise. Its unparalleled roster of master artisans are complemented by premium leather materials. Its lines of classy totes, crossbodies, duffel and messenger bags, overnighters, wallets, and other leather accessories are made from full-grain, highest grade leather that preserves its optimum strength and unique natural characteristics – making it extra sleek and durable. For handcrafted leather bags and wallets “that don’t break the bank”, visit the Issara website here.

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Credit: Issara, Minimalist Wallet in Navy

Have we missed a brand that you think should be in the list? Feel free to share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below!

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About the author

Myraine Carluen-Policarpio

Myraine Carluen-Policarpio

Myraine Carluen-Policarpio is a seasoned writer, journalist, editor and researcher who also works as a Tertiary English Professor. When she’s not writing for others, she’s writing for herself over at her blog, Realities and Realizations.

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