As we start to plan for a big year ahead for Eco Warrior Princess which includes travelling interstate and overseas for business (and a little pleasure), I’m in search of an eco-friendly travel bum bag. The fact that I’m vegan and have been for the last two years makes it that much more difficult, particularly when I’m curating a list such as this one and my natural bias is to want to avoid brands featuring animal leather.
Thankfully I am aware of my biases, and understand not everyone holds my personal ethical values. So, for the interests of this post and for the benefit of half of our readers and followers who don’t identify as either vegan or vegetarian (we conducted a poll on Instagram and the result was a 50/50 split between ‘I eat meat’ and ‘I don’t eat meat’) we will include such items as we always do, and let you, the conscious shopper, decide on the travel bum bag for you. And since I’m already doing the research for myself, may as well share my vegan, ethical and sustainable waist bag discoveries to help make your life easier.
Anyway, here is a comprehensive, curated list of ethical and eco-friendly travel hip packs, bum bags, fanny packs and belt bags to suit different requirements, style preferences and fashion tastes.
1. United By Blue Lee Hip Pack
This stylish, hands-free Lee Hip Pack from United By Blue is designed with functionality in mind. It sits securely on the waist, has compartments to hold essentials such as cards and cash, and ideal for travel, hiking, events and concerts. Made from 100% recycled polyester with Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish and non-toxic vegetable tanned leather, it is designed for comfort and durability.
United By Blue is an American sustainable bag brand that holds a B-Corp certification and offers customers a lifetime guarantee on all their products. If you’re looking to jet set in style, they also offer a wide range of high-quality consciously-made travel backpacks and duffel bags as well.
Price $28. Comes in black, olive and tan. Get the hip pack here.
2. Rags2Riches Noah Fanny Pack
The Noah Fanny Pack by Filipino social enterprise Rags2Riches is a fashionable waist bag featuring handwoven detailing and made by local artisans. This conscious business was established in 2007 and provides a means for artisans to celebrate their skills as well and earn a living wage.
Ideal for style-conscious travellers, this hands-free nylon utility bag features leather trims that delivers on aesthetics, ethics and functionality. Stores keys, smartphone, cards, cash and other essentials easily.
To check out the range of colours or to make a purchase, click here.
This Canadian PETA-approved vegan bags and accessories brand has taken the fashion world by storm, receiving equal adoration from vegan and non-vegan fashionistas alike. With brand ambassadors such as Natalie Portman, Olivia Wilde, Charlize Theron and Tobey Maguire, it’s little wonder Matt & Nat has gained a high fashion profile.
Their belt bags are made of nylon, PU (polyurethane) and PVC (polyvinylchloride) which aren’t exactly the most eco-friendly fabrics given its synthetically-derived and made of plastics, but most vegans are aware of the tradeoffs that exist between their vegan values and purchasing eco fashion, particularly as there are limited animal leather alternatives for those who want cruelty-free fashion (for now, although science is helping in this regard developing a range of plant-derived ‘vegan leather’ such as Pinatex). Furthermore, according to its website, Matt & Nat visits each factory and “ensures integrity every step of the way.” One of its factories complies with the SA8000 standard but not all of them so they’ve still got some rolling up of the sleeves to do.
Matt & Nat belt bags price ranges from A$71.25 – $130. Browse their collection of vegan belt bags here.
This multipurpose eco-friendly waist bag by Millican is versatile and can be used to carry around camera components and travel necessities. Ideal for people on the move, it features adjustable internal compartments, pockets, padded walls and watertight zipped lid to protect values and camera gear.
Made from a durable fabric called Bionic, which features 38% cotton, 57% recycled polyester, 5% high-tenacity polyester, 100% paraffin wax impregnated, the eco-friendly waist bag is also ethically made by skilled garment technicians in Vietnam.
Price £75. Comes in three colours: moss, slate and ember. Check them out here.
If you have a penchant for luxury design, you’ll adore the Lovia Hilla Belt Bag. Made by skilled artisans in Milan, Italy, the Lovia Hilla Belt Bag features a handwoven effect, metallic detailing and is made of excess leather materials rescued from a furniture factory in Finland. It also has a unique “DNA code” inside that customers can use to learn more the materials, production and supply journey of their particular belt bag.
This versatile eco-friendly belt bag can also be worn as a body bag, crossbody, shoulder bag and clutch. It comes with a dust bag and is available in sorbet, yellow, black, mustard and sage.
Price €285. Visit their website to purchase this sustainably-made belt bag.
6. QWSTION Organic Hip Bags
If you’re after stylish hip bags and belt bags made of natural and organic fabrics, Swiss brand QWSTION is the brand for you. The company’s strong commitment to sustainability is evident in its use of sustainable materials such as organic cotton, organic cotton canvas and Bananatex® made from 100% organic Abacá and vegetable tanned leather.
Prices for hip pouches and bags start from $120. Browse the entire collection here.
7. Mission Workshop Axis Waist Pack
Ethically made by hand in small batches in the USA, Mission Workshop‘s unisex ‘Axis’ waist pack is designed for maximum comfort and built to last, suitable for those leading active lifestyles such as outdoor adventurers and cyclists. All products are designed to endure made of water-resistant durable fabrics such as HT500 (a robust nylon fabric) and abrasion resistant VX CORDURA® which can withstand wear and tear. These ethical waist packs are also guaranteed forever AKA has a lifetime warranty.
Comes in staple colours such as black, olive, grey and camouflage. Price A$200. Learn more here.
8. ZAMT Hip Bags
For modern, minimalist designs, you can’t go past the hip bags by ZAMT made of premium cowhides (leather) sourced from France that is tanned using wood and plant extracts to ensure minimum impact to the environment. Handmade in Portugal, these sustainable hip bags features one large compartment with extra zip pockets and comes with an adjustable strap for waist or cross-body use.
That ZAMT has chosen DHL GoGreen as their logistics partner to reduce transport-related carbon emissions, gets a huge tick. This is the perfect bag for eco luxury aficionados.
Prices start from €149. Browse the ZAMT eco-friendly range of hip bags at zamtprojects.com.
9. Christina Fisher Bum Bags
Handcrafted in Denmark, the Christina Fisher bum bags are as functional as they are gorgeous. Made of sustainable materials such as 100% recycled leather, 100% recycled suede and 100% certified organic cotton interiors, these eco-luxe bum bags feature a main compartment, interior zip pockets and adjustable leather straps to fit comfortably around the shoulder, crossbody or waist.
Our pick? Christina Fisher’s quilted leather bumbag, design for minimalists who want to create maximum style impact.
Prices range from €355 – €475. Made to order so you can adjust strap measurements. Browse the collection of sustainable bum bags here.
The pioneer in eco-friendly outdoor apparel, Patagonia responsibly manufactures (read, has strict codes of conduct to ensure factories force safe, fair working conditions and no child labour) a non-bulky mini travel hip pack suitable for hiking and on-foot travel. This light weight bum bag is vegan-friendly, made from a hardy 100% nylon ripstop with a polyurethane coating and silicone finish for water resistance and all round weather protection.
The bag features a main compartment, key clip, zippered security pocket and a soft belt so it sits comfortably around your waist.
Price A$44.95. Available in black, balkan blue and patchwork. Purchase it here.
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Disclosure: All prices are correct at time of publishing. This curated list does not fully take into account all the ethical considerations that are unique to each individual. Before making a purchase, we encourage you to do your own research paying special attention to the supply chain and your own particular set of ethics. Check out this list of shopping tools and resources for ethical ratings and reviews. This list also includes affiliate links. Click here to read more about our policies.