8 Most Sustainable Luggage Brands: The Conscious Consumer’s Guide

8 Most Sustainable Luggage Brands: The Conscious Consumer’s Guide

By
Quynh Nguyen

Read Time:23 Minutes

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Stay impactful,

Amid growing concerns about the textile industry’s environmental impact, there is pressure to find greener clothes and accessories for your travels, from comfortable T-shirts to dependable luggage. Unfortunately, fashion greenwashing makes it harder for you and other consumers to figure out which clothing brands offer the most eco-friendly luggage. So, we had to ask: Which are the most sustainable luggage brands? 

The most sustainable luggage brands are Solgaard, Monos, and Db, which source low-impact materials and strive for circularity. In addition, Paravel and Patagonia reduce carbon emissions while adhering to ethical production. 

Whether you are searching for a weekender duffel bag or a check-in suitcase without negatively impacting the soil, the water, the animals, and other people, there is a brand for you. So, let’s keep reading to learn more about the most sustainable luggage brands and how they ensure sustainable, ethical practices. 

Here’s How We Selected the 8 Most Sustainable Luggage Brands

Luggage can be one of the higher-impact and less sustainable items due to the conventional use of resource-intensive materials like animal-derived leather, canvas based on traditional cotton, and synthetic materials made with virgin fossil fuels. 

Sustainable: The ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level | Avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance”

Oxford Dictionary

The brands on this list were chosen based on their commitment and actions to promote sustainable practices while reducing the environmental impacts of the textile industry. 

They are transparent about their materials, processes, and workforce management within their supply chain. 

Some brands focus their efforts on reducing waste and optimizing natural resources while others strive to reduce the carbon footprint of their clothes. 

All of these brands share the commitment to reshape the textile industry toward a more sustainable and Earth-friendly sector. 

These Are the 8 Most Sustainable Luggage Brands

Overall, these luggage brands are sustainable. Yet, they take various approaches to reduce environmental impacts and uphold ethical standards. Let’s dive into each brand and find out more. 

1

Solgaard: Sustainable Travel Gear for Global Citizens

Logo for Solgaard
Screenshot of the Solgaard front page

“We are intentional when designing and manufacturing our products. We’re working towards efficiency and circularity. As much of our material as possible is made from ocean bound plastic or biodegradable.”

Solgaard

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Solgaard ensures their sustainability by using low-impact materials and striving for circularity. Firstly, they reduce the impact of sourcing by prioritizing recycled plastics in making their suitcases and bags. Solgaard also uses 60% recycled polycarbonate in their suitcase shells, the maximum amount of recycled content they can incorporate without compromising the strength and durability of their luggage pieces. Additionally, their proprietary fabric, Shore-TexTM , is made from recycled plastics and is used in all their bags and suitcases. Secondly, Solgaard aims to lengthen the lifecycle of their products by repairing and donating returned inventory. Finally, as a NextWave Plastic member, Solgaard is currently plastic-negative and carbon-neutral

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Solgaard ensures their ethics by having their manufacturing partners audited by reputable third parties like ICAS and WRAP. On top of that, they have 100% of their manufacturing factories audited. 

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Solgaard commits to cleaning 6 lbs of ocean-bound plastic from coastal communities for each product sold. They also partner with various organizations to strengthen their impact. For example, in partnership with Sungai Watch, Solgaar has funded a new plastic waste collection and sorting facility in the mangroves of Denpasar, Bali, and has also installed a series of river waste collection barriers across Indonesia. Additionally, they support Greeneration in building an eco-brick facility in Indonesia

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: traveling gear 
  • Product range: carry-on luggage, check-in luggage, backpacks, bags, accessories 
  • Price range: $$$
  • Size range: n/a
2

Monos: Carbon-Neutral Luggage Brand 

Logo for Monos
Screenshot of the Monos front page

“In today’s throwaway society of passing trends and mass consumption, we design our pieces to be timeless classics, with an understated aesthetic that stands the test of time.”

Monos 

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Monos ensures their sustainability by building long-lasting products while reducing their climate impact. Firstly, the brand adopts a “less but better” philosophy, designing timeless and durable products so you can buy fewer yet better pieces of luggage. For example, they have re-engineered their luggage handle to be sleek, sturdy, and natural to use. Their luggage pieces are also tested to survive the toughest travel conditions, simulating rough handling during transport, uneven terrain, and the hard impact of stairs. Secondly, Monos is certified climate-neutral for their actions in reducing carbon emissions. In fact, the brand measures, reduces, and offsets all their operational emissions. They have also reduced their footprint by partnering with Bullfrog Power to support renewable energy sources like wind, solar, low-impact hydro facilities, and community-based green projects across Canada. Other past incentives include decreasing the number of avoidable split shipments and airfreight shipments. Furthermore, Monos compensates their carbon emissions with high-quality, verified carbon and clean energy credits. Lastly, they choose packaging that is recyclable, reusable, or both. 

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Monos ensures their ethics by partnering with an SA8000 Certification factory to make their suitcases. This certification is based on internationally recognized standards of decent work, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ILO conventions, and national laws. They also visit their manufacturing partners. Regarding the ethics of using animal products, they commit to being cruelty-free, sourcing the highest quality vegan alternatives wherever animal-derived materials are traditionally used, like in the construction of bags and luggage tags, as well as the detailing in suitcases.

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Monos is a member of 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of their revenue to verified non-profit organizations dedicated to preserving and restoring the natural world, such as Ecotrust Canada, Earth Guardians, and Heal the Ocean. To date, they have donated $1,738,755 toward protecting the planet.

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: travel gear and clothing
  • Product range: luggage, bags, clothing
  • Price range: $$ 
  • Size range: S–L
3

Db: Award-Winning Travel Gear Built for Circularity 

Logo for Db
Screenshot of the Db  front page

“We create purposeful products that last for all the journeys you’ll set out on. Our design philosophy is based on durability, timeless aesthetics, versatile functionality, and minimized impact.”

Db 

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Db ensures their sustainability with thorough sourcing processes to select the best materials and minimize the diversity of the fibers and components. They prioritize recycled materials for their luggage shells, fabrics, and other components. Specifically, Db’s materials list includes recycled nylon, recycled polyester, vegan leather, recycled polycarbonate, recycled webbings, and recycled polyethylene foam and board. 46% of all materials used in their 2022 collection are recycled materials certified by the Global Recycled Standard. Db also uses cotton, which they source exclusively from GOTS-certified organic farms. On top of that, all materials and products must meet their in-house chemical requirements and restricted substance list, which goes beyond the REACH regulation. Db also strives to reduce their climate impact by measuring and making fact-based decisions to reduce carbon emissions. In 2022, for example, they significantly reduced their carbon footprint by swapping out air freight and air travel for other modes of transportation (boat and train). Lastly, the brand strives for circularity by building products that last for decades and facilitating the reselling of pre-loved Db products on Db Renewed

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Db ensures their ethics by upholding their suppliers to their Supplier Code of Conduct, covering key labor rights, environment, and anti-corruption responsibilities. They also publish the list of their manufacturing and logistics partners. In 2022, 100% of their Tier-1 suppliers were third-party audited

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Db is not known to be part of any giving-back programs. 

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: travel gear 
  • Product range: carry-on luggage, check-in luggage, luggage sets, bags 
  • Price range: $$$
  • Size range: n/a
4

Paravel: Climate-Neutral Luggage Brand Prioritizing Recycled and Upcycled Materials

Logo for Paravel
Screenshot of the Paravel front page

We believe travel can be transformative and celebrate all forms, local and far – from a trip to the park to a milestone life celebration on the other side of the world. We create impeccably designed, multi-functional, sustainable bags, luggage and accessories: companions for all journeys.”

Paravel 

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Paravel ensures sustainability by incorporating waste into their products and reducing their climate impact. Firstly, they use upcycled and recycled materials in all of their products. Specifically, their suitcases and bags are made with Ecocraft Canvas®, a certified canvas fabric containing recycled post-consumer plastic bottles; Negative Nylon®, a certified nylon fabric with 100% recycled content; recycled vegan leather consisting of 60% recycled material; recycled polycarbonate; recycled zippers; and recycled aluminum. Furthermore, their Ecocraft Canvas® and Negative Nylon® are certified by both OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 and the Global Recycled Standard. Secondly, Paravel reduces their climate impact by measuring, reducing, and offsetting their carbon emissions. They use low-emission freight methods like ocean cargo whenever possible. Additionally, they offset all their freight, employee travel, and customer shipments. Lastly, the brand has been certified Climate-Neutral since 2020

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Parave binds their suppliers to a Code of Social Responsibility, which includes rules ensuring dignity at work, non-discrimination, fair wages, healthy and safe work environments, and no child or forced labor.

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Paravel supports Eden Reforestation Projects in their missions to restore forests, create jobs, protect ecosystems, and mitigate climate change. Through the partnership, Paravel has planted 14 times the number of trees in New York’s Central Park

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: travel gear
  • Product range: carry-on luggage, check-in luggage, travel sets, bags, duffels, accessories
  • Price range: $$$
  • Size range: n/a
5

Patagonia: Everyday Wear for Those Who Care

Logo for Patagonia
Screenshot of the Patagonia front page

Together, we can prioritize purpose over profit and protect this wondrous planet, our only home.

Patagonia

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Patagonia puts sustainability at the center of their operation. They work to reduce, rather than simply offset, carbon emissions where it matters the most: in the supply chain and in material manufacturing. They reduce their carbon footprint by removing high-impact virgin fossil-based fibers from their collections, using “Environmental Profit and Loss” to guide their production decision, and helping their suppliers to cut emissions. For example, Patagonia’s fall 2023 collection was made up mostly of preferred materials (91% by fabric weight), including Regenerative Organic Certified fibers, hemp, man-made cellulose fibers, recycled cotton, and recycled polyester. On top of that, Patagonia’s Worn Wear Program encourages customers to repair and recycle their products, extending the textile lifecycle and reducing waste. Lastly, Patagonia is certified as a B Corporation and a Bluesign® brand. 

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Patagonia commits to fair trade practices. Through the partnership with Fair Trade USA, they currently produce 86% of their clothes in 20 Fair Trade Certified™ factories. Patagonia also pays a premium for every item produced in such factories, accumulating in a fund for workers to use in their chosen community projects, whether in healthcare or parent support or to withdraw as a cash bonus. Additionally, they have various social responsibility programs to prevent harm and create positive impacts on the lives of apparel workers in their supply chain. These include the Fair Labor Association, the Living Wage Program, the Migrant Workers Program, and the Responsible Purchasing Practices. Patagonia is also fully transparent about the locations of their facilities and suppliers

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Since 1985, Patagonia has pledged 1% of sales annually to environmental causes. They have awarded over $89 million in cash and in-kind donations to domestic and international grassroots environmental groups, making a difference in their local communities. In 2022, the founder of Patagonia gave away his family’s ownership of the company to the newly created Patagonia Purpose Trust and the not-for-profit organization Holdfast Collective, ensuring that all future profits from the company are used to fight the climate and extinction crisis

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: kidswear, menswear, womenswear 
  • Product range: shirts, pants, jackets, blazers, hoodies, sweatshirts, T-shirts, shorts, plus-size
  • Price range: $$$ 
  • Size range: XXS–XXXL
6

Parker Clay: A Socially Conscious Fashion Brand Focusing on Leather Goods 

Logo for Parker Clay
Screenshot of the Parker Clay front page

“Sustainable leather is more than just leather crafted with the environment in mind. Every aspect of the production process — from sourcing to when it lands in your hands — is curated with quality craftsmanship and the highest ethical standards ”

Parker Clay

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Parker Clay ensures their sustainability by sourcing sustainable leather to make durable luggage while reducing the climate impact of their production. Firstly, they use by-product leather, meaning that it comes from animals raised for food. Parker Clay opts to work with local farmers who run safe, clean facilities and pay a fair price. Further down the life-cycle in the manufacturing process, the animal hides are processed in local tanning facilities, which recycle water and don’t use harmful artificial chemicals. Secondly, Parker Clay reduces climate impact by sourcing locally and handcrafting their bags. Lastly, Parker Clay provides tips for caring for your leather luggage, preserving their quality and extending their lifespan. 

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Parker Clay traces most of their supply chain and visits their suppliers regularly. They also ensure payment of a living wage in the final stage of production while providing jobs for workers from disadvantaged communities in Ethiopia. On top of that, they partner with Ellilta Women at Risk (EWAR), aiming to restore independence to women who have been exploited through prostitution, ultimately fighting to end prostitution in Ethiopia. 

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Parker Clay is not known to be part of any giving-back programs. 

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: womenswear, menswear
  • Product range: weekenders, backpacks, bucket bags, clutches, ounces, crossbody bags, diaper bags, handbags, laptop bags, sling bags, tote bags, accessories 
  • Price range: $$$
  • Size range: n/a
7

Solo New York: Design With Purpose

Logo for Solo New York

For us, design should always be purposeful in its form and function, the materials we choose, and the collective actions we take.

Solo New York

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Solo New York’s sustainability efforts focus on reducing their climate impact regarding carbon footprint and waste. Firstly, they recycle plastic bottles into their sustainable bags. The production of their recycled polyester yarns uses 50% less energy(50%), requires less water (20%), and produces less air pollution (60%) than virgin polyester. Secondly, their headquarters in Long Island, New York, is powered by 1,400 solar panels as an alternative to relying on fossil fuels for energy. They also have LED lights installed to cut energy consumption. Lastly, their catalogs are printed on FSC- and Rainforest Alliance-certified paper containing 30% post-consumer fiber manufactured using renewable energy. Their hangtags are also printed on 100% recycled and biodegradable material, with a string that is 100% recycled cotton and a clasp that is 100% biodegradable. 

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Solo New York ensures their ethics by using certified materials and protecting people, animals, and their habitats

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Solo New York partners with the National Forest Foundation to help restore forests in the US. They plant trees with the sales of their eco-friendly bags sold from their Re:cycled Collection.

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: travel gear
  • Product range: luggage, bags, backpacks, accessories 
  • Price range: $$
  • Size range: n/a 
8

Lo & Sons: Smart, Stylish, and Sustainable Bags for Men and Women

Logo for Lo & Sons
Screenshot of the Lo & Sons front page

“ We believe the future of business is restorative.”

Lo & Sons 

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Lo & Sons ensures their sustainability by sourcing premium, eco-friendly materials, reducing their climate impact, and striving toward circularity. Firstly, they prioritize durable materials without compromising on their environmental impacts. These include plant-based fibers, LWG-certified leather, recycled nylon, and recycled poly—a technical fabric made from plastic bottles. 79% of their 2023 collection was made with eco-friendly materials. Additionally, in 2023, every Lo & Sons bag was lined with 100% recycled lining material (up from 50% recycled lining in 2022). Lo & Sons also prioritizes eco-friendly packaging from 100% recycled and recyclable plastics. Secondly, Lo & Sons reduces their climate impact with various incentives, including manufacturing using solar energy and converting wastewater back to clean water. Last but not least, the brand strives toward circularity with their Upcycled Collection

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Lo & Sons sources from suppliers in East Asia (China, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea). And as a member of the Future Fit Changemaker Community, they are committed to fair labor practices. 

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Lo & Sons donated bags to healthcare workers during COVID-19. 

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: menswear, womenswear
  • Product range: backpacks, belt bags, crossbody, laptop bags, totes, shoulder bags, weekenders, wallets, accessories
  • Price range: $$
  • Size range: n/a

Why Is It Important to Buy Products Made of More Sustainable Fabrics

It is important to buy products made of more sustainable fabrics because a sustainable textile industry has a lower carbon footprint, helps save natural resources, and is better for forests, animals, and humans. 

Buying Sustainable Fabrics Reduces Your Carbon Footprint 

The production of clothing and footwear is estimated to contribute 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions—more than all international flights and shipping combined. If the fashion industry were a country, it would be the fourth largest emitter of carbon dioxide

One way to reduce the carbon footprint of the clothes you buy is to opt for sustainable fabrics. Sustainable fabrics, which are often made with natural or recycled fibers, have relatively low carbon footprints compared to petroleum-based fabrics. For example, organic cotton made in the US has a carbon footprint of 2.35 kg CO2 (per ton of spun fiber)—a quarter of polyester’s carbon footprint.

Buying Sustainable Fabrics Reduces Demand For Natural Resources and Waste Management

The textile industry uses water and land to grow cotton and other fibers. It is estimated that 79 billion cubic meters of water were used for the sector worldwide in 2015. For example, producing a single cotton T-shirt requires as much water as one person drinks for 2.5 years (2,700 liters of fresh water).

Worse yet, the textile economy is vastly more linear than circular: the largest amount of resources used in clothes ended up in landfill (instead of being recycled to remake clothes). According to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation,

  • Less than 3% of materials used in the textile economy in 2015 came from recycled sources.
  • In other words, more than 97% of resources used in making clothes are newly extracted. 

When clothing items are disposed of within a short period of time—under a year in the case of half of the fast fashion clothes—the natural systems that provide raw materials for fabrics don’t have enough time to recover and regenerate, which could lead to ecological breakdown. 

Sustainable fabrics are made with less water and emissions while lasting longer:

  • Because they are durable, you don’t need to buy new clothes too often. 
  • Thus, you help reduce the pressure to extract more resources for making new items. 

Similarly, making and consuming sustainable fabrics made with recycled materials reduces the demand for virgin materials while helping tackle waste management. 

Buying Sustainable Fabrics Encourages Sustainable Management of Forests

Sustainable plant-based fabrics are made with raw materials from forests and plantations that are sustainably managed, such as complying with FSC standards

When you buy sustainable plant-based fabrics, you discourage unsustainable forestry practices like illegal logging. You can help reduce deforestation, biodiversity loss, and the effects of climate change. 

Buying Sustainable Fabrics Encourages Fairer Treatment of Animals 

The fashion industry is rife with animal mistreatment when it comes to making animal-based fabrics like wool or silk. Every year, billions of animals suffer and die for clothing and accessories.

Buying sustainable vegan alternatives can help to reduce the pressure on raising more and more animals to meet the demand for animal-based fabrics while sacrificing their well-being and lives. 

Suppose you have to buy fabrics made with, for example, wool or silk; make sure you only choose brands committed to cruelty-free products. In that case, you help advocate better treatments for animals raised within the textile industry. 

Using Sustainable Fabrics Encourages Fairer Treatment of Textile Workers 

Recent statistics from UNICEF estimated as many as 170 million child laborers worldwide, many of whom were engaged in some form of work in the textile industry. They don’t get paid minimum wages and often work long hours. 

When you buy sustainable fabrics from brands transparent about the working conditions at their factories, you discourage the use of child labor and help promote better working conditions for textile workers.

How Can You Generally Buy More Sustainable Fabrics

The key to sustainably buying fabrics is to check on relevant environmental and original certifications. 

For natural fabrics

  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): A globally recognized certification system that ensures a certain threshold of organic content has been met. It covers manufacturing, packaging, labeling, transportation, and distribution (but not what happens in the fields where crops are grown). 
  • USDA Certified Biobased Product: The USDA BioPreferred® Certification is a voluntary certification offered by the United States Department of Agriculture. The certification identifies products made from plants or other renewable materials.
  • Ecolabel: Ecolabel is the official European Union voluntary label recognized worldwide for certified products with a guaranteed, independently verified low environmental impact. The label requires high environmental standards throughout the entire life-cycle: from raw material extraction through production and distribution to disposal. It also encourages companies to develop innovative, durable, easy-to-repair, and recyclable products. 

For plant-based semi-natural/semi-synthetic fabrics:

  • Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification: PEFC’s approaches to sustainable forest management are in line with protecting the forests globally and locally and making the certificate work for everyone. Getting a PEFC certification is strict enough to ensure the sustainable management of a forest is socially just, ecologically sound, and economically viable but attainable not only by big but small forest owners.

For recycled fabrics:

  • Recycled Claim Standard (RCS): The Textile Exchange RCS was originally developed as an international, voluntary standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of Recycled input and chain of custody. 
  • The Global Recycled Standard (GRS): The Global Recycled Standard (GRS) is an international, voluntary, full product standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of Recycled Content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices, and chemical restrictions. It can be used for any product with more than 20% recycled material.

For all types of fabrics:

  • STeP by OEKO-TEX®: STeP by OEKO-TEX® is an independent certification system for brands, retailers, and manufacturers from the textile and leather industry. It communicates organizational environmental measures, including reducing carbon footprint and water usage.
  • OEKO-TEX® Standard 100: OEKO-TEX® labels aim to ensure that products pose no risk to human health (i.e., containing banned chemicals). 

Some certifications that are signaling brands’ efforts toward lowered environmental impacts and a circular economy are: 

  • B Corp Certification: The label B Corp is a certification reserved for for-profit companies. Certified holders are assessed on their social and environmental impacts. 
  • Cradle2Cradle certification: Cradle2Cradle provides a standardized approach to material circularity. It assesses whether products have been suitably designed and made with the circular economy in mind covering five critical categories: material health, material reuse, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness.

Final Thoughts

Luggage can be one of the highest-impact and least sustainable items due to its conventional use of high-impact materials like synthetics or leather. Thus, it is important to shop with ethics and sustainability in mind when choosing your next piece of luggage. 

By purchasing new or pre-loved luggage pieces from brands that commit to sustainability, you support their mission to create a fairer and less harmful textile industry for all lives on Earth. 

Here is the list (again) of the most sustainable luggage brands:

  • Solgaard
  • Monos
  • Db
  • Paravel
  • Patagonia
  • Parker Clay
  • Solo New York
  • Lo & Sons

To make your use of these items even more sustainable, follow these steps:

  1. Buy second-hand, recycled, or upcycled luggage made with low-impact materials. 
  2. At the end-of-life of your luggage, upcycle the materials to extend their usage and arrange for them to be recycled or properly disposed of.

Stay impactful,



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