18 Ethically Made & Fair Trade Handbag Brands I Adore


When I first got an interest in buying more ethically and sustainably made goods, the easiest place of all to start was with my clothing! I mean, I go through t-shirts like nobody’s business!

The lastttt place I got around to was my purses. I wanted an ethically made handbag, but it’s just so much more of a commitment for me. I’m the kinda girl that buys a purse and wears it for the next five years. I don’t even understand the concept of purse switching!

But, it is finally time and these are the brands that met allllll of my ethical and environment specifications while being hecka cute to boot! Or to purse, should I say.

1| Cuyana

Ethical | Upcycled Materials, Fresh take on Classics, San Francisco Based

Price Range | $115-375

Cuyana is luxe, bebe! My personal favorite purse is this bucket bag style with croc embossing. All the heart eyes.

Cuyana is really really really good at taking classic styles and adding that luxurious and slightly trendy touch. And their prices are dang affordable for real leather and ethically made bags!

Take me there!


2 | Dagne Dover

Ethical | Ethical Factories, Living Wages, Classic Design

Price Range | $155-255

Drooling over this green. I may be partial to crossbody purses like this one, but Dagne Dover really shines with their weekend and tote bags!

Their larger bags are MAGIC, I tell you. You can just stuff and stuff and they never get full. I’m pretty sure there’s some Mary Poppins magic in their carryalls.

Take me there!


3| Baggu

Ethical | Made in the U.S.A, Recycled Nylon, Waste Reduction Programs, Environmentally Friendly

Price Range | $15-280

The true originals in ethically made and fair trade purses. If you remember ye olde Baggu, you might recall bags that were nylon and essentially looked like a grocery bag. Yes, you can still buy those if that’s your jam!

But, if you’re looking for something a bit more sleek, Baggu is still saving the planet with their much chicer handbags like this gorg lavender one.

Take me there!


4 | beara beara

Ethical | Handmade, Timeless Design, Made in the U.K.

Price Range | $128-415

Have you ever wanted the schoolbag of an English schoolgirl? Look no further than Beara Beara, who coincidentally is based in the U.K.

All of their bags are that utterly classic style and still made to the highest quality. You won’t be sure if you bought this in 2019 or 1819, because it’s a classic in any time period.

Take me there!


5| able

Ethical | Publishes wages, Empowering women in fashion, Transparent manufacturing and production

Price Range | $68-248

I’m a lover of ABLE for their minimalist clothes, and I was surprised to see that their purses are even better! I love a big ole hobo tote bag like this one, but I don’t want it to immediately lose its shape like a true hobo bag.

ABLE’s totes hold their shape amazingly well, and they have fun details to jazz them up like this tassel.

Take me there!


6| cult gaia

Ethical | Naturally Occurring Materials, Vegan, Fair Trade

Price Range | $108-428

This one is called CULT Gaia for a reason, because there is such a cult following behind these Instagram bags!

And lucky for us, we can get in on the trend, because Gaia’s bags are ethically made and use natural resources like the wood of the ever famous “Ark” purse. Honestly, not sure when I’ll ever NEED a see through purse with holes, but I’ll risk it for this one.

Take me there!


7| Nisolo

Ethical | Handmade by Artisans and Fair Trade

Price Range | $48-268

Ah Nisolo, the maker of all things fine leather and ethically made. My loves.

You may be familiar with Nisolo for their shoes, but they’ve extended their incredible quality to bags that start at a super affordable price. This clutch comes in at under $50 and is everything I’ve ever wanted in an envelope clutch.

Take me there!


8 | Raven & Lily

Ethical | Living Wages, Organic/Natural Materials, Fair Trade

Price Range | $168-364

Raven and Lily give me “Rebecca Minkoff but you don’t have to worry about where it came from” vibes. The fringe? I die. These bags are a bit on the pricier side, but the leather quality is absolute out of this world, and of course so is the craftsmanship.

You get what you pay for when it comes to being fair trade!

Take me there!


9| Elvis & Kresse

Ethical | Reclaimed materials like fire hoses, Vegan, Lifetime Repairs

Price Range | $62-390

Looking for something funky? Check out Elvis & Kresse if your handbag taste is a little more otherworldly. They’ve got really bright prints and some unique texturing/sewing of the faux leather like in this cute little bag.

Take me there!


10| Everlane

Ethical | Transparent Pricing, Made in LA, Top Quality Materials, Ethical Factories

Price Range | $35-330

Want a bag that you can take anywhere? Try Everlane. Their bags live up to the hype of being versatile in almost any situation. Their signature form bag could be a backpack, laptop bag, diaper bag, and more!

What I want next? For Everlane to venture into this belt bag thing. I think they would kill it!

Take me there!


11 | Matt & Nat

Ethical | Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Recycled Materials,

Price Range | $90-160

Vegan? Look no further. If you want ethically made for the humans and vegan for the animals, then Matt & Nat is the place for you to be!

I have a great crossbody from them that I wear all.the.time. The vegan leather is not cheap or smelly, and I honestly could not tell the difference between it and my real leather bags. Winner!

Take me there!


12 | fjallraven

Ethical | Timeless Designs, Recycled Materials, Sustainable Apparel Coalition Member

Price Range | $40-225

I get it, purses are not for all of us. In comes backpacks. The Fjallraven backpacks are all the rage on college campuses right now, but you can for sure still rock one if you’re out in the real world adulting.

I personally love the range of colors these bookbags come in, they’re all so bright and cheerful! But, there are neutrals for my neutral lovers out there.

Take me there!


13 | Lo & Sons

Ethical | Transparent Factories, Living Wages, High Quality Materials

Price Range | $148-298

Y’all. I just want every bag that Lo & Sons has ever made. Their travel bags, their purses, their laptop bags. I want it all.

These bags basically do all the thinking for you. Each bag is thoughtfully designed, like the little strap for your keys in the purses and the card sized pockets. Their larger travel bags have separate shoe compartments.

My guilty pleasure? Watching their “What Fits Inside” videos for each bag. Trust me when I say you won’t believe your eyes.

Take me there!


14 | me + Em

Ethical | Focus on Reducing Waste, Does not use Fur, Living Wages

Price Range | $239

Okay, so they do only sell this one bag, but it’s a doozy! This is the 2 in 1 City bag, and it goes from clutch to crossbody, which is much harder to do than you’d think!

You know how most clutches try to say they can be a crossbody with that cheesy chain strap?? Not so with this bag, this is a bonafide strap, ladies. This one is for my small bag ladies. Oh, how I wish I could be like you.

Take me there!


15 | Pop & SUki

Ethical | Italian Leather, Customizable, Affordable

Price Range | $108-335

Do you envy the French Fry or Teddy Bear bags that Kim K and Kylie tempt us with? Pop & Suki has got you covered with incredibly unique bags like this rainbow gingham takeout bag.

My little heart purse loving heart is frothing. If you need a statement bag that isn’t making the statement of “slaves made this”, then look no further!

Take me there!


16 | Rent the Runway

Ethical | Renting Reduces Waste, Allows you to keep up with trends on a dime

Price Range | $10-300

I get it. Sometimes your non ethical designers just make some dang good stuff, and you can’t pass it up!

Try Rent the Runway for a more sustainable way of shopping your favorite non ethical designers. By renting a bag you reduce the cost for yourself and reduce the amount of waste from producing as many bags as would be needed if everyone who rented bought the bag!

Take me there!


17 | Timbuk2

Ethical | Life Warranty, Made in the USA, High Quality Materials

Price Range | $99-249

Did you know that TimBuk2 is a real place? No, not that place in the desert or something. The bag brand!

This is another backpack and work bag brand that offers some really sleek bags for once you’re in that phase where your pink bookbag isn’t cutting it in the office anymore. No shame in that game, though.

Take me there!


18 | poppy & sage

Ethical | Uses natural materials & Fair Trade

Price Range | $68-108

Love Cult Gaia but not the price? Poppy and Sage has you with that wood/straw bag look for a more affordable price but without cutting any ethical corners!

I especially like that you can hide what’s in your bag with these, since the bag is a tight weave with a zipper and it has a cloth lining to protect the purse. And a crossbody? Call it mine.

Take me there!