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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.