Ethical Handbags for Your Christmas Wish List

By December 2, 2015Christmas, Lifestyle
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Whether you’re hunting for a meaningful gift for your sister or have yet to hint to the hubby what you’d like for the holidays, an ethically-made handbag is always a great option. After all, it’s a way to carry your values on your shoulder! Take a look at the chic ethical handbags we’re swooning over this season; there’s one for every lady in your life.

The Minimalist

If your coworker has that effortless, capsule-wardrobe thing down pat, she’ll love an Uashmama bag. Handmade in Tuscany, these bags are fashioned out of a sustainable paper that’s durable enough to withstand washing! Choose from a variety of styles in both matte and metallic finishes to find the perfect tote (we’re partial to the rose gold colour).

ethical handbags
The Busy Bee

We all know a business-minded woman who’s no stranger to juggling meetings, parties, and personal projects. Treat the hardworking gal in your life to the Jess Rizzuti Madison Tote, a versatile piece fitting for both corporate and casual settings. Rizzuti is an American designer who partners with organisations like Care for Kenya to produce stylish bags made out of sustainable cork and employ textile workers in Nairobi.

Jess Rizzuti
The Casual Gal

Anyone could use a cute bag for relaxed weekend outings! Handmade in Nepal, the Aura Que line offers cotton handbags featuring modern geometric designs that pair perfectly with jeans and a tee. We love the Hapta Bag as much as we love Aura Que’s drive to reduce their carbon footprint, use locally-sourced materials, and ensure fair wages in all levels of the supply chain.

The Girl Boss

Matt & Nat takes vegan to new levels of ethical luxury. Products from this Canadian brand are completely vegan and feature lining made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. They also make wallets, tech accessories, duffle bags and purses, so anyone can find something they love from the brand!

Matt & Nat

The Student

Spanish brand Eco Alf is our go-to for sustainable, upcycled backpacks. Each item is made from found materials, such as abandoned fishing nets and bottles floating in the sea. We love the waterproof Munich Xtrem backpack, which is ideal for class, bushwalking, and everything in between.

Eco AlfThe Traveller

Know someone who’s always itching to get on a plane? Give your adventurous friend the perfect bon voyage present with a duffle bag from New York brand Flea Bags! Each bag is handmade in the USA using waxed canvas and other natural products, and the team is looking into natural dyes they can use to create a range of coloured bags in the future.


The Artist

If your cousin can’t get enough of a good print, Osei Duro is the ethical brand for her! Each bag is handmade in Ghana by local artisans using traditional craft techniques to produce unique, sustainable products. The Stibio Pouch makes a lovely, casual clutch or can be used to store favourite pens and pencils during travel.

For more ethical handbag options, explore the brand ratings on the new Good On You app!


julia-150x150Julia McAlpine is a freelance writer of copy, journalism, poetry, fiction & lists. She recently moved from California to Sydney to pursue new adventures, and drinks far more coffee than the recommended daily intake. You can find her on Instagram as @inkandmoon, or visit her site at



Matt & Nat
Jess Rizzuti
Matt & Nat
Eco Alf
Flea Bags
Osie Duro

Julia McAlpine

Author Julia McAlpine

Julia McAlpine is a freelance copywriter and editor born in sunny California and based in equally sunny Sydney. She can’t pass a bookstore without browsing, and drinks far more coffee than the recommended daily intake. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram as @inkandmoon.

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Anne says:

    Oh! And also Issara. A brilliant Australian brand doing phenomenal things for sustainable, ethical sourcing of stunning leather bags, made to last…

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