For many of us, the backpack has been a part of our lives since we were kids, accompanying us on our worst and best days. While some argued that this student staple would soon be a thing of the past with the dawn of iPads and electronic textbooks, the global backpack market has continued to grow and is forecast to reach a value of 20.4 billion US dollars by 2024! While some students and workers have ditched this familiar must-have for a street-style tote bag, others just can’t seem to find an accessory as ubiquitous or useful.
Aside from fulfilling our scholarly or office needs, backpacks also make great companions for hiking, as well as other outdoor activities, carrying snacks, water, and other gear. Now more than ever, this once solely practical accessory has proven its versatility in the midst of the pandemic, accompanying folks as they (safely) venture outdoors. But finding the perfect bag that meets all of our needs can be a challenge. For some, the costs of leather are not worth it, demonstrating the need for better, more sustainable alternatives. Regardless of how you see it, we’ve compiled a list of 21 of our favourite sustainable backpacks that are kind to people and the planet, with plenty of vegan options too!
Below you can see these eco-friendly finds separated into technical and casual wear. Happily browse between minimal and PETA-approved vegan backpacks by Ucon Acrobatics (Germany), cool and innovative everyday cactus leather daypacks by A_C (Australia), and if you’re looking for something futuristic, RÆBURN’s (UK) rucksack is effortless, cool, and made from recovered nylon parachute canopies. With that, we hope you enjoy!