A Guide To Eco-Friendly And Sustainable Luggage

Introduction – Eco-Friendly And Sustainable Luggage

Traveling has largely resumed its patterns since the 2020 dip caused by COVID19. Besides for business, travel is being used for creating unforgettable experiences and cross-cultural connections. However, it’s crucial to be mindful of the environmental impact of our travel choices. Already plane flight emits a huge amount of carbon because of the distance traveled. For these reasons incorporating sustainable luggage and greener habits into our journey takes on even more importance. In this article, we will explore various eco-conscious luggage options, discuss where to find them, and provide tips for greener, more sustainable travels.

Air travel incurs a large carbon footprint so efforts to reduce it include packing light, using eco-friendly and sustainable luggage

Carbon Footprint Of Travel And Traditional Luggage

Flights consume large amounts of fossil fuels and generate a lot of carbon emissions per passenger. On a per passenger mile basis the emissions are not much worse than a car, so its really the distance that’s at the heart of the carbon emissions. Before diving into sustainable luggage options, it’s vital to understand the environmental impact of conventional luggage production.

Traditional suitcases are often made with materials that come from non-renewable sources, consume large amounts of energy during production, and release hazardous chemicals. These factors contribute to increasing our carbon footprint, threatening the health of our planet. By adopting sustainable luggage and being thoughtful of our travel choices, we can contribute to reducing carbon emissions and promote a more responsible way of living.

Sustainable Luggage Essentials

Switching to sustainable luggage involves understanding what makes luggage eco-friendly and the benefits it offers.

These bags and suitcases are made from ethical and renewable materials such as the following:

  • Organic Cotton
  • Recycled Polyester
  • Natural Fibers

Sustainable luggage options not only reduce waste but also contribute to lower carbon emissions during production. In the next sections, we will discuss some popular eco-friendly luggage options that will help you travel with peace of mind, knowing you are contributing to a healthier planet.

Eco-Friendly Luggage – Suitcases And Bags

When looking for an eco-friendly suitcase, consider features such as the use of recycled materials, durability, and eco-conscious production methods. Some top brands offering eco-friendly suitcases include Samsonite (Eco-Nu Collection), and Patagonia (Black Hole Series).

Samsonite – Eco-Nu Bag

Samsonite is a well-known brand in the luggage industry. Their Eco-Nu bags takes a step towards sustainability by utilizing post-consumer recycled plastic bottles (PET) to manufacture their products. This not only helps reduce plastic waste, but also significantly lowers carbon emissions during production. The luggage is also designed to be durable and lightweight, ensuring it can withstand the rigors of travel while keeping the environmental impact low.

Patagonia – Black Hole Series

Outdoor clothing and gear brand Patagonia is known for its dedication to environmental responsibility. The Black Hole series of bags and luggage is a great example of this. The fabric used in these products is 100% recycled polyester, and the bags are treated with a durable water repellent finish that is also environmentally friendly. These products are designed to be robust, weather-resistant, and versatile, making them perfect for adventure travel. Additionally, Patagonia is a part of the 1% for the Planet initiative, contributing 1% of their total sales to environmental causes.

Solo New York

Solo New York offers a range of eco-friendly bags, backpacks, and luggage under their Re:cycled Collection. The products in this collection are made from recycled PET bottles and come in a variety of styles and sizes. The company utilizes a process that reduces waste and conserves resources, transforming plastic waste into a durable fabric that’s lightweight and ultra-strong. In addition to their sustainability efforts, Solo New York’s products offer functional designs with plenty of storage options for your travel needs.

Keep an eye out for sustainability certifications like the Global Recycle Standard (GRS) or the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 to ensure you’re making a responsible choice.

The Global Recycle Standard (GRS) is an international, voluntary, and full product standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of recycled content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices, and chemical restrictions. It aims to encourage the use of recycled materials in products and reduce the harmful impact of production practices.

(OEKO-Tex is covered on ShrinkThatFootprint as well at the link above.)

Sustainable Duffle Bags and Weekender Bags

For shorter trips, duffle bags and weekender bags are popular alternatives to suitcases. Opt for bags made with organic, recycled, or upcycled materials to ensure they are both stylish and sustainable. Some great options are the following:

United By Blue – (R)evolution™ 55L Carry-On Duffle

United By Blue is a company with a strong commitment to the environment. For each product sold, they remove one pound of trash from the world’s oceans and waterways. The Arc Duffle is made from 100% recycled polyester, a material derived from used plastic bottles. This makes the bag both durable and eco-friendly. It features a large, zippered main compartment and several external pockets, making it ideal for both travel and everyday use.

Looptworks – In Flight Luv Weekender

Looptworks is a brand that repurposes and upcycles discarded materials into premium goods, thereby saving these materials from ending up in landfills. Their In Flight Luv Weekender bag is made from retired Southwest Airlines leather seats, blending style with sustainability. Each bag conserves water, avoids carbon emissions, and reduces waste. Looptworks also offers a lifetime warranty on their products, reflecting the durability and quality of their bags.

Tentree – Mobius Duffle

Tentree is a brand focused on planting trees and producing sustainable goods. The Mobius Duffle is made with REPREVE, a fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. The bag is designed to be versatile, durable, and eco-friendly. It features multiple carrying options and is packed with functionalities like a shoe compartment and plenty of storage space. For each product purchased, Tentree commits to planting ten trees, thus living up to its name and contributing positively to the environment.

Where to Buy Sustainable Luggage

You can find sustainable luggage from specialized online retailers offering eco-friendly products like EarthHero or of course Amazon if you have no choice. Alternatively, check out local shops that share your concerns for an eco-conscious lifestyle. Many physical stores and boutiques have recognized the importance of sustainability and now offer eco-friendly travel accessories to cater to their customers.

Greener Travel Habits

Switching to sustainable luggage mitigates the carbon miles of flight

While choosing sustainable luggage is a significant first step, it’s also essential to be mindful of other aspects of your journey. Pack lighter to reduce your carbon footprint and consider reusable alternatives such as collapsible silicone containers, reusable cutlery, and solid shampoo bars – these are conveniently characterized as “zero waste travel kits

Eco-tourism and staying in eco-cabins can provide an experience that is not only rewarding and enjoyable but also gentle on the environment. When you choose to explore an eco-tourist destination, you’re opting for a holiday that respects the natural world, supports local communities, and promotes conservation.

By choosing sustainable luggage, we contribute to a more eco-conscious tourism industry and inspire others to follow suit. These cumulative actions, combined with greener travel habits, can have lasting positive effects on our planet and help preserve its beauty for future generations.


Pack lighter for a greener trip

Traveling with sustainable luggage is a responsible and eco-friendly choice that allows us to minimize our environmental impact. By supporting environmentally conscious brands and adopting greener habits, we can make a difference in preserving our planet’s resources and nurturing a sustainable lifestyle. Embark on your next adventure with sustainable luggage and create a greener tomorrow for all.

Staff Writer
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