10 ethical bag brands that don't compromise on style!

The strap on my beloved shoulder bag recently broke. A bag that I had used day in and day out for two years – and had planned to enjoy for many more. It had originally taken me hours to find it – the one ‘with my name on it’ - and it was with part sadness that I deposited it in a cupboard after two failed attempts to repair It.
The remaining part of me, I must admit, was quite excited about having to go bag shopping, and exploring what is out there on the sustainable bag market!
Below is my shortlist of my favourite bag brands for your inspiration – all of which don’t compromise on style (either).

If you read our latest blog post, you will know that we are massive fans of the circular economy and Elvis & Kresse are amongst the leaders in this field with their eye-catching bags made from decommissioned firehoses.
Add some sunshine into your day with this fab yellow purse and feel good in the know that it was ethically made in Kent by one of the founding B corporations in the UK (which, by the way, also turns scrap leather from Burberry’s production into rugs etc. - pretty cool, eh?)
Price: £120

Want to stand out from the crowd with a playful bag? Then this is your go-to brand! All Kayu bags are handmade by artisans who are being paid a living wage and have fair working conditions, and all of their materials are locally sourced and eco-friendly.
Bags in interesting shapes, clutches with fun embroideries and chic beach bags – this collection has something for everyone. While it was hard to pick just one favourite, in the end, it had to be the Pinata Bag with all the razzle dazzle!
Price: $98


I love this brand name. It’s as though there’s a bag for each of us just waiting to be discovered!
As with all their bags, the Jazzy Jess is made from vegetable-tanned leather without the use of harmful chemicals and lined with organic cotton. It is evident from O MY BAG’s website that here is a company which cares deeply for the environment, using hides that are by-products from the meat industry and recycled packaging among other things.
They also care about their workers, since their manufacturers in Kolkata, India, are SA8000 certified and pay their workers fair wages.
If you are looking for a sleek, stylish and minimalistic bag to complement your work outfit, this could be it! Striped lining, room for a laptop, a small datable inside bag, two inside pockets AND a pocket mirror – what more could a woman possibly want?
Price: €269


Words cannot describe my excitement when I stumbled upon Ellen & James and their beautiful collection of bags, all handwoven in Bali by artisans under the Fair-Trade scheme.
The only resources used to make them are locally grown reed, sunshine, rainwater and some coconut husks. As eco-friendly as it gets!
I fell head over heals in love with the Bella Beach Basket with its timeless yet so-on-trend design. Perfect for a trip to the local farmers market or the beach. A must have!
Price: $59


A true statement, the bright red Pajarera bag is made from vegetable dyed Iraca palm leaves and goes to prove that it is possible to achieve the most striking colours with eco-friendly dyes.
All of Artili’s bags are ethically crafted by artisans in Usiacuri, Colombia, who are paid fair wages and have safe working conditions.
With its beautiful aesthetic and intricate woven patterns, you are bound to attract a fair bit of attention with this one – especially if you fill it with equally interesting stuff!
Price $190


Matt & Nat is one of the most well-known brands on the Vegan bag scene. Apart from protecting animals from any harm, the brand also looks well after the workers in its supply chain. Their aim is to get all of their suppliers SA8000 certified and they are well on the way!
As with many vegan bags, this minimalist chic Baxter bag is most likely made from PU (material not specified on website) and lined with 100% recycled polyamide. It is evident though that Matt & Nat are aware of the environmental challenges surrounding PU and PVC, as they are stating their intention to source more eco-friendly materials in the future.
Businesswoman or #girlboss wanting to send a subtle sleek signal that you care about other living creatures? Then this bag is for you! And there are six different colours to choose from…
Price: £115


Bang on trend with its round shape, the Circle Basket Bag from Beaumont Organic is the one to own at the moment, yet I suspect it will be cherished for years.
It’s made from a 100% straw by Spanish artisans who are being paid fair wages and have good working conditions, and at £50 it is great value for money as well.
Perfect for window shopping or lunch with your girlfriends!
Price: £50


The Mini Aeden Ring Bag is admittedly a bit on the expensive side yet packs some serious style with its round metal handle and interesting edgy shape.
Made from full grain Ethiopian leather, it is durable and one of those items that becomes even more beautiful over time. Add to this that it is handmade by women who are vulnerable to labour trafficking in Addis Ababa by a Fair Trade certified B corporation, and it’s a true ‘feel good, look good’ bag!
Price: $298


Looking for a clutch with great aesthetics and an interesting print to add interest to your outfit? Then Hetty+Sam could be it!
Apart from being 100% vegan and PETA approved, this brand seeks to support and encourage artistic talent across the globe through collaborating with a host of different designers and artists who create artworks for their products and in return gets a percentage of the sale.
The result is a collection with lots of choice on striking graphic prints – at affordable prices. I fell for the gold marble clutch bag, which will look great with my Scandinavian ‘uniform’; jeans and an edgy black Tee ;-)
Price: £32


The cherry on the chocolate cake has got to be this Stella bag. Completely out of my budget, but I am seriously considering living off porridge the next couple of years in order to get a slice of the rock star feel this bag offers with its star quilted pattern and metal hardware.
With a fully audited supply chain, animal friendly stance and interest in the environment, Stella McCartney is one of the frontrunners in the sustainable fashion industry, and it’s easy to see why: her passion for doing good shines through in everything the brand does and she never compromises on style!
Although not entirely eco-friendly, this vegan beauty is made from a waterborne and solvent free PU, which is better for both you and the environment than traditional PU. Time to raid the piggy bank!
Price: £685


Which bag did I end up buying for myself?
Well, as it turns out, my husband – perhaps spurred on by the excessive window shopping – managed to repair my old handbag. Which is great, because 1) I do love it, and 2) then I have more time to save up for O MY BAG’s Jazzy Jess…



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