9 Sustainable Handbags And Purses For Summer 2023
The Good Trade editors endorse products we’ve personally researched, tested, and genuinely love. Learn more about our methodology and business model here.
As consumers, we’re passionate about knowing whether the people who make our clothes and accessories earn fair wages and work in safe, ethical conditions. Below we’ve compiled a list of our favorite brands that check those boxes—and make gorgeous eco-friendly totes, handbags, and weekenders for everyday use, summer travels, and beyond.
Some of these bags and purses are American-made while others are upcycled. The list includes vegan totes and artisan-made handbags, too! (And for secondhand designer bags, check out Vestiaire Collective!)
Best For | Bucket bags, raffia bags
Price Range | $120–$475
Sézane creates timeless pieces that also respect the planet and its people. This certified B Corp uses majority natural and sustainable materials, including raffia, chrome-free leather, and cotton, for its gorgeous collection of bags, wallets, and baskets. (Many can also be personalized!) Throughout production, the team’s efforts are powered by renewable energy and sent in eco-friendly packaging (ships internationally). To date, Sézane has gifted more than four million euros to support education and equal opportunity for children.
Best For | Elegant styles, monogramming
Price Range | $88–$548
Cuyana lives by a simple mantra: “Fewer, better.” The brand believes that style is more important than fashion, and quality trumps quantity. You’ll rarely see our editor without her caramel Easy Tote from Cuyana. (She’s always been a proponent of big bags, and is glad they’re back in style and so, so chic!) Cuyana creates artisan leather bags for the modern person, with soft neutral colors and enough space for just what you need. The brand also believes in one of our favorite concepts—the Lean Closet—and provides a free shipping label (available internationally!) with every domestic online order, so that you can fill a box with used clothes and receive a credit. Be more intentional, sustainable, and live by “fewer, better.”
Best For | Affordable leather bags
Price Range | $40–$230
Quince makes “affordable luxury” a reality. Using certifications—like OEKO-TEX, BSCI, and GOTS—as well as sustainable packaging whenever possible, the team refuses to sacrifice ethics and sustainability for affordability. You can find Italian leather and vegan crossbody purses, belt bags, totes, and even AirPod cases and valet trays to help keep you organized all day long. Ships to the US.
4. Pixie Mood
Best For | On-trend vegan bags, wallets
Price Range | $25–$145
Pixie Mood’s handbags are socially responsible, sustainable, and stylish. Since 2010, this brand has crafted functional and fun bags made from recycled and solvent-free vegan leather. Based out of Canada (shipping available to Canada and the US!), Pixie Mood has gained worldwide recognition for its standout products—RFID-equipped wallets and cases, monogrammed pouches, and chic crossbodies. With dozens of styles and every color of the rainbow, you’ll be sporting one of these pieces for years to come.
Best For | Reusable market totes
Price Range | $12–$78
Baggu’s bags probably look familiar—the design is based on the standard plastic grocery bag! Baggu hopes to reduce our dependence on single-use plastics and opt for reusable every time. We love the thoughtful attention to the materials and production (read more here). These reusable totes are cut from a continuous piece of nylon material, and then the waste is used to make handy carrying pouches. Its factories in China are audited yearly by a third party, ensuring safe, fair working conditions. You can even send your bag back to be recycled! This is our go-to bag for just about everything—grocery shopping, beach days, road trips, laundry hauls. Hot tip: It makes for the most fun (and affordable!) gift. Worldwide shipping available!
Best For | Color-block vegan bags, satchel & pouch set
Price Range | $125–$275
GUNAS has been creating high fashion, cruelty-free, and vegan handbags since 2009—acting as a voice of animals in the fashion industry. The company manufactures globally in ethically run factories that are visited and checked in person by a member of the GUNAS team. You won’t find any PVC in these stylish bags, either: GUNAS strives to use upcycled, recycled, and vintage materials when possible, and the brand is constantly experimenting with new materials. Worldwide shipping available.
Best For | Unique shapes & patterns
Price Range | $110–$430
Barcelona-based ALOHAS is changing our culture of overconsumption, one bag at a time. Here’s how it works: ALOHAS will pre-release of a new design at a sizable discount. If you’re interested, you’ll purchase it in pre-production so ALOHAS can plan its batch size accordingly. Once production has started in Alicante, Spain, the price goes back to its normal set price but is available only in limited quantities (international shipping available!). From checkered satchels to pleated black bags to vegan options, it’s fashion at its finest.
8. Stella McCartney
Best For | Designer vegan totes & shoulder bags
Price Range | $475–$2650
Since Stella McCartney launched 20+ years ago, the team has never used leather, fur, or any animal byproducts in its luxury line. So while these handbags have the style and sheen of leather, they’re made with solvent-free alternatives instead (and some are woven from sustainable raffia!). Many of the handbags are styled with the recognizable Stella logo, though you can also find chain-lined totes, simple wallets, and Mickey Mouse-printed designs here, too. It’s all luxury for a lifetime. The brand ships internationally.
9. HYER GOODS
Best For | Upcycled leather
Price Range | $165–$355
HYER GOODS was founded by a fashion vet who was dismayed by the amount of waste in the industry. Not wanting to contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions necessary to produce leather and other materials from scratch, the brand instead creates its beautiful designs from the most sustainable materials out there—the ones that already exist! The new HYER GOODS are cut from Luxury Leftovers and made in a female-owned factory in India—the brand has combined new, state-of-the-art manufacturing with obsessive quality control and the most luxe waste yet to bring you the Best of Better Leather. And because everything is made from waste, it’s all limited edition. Hyer ships internationally.
As for giving back, the brand does that too! HYER GOODS gives 1% of its monthly profits to various organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety, the Malala Fund, and Transanta. We love that!
Featured image is from Hyer Goods