THE BEST LUXURY SUSTAINABLE BAGS

For the luxury-craving purse-loving soul
Yes, certain allegations could be brought against them as to their use of animal hides, exotic skins and cruelty against animals. True, they aren't what might come first in the mind of the conscious buyer regarding wardrobe pieces that are sustainable. However, the principle of luxury bags has always been very much aligned with the ideals of sustainability. Don't see how?
I'm here to help.

Now, what exactly is a luxury bag? An accessory, yes. And a pricey one at that. But with the (often exorbitant) price tag comes the assurance of quality. And wait, before you delve into a detailed discussion of how you can find a much cheaper alternative to a designer purse that will not compromise on quality either, I will be the first to admit that a certain segment (maybe even a pretty large one) of the price is due to the brand name.

Yep, you caught me red-handed in the process of trying to ascribe to popular marketing jargon. BUT? With the quality and the brand name comes one more thing that's a significant fixture of sustainable fashion – permanence. Designer bags are meant to be used and reused – their prices are justified by the cost per wear! And serving as the antithesis of the murkier fast fashion industry, luxury bags can be passed on for generations. In fact, while a rip in your high-street faux leather bag will be the end of its life, a rip in your Balenciaga can be easily repaired both by Balenciaga itself or any local handbag spa. Unless, that is, you're of the opinion that the rip in question actually adds more character to your punk-chic BBag.

On a more serious note though, many luxury bags were actually born out of the concept of sustainability. The first Balenciaga Motorcycle bags, for example, were crafted by Nicolas Ghesquiere out of leftover leather from his jacket line in 2001, and elevated by Kate Moss to the massive popularity it enjoyed in its heyday (and continues today). A considerable number of designers' purse silhouettes, like the Proenza Schouler PS1, or the Mulberry Alexa, also benefit from the worn-in look, again stimulating the ideal of reusing your bags. But if you're rooting for the most sustainable options there are, without sacrificing the style and "oomph" factors, fear not! I have you covered – here are the most luxurious bags you can find right now, while "wearing ethics on your sleeves", let's dig right in!
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It's probably a sin somewhere in the Grand Book of High Fashion to talk about sustainability and not have Stella McCartney there, so here you go. And it's gorgeous too! Featuring an infinitely recyclable aluminum chain, 100% polyester body and a monogram satin lining made from recycled polyester sourced from post-consumer waste like water bottles, this foldover tote can be dressed up or down, while proudly proclaiming its role in saving the earth!
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Coming in a lovely shade of orange (if you're opting for the Tote edition, that's available in a stunning yellow), this backpack is Alessandro Michele's attempt to restore balance and harmony to the world by addressing the wasteful nature of the fashion industry. Made of ECONYL and 100% regenerated polyamide, this GG logo printed backpack is the quintessential accessory for the glamorous gentleman (or gentlewoman) who's conscious about their carbon footprint
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Not only is it made in Mulberry's carbon-neutral Somerset factory, it's entirely made from heavy-grain leather, rated gold standard by the Leather Working Group. This is along with materials that are by-products of food production, stitched with Epic EcoVerde thread, a recycled polyester fibre and has buckles made of recycled stainless steel!
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Having taken the world by storm and made functionality fashionable again, bum bags are now no less than a wardrobe staple. And what if this hip new accessory was also made of sustainable ECONYL consisting of recycled fishing nets, scraps of fabric and industrial plastics, that has the potential to save the planet? And if it also featured the heritage check of a traditionally English luxury brand? Aaand can be converted into a backpack? Sweet!
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Using colorful strips of surplus smooth calfskin and finely textured soft-grained calfskin, this Basket Tote makes use of leather pieces that would have otherwise been discarded – the juxtaposition of bright and soft hues making it all the more cheery! This tote is indeed a must-have for all those who want to make the most out of life!
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This one technically isn't available for you to buy immediately, given that it's literally sold out everywhere online! But come on, it's not a bag, it's a Baguette, and that too sustainable! It's like any ethical fashionista's dream bag, the one that allows you to be the Carrie Bradshaw of 2021! Made with certified FF cotton and recycled polyester, this Baguette is created by cutting, assembling and hand-knotting the individual stripes, the knots are then folded on the opposite side and finished with a maxi metal needle. Keep an eye on the link above and you might just be able to land yourself a sustainable Baguette!
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With a "0 km production policy" whereby all products are sourced locally and/or with minimal transportation, Ree Projects is also of the notion that leather, with low cost per wear, is a sustainable material, and the leather it uses is a by-product of the food industry as well. With more in mind than just sustainable raw materials, Ree Projects and its manufacturing partners also pay fair wages in an attempt to promote equality, inclusivity and empowerment to women, so, you can unhesitatingly indulge in your bohemian self as you sling around this gorgeous crisp white fringed Helene!
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Disappointed in her search for a luxury bag that's not made of animal leather, Jill Fraser partnered with Milan Lazich to make Jill Milan in 2010. Plus, this brand is definitely making strides in the sustainability world: they work with Tuscan fabric suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint, are constantly searching for new, eco-friendly materials, and reportedly donate over 10% of their sales to a number of animal welfare charities like PCRM and Mercy for Animals. Entirely handmade from vegan leather, the house's offerings are a favourite of celebrities like Anne Hathaway and Eva Longoria, and its Thoroughbred bag, spacious enough for work or college and luxe enough for everything else, the Thoroughbred bag looks, well, thoroughbred.
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I simply couldn't resist mentioning this, hailing from the same place I am from, right here in Dhaka, Bangladesh! Not only employing women artisans, both to empower them and to uphold dying local arts like the Jamdani weave, Lidia May also works closely with the Lidia Hope Centre to support 400+ families in Dhaka slums. In fact, some of the collections have 100% of their proceeds from the first 1500 bags sold donated to fund the Lidia Hope Center School.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab 'em now!
Article by Sajid Bin Mohammad