Eco-Friendly Backpacks! “Eco-friendly” has been a hot topic in recent years. It is getting lots of attention as our society understands the importance of protecting our environment, and avoiding the harm as much as possible when we interact with it.
When it comes to the commercial world, more and more companies are integrating the Eco-friendly concept into their products and services. Supasac, for example, is the pioneer of Eco-friendly products. They have their backpacks, bags, and footwear made out of recycled or organic materials since 2018.
What is considered an Eco-Friendly product?
According to Green Retail Decisions, Eco-friendly is a colloquial term used to classify a product that will not cause damage to the environment. This term in practice indicates that the specific product attempts to reduce waste, or minimize carbon emissions, compared to competitive products.
WWF’s sustainable shopping tips suggest consumers buy products that are made from those recycled materials because recycled products save energy and resources and reduce waste.
So, how to make a Backpack Eco-Friendly?
The most straight forward way to make a backpack Eco-friendly is by using recycled materials. Some will consider products made from organic materials Eco-friendly as well. There are many suppliers out there who can offer these materials. So, developing an Eco-friendly backpack for your brand might be easier than you have thought.
The common choices of materials for backpack manufacturing are RPET (also known as Recycled Polyester), Recycled cotton and Organic cotton.
RPET (also known as Recycled Polyester)
RPET stands for recycled-PET. Most of our daily water bottles are made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate), and RPET is the material that we get from recycling our water bottles.
After sorting and cleaning, the collected bottles are being shredded into “PET flakes”. Then, the flakes would be melted into polyester fibers for manufacturing polyester fabric, polyester sheets, or back into PET bottles.
Approximately 7.5 million tons of PET were collected in 2011 worldwide. We can reduce lots of waste by recycling water bottles and turning them into new products.
RPET can be made into a wide range of fabrics that are suitable for manufacturing backpacks. RPET fabrics look and feel the same as normal polyester fabrics. They also come in as 300D, 600D, ripstop and dobby pattern, etc., just like normal polyester fabrics. Therefore, if you are planning to develop an Eco-friendly backpack for your Outdoor collection, RPET would be a way to go.
Recycled Cotton & Organic Cotton
If you do not like the look of synthetic fabric and you prefer to develop something that looks more natural, you can consider using fabric made out of recycled cotton, such as recycled canvas or recycled denim.
However, since fibers created from recycling cotton wastes are relatively shorter and thus weaker, we usually do not use cotton fabric that has more than 30% recycled content. Also, it is better to use fabric with at least 12oz weight, to ensure the strength and durability of the backpack.
On the other hand, it is possible to make a fabric out of 100% organic cotton. Organic cotton fabric is cheaper than recycled cotton fabric, and it has the same strength as normal cotton fabric. Therefore, when developing an Eco-friendly backpack, organic cotton fabric is also a nice choice to consider.
Developing an Eco-friendly backpack is easy
All it takes is a bag manufacturer with corresponding knowledge and experience. We have been manufacturing Eco-friendly bags and backpacks since 2018. Please contact us if you want to know more about our company, our services and/or our products.
Here’s what to look for in a high-quality, sustainable backpack
Quality and durability: A backpack is first and foremost functional. So whether you’re taking it on a camping road trip, as your carry-on for a flight, or to work every day, there’s a good chance you’re going to be slinging it around, getting it wet, and generally subjecting it to a good amount of wear and tear. The last thing you want is to end up on a hike with a broken strap or in an airport with a bag with a busted zipper. Durability is always a must for sustainable fashion, but especially so for backpacks.
Your own specific needs: What will you be using your pack for? Work? Travel? Hiking? Do you need to prioritize water resistance, aesthetics, or something else? How many compartments do you need, and for what? What size will work best for you? Can you get one that can be used for more than one purpose? Will a roll-top or zipper be best? Do you need extra laptop protection, like padding or locks? Take some time to think about what you will be using your backpack for and how it will fit into your lifestyle so you don’t end up wasting resources on something that won’t work for you.
Sustainably-sourced, natural and/or recycled materials: Many of the backpacks below are made from recycled materials, which is awesome. Other than that, look for natural materials like cotton canvas and locally-sourced, vegetable-tanned leather, and banana fiber(!). These kinds of materials are mostly renewable, biodegradable, non-toxic, much less taxing on the planet, and more often than not, they’re higher quality and more durable, too.
Fair wages and transparency: Because, well, people should be paid fairly for the work they do, period. Look for brands that are committed to paying their artisans living wages for their work, while also providing other benefits like healthcare and education.
Timelessness: Get a backpack that you genuinely think you’ll love and use for years to come! A few of the brands below even come with lifetime warranties and repair programs.
Lastly, note that not all of these companies are doing everything 100% ethically and sustainably — but they’re honest about that and are committed to improving. If we ever find out that a brand isn’t operating responsibly or honestly, they are removed!
As global citizens, it is our responsibility to protect our environment and to ensure sustainability. Making products out of Eco-Friendly materials is a good place to start. We are not only reducing waste, conserving energy, and water, but also helping to promote this concept to our society. Let’s work together to create a better world.