By Chloe Pingeon, Epicure & Culture Contributor
If you’re a traveler looking for ethical accessories in the form of stylish vegan backpacks, you’re in the right place.
Investing in cruelty-free bags is not only humane, but it also allows you to help the planet as loads of resources and fossil fuels are needed to keep livestock. Plus, livestock pollution can wreak havoc on our waterways.
Even if you’re not ready to go 100% vegan, these fashionable and practical cruelty-free backpacks allow you to travel with a slightly lighter footprint.
Plus, the animals will thank you.
In the fashion industry, there is no all-encompassing definition of “vegan”.
According to Vaude, a quality gear brand dedicated to animal welfare, “when labeling products, each manufacturer can decide for itself, whether or not to take into consideration the primary materials alone or all of the components in a product, and how far up the production chain it can even be verified.”
We want to be transparent about this.
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Ethical Vegan Backpacks: Our Top Picks
1. Von Holzhausen Vegan Leather Backpacks
Von Holzhausen’s vegan leather backpacks are the type of cruelty-free bags you bring on a chic Paris vacation.
Plus, they’re made to last.
The Von Holzhausen design centers around the fabric choice of “Tecknik-Leather”, which maintains the quality of animal leather without any of the cruelty and negative environmental effects.
It’s made from fibers designed to be even more durable than those in animal products.
For a backpack that fits within the vegan designer bag category, Von Holzhausen backpacks are a top pick.
This Dutch brand makes sustainable, versatile, and relatively budget-friendly backpacks that are perfect for any adventure.
These ethical backpacks are made for practicality and comfort and come with hydration systems, padding, and an easily organizable interior.
Sustainable-minded explorers can pack vegan clothing or vegan backpacking meals in one of these mid-sized and compact Vaude bags.
For some inspiration on where to bring your Vaude backpack, check out the Experience Vaude Blog, which details travel stories from hiking the far North to winter cycling.
Note: The brand is transparent that while they use leather for some products, the Vaude Wizard 24+4 Backpack and Tacora 26 Backpack are 100% vegan.
3. Po Campo’s Bike Bags & Vegan Purses
Perfect for when you need to bring a picnic or other supplies on a bike ride, Pocampo offers bicycle handlebar bags, functional vegan purses and more.
Not only are these bags leather-free and sustainably sourced, but they also empower women.
The company is female-owned, promotes diversity, and donates a bicycle to a girl in Africa for every fifty bags that the company sells.
For less than $50, the Himalayan Hemp Hiking Backpack by Nepal Hemp House is an affordable option made from 100% wild hemp canvas.
It’s lightweight and easily washable and can carry your snacks and reusable water bottles on a hike or your electronics to work. There’s even a laptop sleeve!
Perfect for a gym bag or for carrying snacks on a hike, the Loctote Flak Sack SPORT is both lightweight and water resistant.
The bag is also specially designed with interior pockets to protect valuables, so you can rest assured that your passport is safe no matter what adventure you embark upon.
The bag is worn on the back but straps around the front to protect against theft or loss of property, and the cut-resistant straps are even reflective to keep you visible at all hours.
The Thule Subterra backpack embodies Scandinavian style and versatility, making it a functional choice for both a New York coffee shop run or a week-long exploration of Oslo.
This backpack is designed with specific charger pockets to avoid the tangle of cords that so often occurs with laptop, phone, and iPad chargers, and is also padded to make a comfortable fit.
This 100% vegan and eco-friendly backpack is a fashionable choice for travelers who want to be mindful of their environmental footprint while making a positive difference.
Each time an Adventurist Backpack Co backpack is sold, 25 meals are donated to United States families in need, so for only $65 you can have a new minimalist staple in your travel wardrobe while doing good for others.
The unique Corc Yoga Backpack is a yoga mat and backpack in one and is perfect for any yoga retreat or a quick trip to the studio.
It’s made out of 100% natural cork, which is both a sustainable bag material and one that is perfect for yogis with a latex allergy — or who simply want a more natural material to do their sun salutations on.
Cork material comes from the cork trees and the natural extraction of their bark. Rather than harming the trees, this process actually helps keep them healthy and extends their life span.
Furthermore, because yoga is known to be beneficial for mental health, Corc Yoga donates a percentage of every sale to mental health organizations in Portugal.
We all know that single-use plastic bottles are awful for the environment, and while the ideal reduction method is to stop using them, this doesn’t always happen.
ONYA is a brand that helps with this. The Onya Life Backpack is made from fibers recycled from single-use water bottles, and each bag repurposes ten bottles.
The bag is also very durable, comfortable, and lightweight, and even the packaging is recyclable.
The Sierra Design California Collection emphasizes local production, so, as the name suggests, these packs are all made in the California area with local and sustainable materials.
By focusing on local manufacturing, this collection promotes the local economy. And by focusing on sustainability, the collection reduces their carbon footprint.
Bags like the Alameda Duffle are ideal for weekend getaways or if you need something to hold your gym gear.
For a more lightweight option, the Runyon Sports Pack has 20L capacity and is perfect to carry with you on a hike or bike ride.
For a fashionable everyday anti-theft backpack that is leading the way in cruelty-free fashion, Solgaard Design is a top pick.
A portion of every one of these vegan rucksacks sold goes towards removing plastic from ocean waters.
This backpack also has a charging port and an easy access top flap opening system, making it a great option for travelers who might be working remotely.
What are your favorite vegan backpacks? Share your picks in the comments below!
8 Pioneering Vegetarian Vacations Around The World [Blog Inspiration]
Epicure & Culture’s FREE Responsible Tourism Checklist [Sustainable Travel]
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