Our picks for well-designed eco-luggage: totes, sustainable suitcases and satchels that give back.
Sustainable Cork This envelope-shaped clutch that doubles as a shoulder bag is as eco-friendly—and elegant—as it gets, in a mix of cork with plaid fabric and vegan leather. The cork oak is the only tree whose bark regenerates itself after every harvest, producing several hundred pounds and living on for an average of 300 years. The Correia family, in Portugal, was making champagne corks for three generations until Sandra Correia, granddaughter of the founder, had an inspiration to create fashion accessories, and the bags have been selling beautifully ever since. $258; pelcorusa.com
The Carpet Bag One of the talented designers at Interface (interface.com), the carpet company that became one of the world leaders in sustainability thanks to the vision of founder Ray Anderson, has created a beautiful line of bags that is literally made from eco-carpet scraps that have been skillfully and artistically crafted together. The line of textured, neutral and colorful bags is named PoRTL: “a portal for us to introduce our culture, mission and vision to the world,” says an Interface spokesperson. $99.99; shuffle-it.com/portl
Stylish Satchel The luscious colors are very French, the construction is solid, and the Paris-based company donates a portion of sales to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The two-wheeled, 24-inch soft satchel, with a large exterior zipper pocket, is roomy enough for a long weekend away and the sleek design is good looking enough to take anywhere. $195; lipault-us.com
Switch-It-Up Suitcase Have you ever fallen in love…with a suitcase? Neither had I, until the sleek Zuca PRO crossed my path. The four-wheel carryon comes with an external cover to protect it from airline abuse. It contains five removable mesh packets that stack like drawers, which are very handy for rolling up your clothes and fitting a lot in a little space (plus an FAA-compliant toiletry bag). When you get stuck in a long line, the suitcase supports up to 300 pounds, so you can sit on top. Best of all, every part—cover, inside packets, even the fabric of the suitcase itself—is replaceable so that you can use it until you can’t and then replace whatever you need. $295; zuca.com
Mama & Baby Bag This sweetly shaped Black Mélange Neckline tote (made from recycled PET plastics) is designed as a diaper bag, but if you don’t tell, no one will ever know! It comes with lots of pockets, along with an insulated bottle holder, changing pad and water resistant lining—and we love the scalloped shape. It’s the perfect size to tote essentials on the plane. Made by Lässig, a German company, it is free of PVC, azo dyes, phthalates, nickel and cadmium. They also make beautiful bags from recycled water bottles. $154; laessig-fashion.com
Vegan Tote Morgan Bogle and Scott MacDonough are a stylist and a photographer, which means they know a thing or two about making things look good. The animal-loving duo launched Freedom of Animals, a vegan line, in 2012. One of our travel favorites is the Ina, a tall structured tote that can fit a 13-inch laptop along with a few other airport or on-the-go essentials. An inside zippered pocket comes in handy. Because the Ina is not infinitely expandable, it prevents you from loading yourself up with too many things that you don’t need, and encourages traveling light. $480; freedomofanimals.com