ethical backpacks and rucksacks uk

Looking for an ethical backpack?  Well, lucky you, because I have done a bit of research and found ten lovely ethical backpacks for men and for women for your consideration:

10 Ethical Backpacks

1. Fjallraven Re-Kanken Backpack

fjallraven re-kanken ethical backpack

If you are looking for something practical to tote along your daily belongings, then Fjallraven has pretty much cornered the market judging by the number I see around Edinburgh every day!

The Fjallraven Re-Kanken vegan backpack is made entirely from polyester recycled from plastic bottles, and can even be recycled at the end of its life.  It’s €89.95 direct from Fjallraven.

2. Baggu Recycled Canvas Backpack

baggu ethical backpack uk

If you’re looking for a backpack for weekend day trips, then try this jaunty Baggu Recycled Canvas Backpack.  It’s available online in the UK on eBay for £28 (2019 edit: it’s no longer available on eBay – but I have found it on Amazon* instead).

3. Timbuk2 Leader Backpack

timbuk2 leader ethical backpacks

If you’re in the market for something a little more outdoorsy then this Timbuk2 Leader Backpack, available direct from Timbuk2 UK for £84, might do the trick?  All Timbuk2 products have a lifetime warranty and are hand sewn in the US, and there is the opportunity to buy spare parts if you need to replace something on your bag.

2019 update – the backpack is no longer available on the Timbuk2 website and shipping to the UK is quite pricey.  The best UK selection of Timbuk2 bags I have found is on Amazon*.

4. Trakke Fingal Backpack

Trakke Fingal Rucksack

If you are looking for something produced a little more locally, Trakke bags are handmade in Glasgow using durable materials sourced within the UK.

This Fingal rucksack (£120) is made from waxed canvas and can be re-waxed when required.  It’s sure to be a trusty travel companion for decades to come.

5. M-24 Recycled Tarpaulin Backpack

M-24 ethical backpacks

If you want a bag that turns heads then check out M-24.  M-24 make unique and incredibly sturdy ethical backpacks, manufactured in the UK from recycled truck tarpaulins and used seat belts.

Check out their tarpaulin backpacks online, where there are a whole host of colours and patterns available, from £75.

6. Matt & Nat Recycled Vegan Backpack

matt and nat vegan backpack

If you are looking for something, pretty, smart and vegan then do check out Matt and Nat.  Matt and Nat’s range of vegan bags are made responsibly and are lined with 100% recycled nylon.

This Matt and Nat Brave bag in azure, available at ASOS*, is currently reduced to £68.60.

7. What Daisy Did Brooklyn Backpack

ethical rucksack uk

If you are looking for a bag with an added feel-good factor then look no further than Northampton based What Daisy Did.

Their wayfarer collection of bags are made in the UK from high grade recycled ex-military materials, such as waxed canvas. These materials are 99% locally sourced, and they say that where it hasn’t been possible to source recycled components they have tried to source new components from local manufacturers.  They also offer employment to local homeless and vulnerable people.

2019 update – the What Daisy Did shop is sadly now closed.

8. Patagonia Ironwood Backpack

patagonia recycled polyester backpack

If you want real peace of mind when you buy a backpack then definitely cast your eyes towards Patagonia.  Click on the returns and repair section of Patagonia’s website and you’re presented with a reassuring statement informing you that “you can return Items(s) you bought on within 100 years of the date of receipt of the Item(s). For returns past 100 years, please see our IronClad Guarantee“.  You can then return it for repair, replacement or refund.   They also offer a recycling program for added green points.

This Ironwood 20L Backpack (£55) is made from 600-denier 100% recycled polyester.

9. Hawthorn Compact Rucksack

hawthorn ethical backpacks uk

If you’re not an outdoorsy type, and just want a stylish backpack for transporting your laptop and lunch to work then check out Hawthorn.

All Hawthorn rucksacks are ethically made in east London, from British waxed canvas, vegetable tanned leather and organic cotton, and Hawthorn say that they are so confident in the quality of our construction that every rucksack comes with a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing faults.

2019 update – sadly Hawthorn rucksacks are no longer available.

10. Millican Roll Pack

millican recycled rucksack gorse

And lastly, Millican makes a lovely range of ethical backpacks for a whole range of purposes, from commuting and short trips to longer excursions.

This 15L roll pack (£95) is made from “Bionic Canvas” – a weatherproof canvas that is 57% recycled.  33% of the recycled plastic inside the yarn is recovered from shorelines, waterways and coastal communities.

If you found this post useful then you might also enjoy my guide to ethical clothing brands for women and ethical clothing brands for men.

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