It’s that time of year again. Summer is winding down, the leaves are beginning to change color, and that first day of school is just around the corner. You have almost everything you need… except for a backpack.
Whether you’re looking for a practical, minimalist school bag or something a little more eye-catching, there are plenty vegan leather backpacks on the market that are bound to suit your back-to-school needs.
Here’s a selection of our favorite eco-friendly backpacks, from brands that have a proven track record in sustainable fashion.
1. Mahi’s Classic Vegan Cork Leather Backback
Sustainability is a huge part of Mahi’s brand mission. Their cork leather bags offer a practical and fashionable alternative to leather that isn’t made from plastic derivatives.
Cork leather is made from the bark of cork oaks, using hand harvesting techniques which date back centuries. The bark can only be harvested once every nine years, a process that’s actually beneficial to the tree. Cork leather has a smooth, shiny finish. It is water resistant, flame resistant and hypoallergenic.
Mahi also carries eco-friendly bags made of animal leather, such as their Vintage Blue Suede Backpack (top right image). The leather they use for these bags is a by-product of meat and dairy farming in India, with dyes that are vegetable-based. The company ensures that energy consumption and wastage are kept to a minimum, and that their workers have access to fair wages and safe working conditions.
2. Sans Beast’s Liaison Backpack
Sans Beast is a PETA approved Australian brand, designing collections that combine style and ethics at a premium yet accessible price. Created with a vision to bring a design led ethos into the vegan space. The brand taps practical details like multiple pockets + adjustable straps, yet keeping head turning style at the top of their priority list when building each collection.
Born in Melbourne in 2018, Sans Beast has become a firm favourite of animal loving, style seeking humans. With every purchase, they donate to a Victorian animal sanctuary called Edgars Mission.
The Liaison Backpack is a large powerhouse backpack, offering form + function. With a purpose built internal pocket for a 13″ laptop as well housing the daily needs, the Liaison is perfect for office, study + travel. Wear as a backpack, sling over one shoulder or grab by the handmade acrylic handle – so many ways to go cruelty-free.
3. Matt & Nat’s Brave Vegan Leather Backpack
Matt & Nat is a vegan brand that incorporates recyclable materials into their goods. The “Matt” and “Nat” in their name are not nicknames for people but, rather, short for material and nature.
The Brave backpack comes in several chic and modern colors ranging from bold ruby to serene sky. It has a top zipper closure, adjustable straps, a smartphone pocket, and it can fit a 13″ laptop. You’ll also want to check out their vegan-friendly sandals.
4. Joy Susan Faux Leather Backpack
Joy Susan is a vegan-friendly handbag brand with a broad line of affordable, trendy pieces to choose from.
The Colette Backpack is made of 100% vegan faux leather. It has two compartments with zip closures, adjustable straps, an inner phone pouch, and light gold hardware.
5. Corkor Cork Backpack
Corkor is a vegan-approved brand that values sustainability and luxury. They incorporate cork into their products, the majority of which is found in rural areas of Portugal.
Their backpack is made of premium cork fabric and natural cotton. It has a top flap closure over the main compartment and sturdy backstraps.
6. LXY Vintage Vegan Leather Backpack
Lxy designs eco-friendly, vegan leather handbags that are practical, high quality and competitively priced.
Their vintage laptop bag backpack is rugged yet chic. It is offered in black or taupe with brushed metal highlights. The straps are adjustable and it has two zippered pockets.
7. Doshi’s Microfiber Sustainable Backpack
Doshi FCSA (Fine Clothes Shoes and Accessories) is a brand that offers vegan-friendly handbags, backpacks, belts, briefcases, and accessories. They value eco-friendliness, sustainability, and fair treatment of their factory workers.
Their backpack has a sleek, professional, and clean design. It’s made of microfiber leather with a nylon shell. It’s offered in two sizes (medium and large) and has a laptop compartment.
8. Coofit Eco-Friendly Backpacks
Coofit is an apparel brand with a whimsical bohemian style.
Their eco-friendly backpack is made of vegan leather. It has a soft, comfortable texture and large storage with zipper closures. You can choose from classic black or any of their wide range of colors.
9. Hynes Victory Vegan Leather Backpack
Hynes Victory is a unique brand that combines classical designs with modern chic.
Their school bags are eco-friendly, cruelty-free, and durable. Their Dressy Campus Backpack has two compartments with zipper closures and adjustable back straps.
10. The Honest Company’s Vegan Leather Backpack
The Honest Company designs chic, multi-functional vegan handbags and accessories. Their mission is to contribute to building a future where fashion is cruelty-free and waste-free.
Their backpack is made of 100 percent polyurethane vegan leather. It’s available in several colors, and although it’s used by some moms as a chic diaper bag, it can be used as a school bag as well.
11. Incase’s ICON Backpack
Incase is an American brand that designs bags with clean designs, that are environmentally-friendly, and that are compatible with the latest Apple technology.
The ICON Backpack is efficient and practical with several inner compartments and zipper closures, as well as inner pockets for storing small items such as your phone and keys. It can fit a 15″ MacBook Pro and the padded shoulder straps are adjustable. The “Power Pocket” contains an integrated cable port, offering portable audio or power.
Updated, November 2020. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.