10 Sustainable, Grown Up Backpacks: These Will Carry You From Work to Weekend


grown up backpack woman

If it’s back to school, or simply to ease your back, backpacks never go out of style (though right now, they’re more popular than ever—and our backs are thanking us!). Here are 10 grown up backpacks made from sustainable, responsible materials. Take care of your backpack, and it will take care of you for years to come. 



Garfield by State Bags 

This isn’t just a backpack, but a GiveBackPack.  For every bag purchased STATE hand-delivers bags to American students in need all around the country.  Their styles range from simple to fun and we love the vibrant, playful colors on their Garfield bag!

$55, STATE


Rucksac Chataigne Barbade by Veja

Our favorite sustainable shoe company, Veja, is branching out to backpacks and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome! Colorblocking perfection, grown up backpacks style exemplified.

$239, Veja


Tropic Dream Globby Backpack by Modernaked

Handmade in Spain with organic cotton handles, this bookbag is a modern take on the old-school trend.  Don’t like this dreamy underwater design? Modernaked (what a cool name!) offers a range of tons of different designs and colors.

$130, Modernaked


Signature Urban Ruck by Sword & Plough

Made from recycled and repurposed military gear and employing veterans, Sword & Plough is on a mission for good.  “We wanted to create something that would emotionally and physically touch civilians in their everyday lives and remind them, in a beautiful way, of the challenges our country and servicemen face,” says Emily and Betsy Nunez, founders of Sword & Plough.

$298, Sword & Plough


Dublin Backpack by Ecoalf

It might look like the average backpack, but look again.  Ecoalf has created a bag using waste products like fishing nets, tires, post-industrial cotton,and coffee.  Javier, founder of Ecoalf and his team, traveled to factories around the world searching for opportunities to invest in research and development on how to turn one persons garbage into an upcycled product, et voila!

$75, Ecoalf


Black Waxed Rucksack by Archival

Want to support American manufacturing? Then, this is your bag. Proudly made in the USA, this Archival rucksack is extremely well-made and will last through all your adventures. From the custom woven cotton to the dye and finishing and even the zippers are excusively made in the USA!

$260, Archival


The Lucas by Stone + Cloth

Made in Los Angeles, this bag is a simple classic with a big back story.  After returning home to the US from an epic climb up Mt Kilimanjaro, Matthew Clough, founder of Stone + Cloth, realized his overwhelming access to resources as compared to those he met in Tanzania, and decided to create a company to help.  Each Stone + Cloth purchase helps to provide scholarships for students in Tanzania, Africa.

$68, Stone + Cloth



Handmade in San Francisco, California in limited quanites, get this bookbag while you still can!  It’s designed is inspired by the U.S. M1928 Haversack, which was used by all U.S. Army and Marine Corps infantrymen throughout World War I and II.  Made of durable duck canvas and vegetable tanned leather straps.

$280, Etsy


Frosted Flower Rucksack by Front Row Society 

Get your design on a bag—that’s what Veljko Spasic from Serbia did after winning Front Row Society’s design contest. This print was based on a moodboard of Frosted floral prints.  Front Row Society puts out a design challenge and lets you get creative by designing within the theme.

$139, Front Row Society


Array Solar Laptop Charger by Voltaic

Carry your laptop AND charge it!

$389, Voltaic

Images from featured brands

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Juliette Donatelli

Working in the field of sustainability for over seven years, Juliette is passionate about its intersection within the fashion industry. Juliette began studying ecological conservation, and led consumer awareness campaigns around the world from water usage in southern California, riparian restoration in South Africa, food distribution in Paris and bison habitat in the Great Plains. She has launched her passion--consumerism and sustainability--into a place where it hits home--fashion. Juliette is the founder and editor-in-chief of spadesandsilk.com, Director of Sustainability at Manufacture NY, and loves to read, dance, swim and enjoy the occasional glass of champagne.