When you’ve committed to living a sustainable life, traveling can be the element that’s sometimes tough to justify. After all, if maintaining a small climate footprint ranks high among your priorities, likely you’ve been a bit gobsmacked when entering a convention ballroom and pondering the massive amount of electricity required to run that trade show you’re attending. The good news: Many elements integral to your trip put an emphasis on sustainability—and yes, that extends to your carry-on and checked bags. Most luggage brands today recognize not only the consumer desire for sustainable features, but also that recycled materials and ethical practices beneﬁt their proﬁt margins in ways beyond feel-good slogans in marketing campaigns.
All of which means that it’s easier than ever to purchase luggage that suits your travel and sustainability needs in equal measure—and it just might appeal to your personal style, as well. Here’s a look at ﬁve bags that measure up to that goal, which thankfully is more attainable than ever.
Monos Carry-On Pro in Terrazzo
Founded in 2018, Monos has put sustainability at the forefront of its philosophy, and was the ﬁrst luggage company to be certiﬁed by Climate Neutral, which recognizes brands that measure, offset and reduce their carbon emissions. The latest Carry-On Pro is offered in a limited-edition Terrazzo print, which itself is enjoying a resurgence amid the current popularity of mid-century modern design. Key to this polycarbonate piece is its built-in padded front compartment, which features three inner and three zippered pouches and ﬁts a 15-inch laptop, all of which can be accessed easily. Also notable about the aluminum telescoping handle: Aside from the fact that it glides beautifully, the leather detailing so prevalent on other bags is absent here, making Monos a vegan piece.
$325, at monos.com
Orvis Trekkage LT Adventure 80L Checked Roller Bag
If you’re not into outdoor pursuits, Orvis might not be on your radar, but if you want a piece of luggage crafted with a sustainability approach, it’s time to check out this brand. The body of the Trekkage LT Adventure 80L Checked Roller Bag is crafted from a 100-percent high-tenacity polyester yard created from discarded bottles and packages, while the overall construction is designed so that several components are repairable—essential if you’ve ever thrown out a bag that lost a wheel thanks to baggage handlers. The sports vibe is seen in features like interior mesh compartments, reinforced high-wear areas and a height that was designed to hold a ﬂy-rod tube, which makes it equally useful for that poster tube carrying the presentation you’re about to make.
$399, at orvis.com
Roam was founded in 2017 by a pair of former Tumi execs seeking to create a brand that was fun, functional and made in the U.S. The latter alone ups the ante on sustainability in luggage, as the distance it must travel from workshop to U.S. consumer is decidedly shorter than brands crafted elsewhere. Key to Roam’s growing popularity is that you can customize every design element to create exactly the piece you desire, selecting colors for not only the front and back polycarbonate shells, but also the zipper, binding, wheels, carry handles and lining. Several elements, meanwhile, are crafted from recycled and eco-friendly materials. Roam also offers set styles named after global destinations (such as the Lyon, seen here), if the thought of all that customizing inspires a touch of anxiety.
$550, at roamluggage.com
Skyway Rainier Large Check-In
Founded in Kent, Washington, in 1910, The Skyway Luggage Co. remains one of the oldest luggage manufacturers in the country, but 2022 saw the debut of Rainier, a collection made from 100-percent recycled PET fabrics. The Rainier Large Check-In offers a spacious interior with mesh pockets, 360-degree recessed wheels, telescoping handle, and a quick-access front pocket, all in a nine-pound bag emblazoned with a subtle camo-style print.
$159.99, at skywayluggage.com
Carry-On Spinner In 2020 Solo New York launched its Re:cycled Collection, a line of bags and accessories made with materials crafted from recycled PET water bottles and recycled ABS plastic from discarded household appliances and automobile parts. Among the brand’s newest styles is the Re:Treat Carry-On Spinner, which stands 22 inches tall. Features include a pair of front zippered pockets, 360-degree spinner wheels, and webbed top and side handles. Among the features you don’t see everywhere, Re:Treat pieces include a handy interior chart displaying symbols for everything from your shoes to your charger. If you dig the blend of sustainable construction with the collection’s gray styling, the company also offers backpacks, laptop sleeves and more.
$169.99, at solo-ny.com