Carrying with a Conscience

As ecological awareness and sustainability creep to the forefront of fashion, takes a look at some of the chic green bags available on the Internet

As ecological awareness and sustainability creep to the forefront of fashion, Sarah Ng takes a look at some of the chic green bags available on the Internet.

Brown Paper Handbag
Brown paper handbag

Giles Miller of ‘Farm Designs’ proves that going green doesn’t mean sacrificing good design. His avant-garde Brown Paper Handbag is made from “sustainably sourced corrugated cardboard.” The unique design emphasises the construction material by using the corrugated folds to create a pattern on the surface. It’s a minimalist yet eye-catching piece that wouldn’t look out of place on the catwalk.

Brown Paper Handbag: £175 (Both available from

Surf n' Sand
Surf n’ Sand

Unwilling to sacrifice your designer handbag? Look no further than Nahui Ollin, whose woven candy wrapper creations have graced the pages of Elle and the arms of starlets on current Perez favourite Gossip Girl. The gorgeous Overturned Bag in Red has a wonderful sheen that echoes the patent leather so popular on the high street for the past few seasons. Even bolder is the signature pattern, Tutti Fruitti, a funky clash of colours and patterns. The Surf n’ Sand in Tutti Fruitti is a statement piece that would brighten up any outfit.

Overturned with closure :$245, Surf n’ Sand: $159 from Nahui Ollin (

For a fraction of the price, Nigel’s Eco Store has a similar, albeit limited range of woven bags, made by a women’s cooperative in the Phillipines from recycled juice packs. Especially good is the Woven Clutch Bag in Green, which incorporates the foil interior of the juice with the glossy cardboard exterior.

Woven Clutch Bag: £9.99 from Nigel’s Eco Store (

Carrying on the woven theme is Terra Plana’s ‘Worn Again Collection’. Items are made from such zany recycled materials as an “army cape, seatbelts and bicycle inner tube.” The Charlie Despatch Bag is a sleek creation that wouldn’t look out of place in a modern office or lecture-hall.

Charlie Despatch Bag: £70, and Verdana Bag: £65 from Terra Plana (

Naima Tote
Naima Tote
Repurposed Plastic Wallet
Repurposed Plastic Wallet

Those wanting something truly unique with a smaller price tag should try, the online mecca of handmade arts and crafts. Like an indie version of eBay, Etsy is a community of sellers whose lovingly created designs are often made with repurposed materials. A case in point is ‘Mothdesigns’ who has created the naima tote, from “99% repurposed materials.” It’s a pretty, vintage-style bag that suited to carrying those locally sourced groceries back home! I also loved seller Catherinenette’s cute little wallets in bright primary colours. They’re made of fused plastic, from layers of plastic shopping bags ironed together to make a durable and waterproof material, a novel example of recycling in action.

naima tote: $30 from Mothdesigns: (

Repurposed Plastic Wallets: $14 from Catherinette (

If you’re a would-be eco-crusader or simply too hard-up to buy a bag then why not make your own? gives instructions on making simple tote bags from recycled materials. Thes site, however, has bigger aims, including “Sociable, guerilla bagging,” which involves forming a ‘pod’, or group of like-minded people, gathered to make multiple morsbags. These would then be given away (presumably the guerilla part) in supermarkets to encourage shoppers not to use plastic bags. So get sewing and save the world, one bag at a time!

One comment

  1. what about Ecoist ? the originators of this idea ?

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