by Rupa Raman
Did you know you could reduce your carbon footprint while making a style statement? With an eco-friendly handbag, you can go green and dress well, too. Plenty of eco-friendly bags are available in a variety of styles. Here is what to look for in an earth-friendly handbag.
Organically grown fibers: Handbags made with materials such as organic cotton are washable, reusable, and durable enough to withstand long-term use. Maintaining cotton canvas bags requires no special treatment or chemicals, making them better for the environment and for you. Cotton, a biodegradable fiber, is soft and flexible but strong enough to hold the weight of personal items in your tote bag, and it won't spend centuries in a landfill like handbags made of synthetic materials. Canvas bags and other cloth purses and handbags are available in numerous styles and options, which makes them the perfect option for carrying your belongings.
Recycled materials: Purses made of recycled materials reduce the production of new fabrics, both synthetic and natural, and therefore reduce the amount of pollution created by production. By making use of materials that would otherwise be thrown away, recycled material bags reduce environmental pollution and waste. Many recycled handbags are handmade, thereby reducing the amount of energy and pollution associated with manufacturing them.
Recycled foil candy wrappers make a unique material for handbags; these eco-friendly bags use recycled wrappers that are interwoven to lend a distinctive look.
Seatbelts are woven to be strong, and often they outlast the cars they were in. Old seatbelts can be made into bags that will be sturdy enough to hold everything you carry around.
Rice and coffee are both transported in bags made of strong fibers, like jute and hemp. Once the food has been removed, the bags are easily recycled into eco-chic handbags.
Renewable resources: A fiber is considered a renewable resource if it can regrow quickly after harvest. When your accessories are made of renewable resources, the impact on the environment is much smaller.
Considered a sustainable, strong material, bamboo ranks among the best materials for environmentally-friendly bags, clothes, and other accessories. It's the fastest growing plant in the world and requires minimum water to grow. Bamboo plants also release more oxygen into the air than many other trees. It is a biodegradable, earth-friendly, and lightweight material, and bamboo purses are both versatile and visually appealing. Look for handbags created with bamboo fabric or purses constructed with raw bamboo wood.
Another option is hemp, a fast-growing and versatile plant that makes incredibly strong fibers. It can be grown without pesticides, and it absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere more efficiently than any trees. Handbags made from hemp will often have a natural look, so there will be no mistaking that your accessories are eco-friendly.