The Best Sustainable Luggage for Your Next Trip
If you're concerned about preserving the planet and reducing your carbon footprint while traveling, sustainable luggage may be exactly what you're looking for. Whether you're searching for suitcases, carry-on bags, or overnight satchels, an array of options are available that are sustainable and ethically made.
If you're curious about sustainable travel bags, this guide will cover everything you need to know, including what to look for in sustainable luggage and tips for choosing the best bag for you.
What is Sustainable Luggage?
Sustainable luggage makers use many words to describe their offerings. These include eco-friendly, energy efficient, carbon-neutral, organic, vegan, recycled, recyclable, and ethical. While they may be true, these descriptions do not necessarily mean the luggage is sustainable. In order to be classified as sustainable, luggage should serve our present needs without compromising the planet's future.
At Rothy's, we believe sustainability should extend to the manufacturing process; how the craftsmen who make it are treated; whether petroleum products and other toxic materials go into making them or are used in their transportation and distribution. We're proud to be able to check off all these boxes while taking sustainability several steps further.
We intercept single-use plastic bottles before they can deteriorate in landfills. Then, we recycle, process, and repurpose them into our signature thread, which is used to knit the durable fabric we're known for.
But that's only half the story. We also explore coastal areas for algae-based foam and marine plastic we can transform into made to last materials. Plus, we leverage natural rubber, hemp fiber, and castor beans, turning them into washable materials necessary to produce some of the world's best sustainable luggage on the market.
Benefits of Traveling with Sustainable Luggage
When you choose to pack your clothes in a sustainable suitcase, it benefits both you and the planet.
There may be no way to avoid taking an airplane if you're headed overseas or across the country, but you can offset your carbon footprint if you pack a sustainable suitcase. Unlike conventional luggage that contains vapor-emitting, detrimental plastic, sustainable luggage is made from recycled plastic and other natural materials. And since it tends to be lighter, it adds less weight to the plane, so you'll also be reducing the amount of air pollution that comes from fuel burning.
What to Look for in Sustainable Luggage
Now that you know what sustainable luggage is and its benefits, you may be interested in purchasing one. But what should you look for when shopping around for a sustainable travel bag?
While there are various options, the following features can help you find a high-quality travel bag that meets your needs.
Whether you choose to check a sustainable suitcase while flying, stow it in the overhead compartment, or stuff it under your seat, your bag will bear the brunt of the battle, so you'll want it to have a weather-resistant outer layer that stands up to wear and tear. At the same time, it should be lightweight and flexible.
We found a way to combine all these must-haves into the repurposed material our manufacturers use along with hemp fiber, long known to be one of the strongest and most regenerative materials on earth; natural renewable rubber sourced from rubber plants; and bio-based ATP, a strong and flexible material made from corn. The results are some of the best sustainable luggage available.
To say a travel bag is functional means it meets your needs. And since your needs are dictated by the trip you're planning, the bag should be just the right weight and size. For example, if you're visiting a city and taking public transportation from the hotel to the airport, you want a lightweight bag. On the other hand, if you'll be away for a week or so, a larger suitcase would be more functional since it can fit all of your essentials.
In addition to size, there's the matter of flexibility. If you're planning on tucking your sustainable carry-on luggage under the seat or above your head, its functionality will depend on whether it's flexible yet structured enough to protect its contents. A hard-sided bag might provide better protection but would never fit under the seat, so it lacks functionality.
In short, functionality is not a set-in-stone quality. It varies according to the trip you'll be taking.
There are several ways to look at travel bags and storage. Are you talking about its capacity to fit your clothes and accessories? Or are you talking about where to keep it in your hotel room or at home without it getting in the way? Whichever way you put it, you want it to open up sufficiently to hold all the clothes you're bringing on your trip and ensure it can be stored quickly and easily when not in use.
Style, unlike functionality, is more a matter of taste than practicality. Fortunately, the best sustainable luggage comes in a variety of practical, attractive styles to suit the most sophisticated of travelers and those more interested in outdoor adventure rather than fashion. Choices range from bucket bags and totes to duffel bags and backpacks, as well as soft-side and hard-shell suitcases in various sizes and colors.
Travel is hard on luggage and can turn new luggage dirty in the time it takes to travel from point A to point B. The best way to clean luggage depends on what it's made of, so make sure your desired travel bag is washable.
All of our travel bags, including overnight bags, totes, and crossbody bags, are machine washable. In most cases, you can pop your Rothy's sustainable suitcase into the washing machine and run the cycle using cold water and mild detergent. It's best to avoid heat to prevent damage and shrinkage.
How to Choose Sustainable Luggage
A travel bag will only be functional if its size is right, meaning it's big or small enough to comfortably fit what you need to pack for your trip.
Once you decide on the size of your travel bag, the next decision is to select a type. Ask yourself which type you like best, The Weekender, The Overnighter, or a tote. The good news is they can all serve as sustainable carry-on luggage, so you can avoid potential lost baggage problems.
Here are some additional recommendations:
- Duffel bags have a characteristic barrel shape. They range in size from compact bags you can pack all you need for a weekend getaway to massive duffels designed for longer trips or sports and camping gear.
- Since they leave your hands free, travel packs lend themselves to adventure trips or those that require you to climb stairs, navigate through crowded city streets, or walk up hilly mountain inclines. Strap one on your back, fasten the strap around your waist, and your hands will be free to hold railings or carry other bags.
- Travel tote bags offer the best of both travel and fashion worlds. They look like giant handbags, large enough to carry a weekend's worth of clothes, and their sturdy handle straps allow you to switch between wearing and carrying if the load gets too heavy for your shoulder.
The Weekender can easily hold at least two days' worth of clothing, underwear, and pajamas. If you pack wisely, even a bulky sweater or two. Durable double closures are standard in weekender bags, so there's no need to worry about medications, jewelry, or cosmetics falling out and getting lost. Plus, the zipper gives handy access when you have to pass through airport security.
Larger than an everyday tote but smaller than The Weekender, The Overnighter is the ideal companion for business trips or quick getaways. Its main compartment is secured by a durable zipper and can easily fit a change of clothes. The travel bag is designed with a spacious side pocket featuring a magnetic closure for storing laptops and papers or sunscreens and suntan lotions.
Find Your Next Sustainable Travel Bag at Rothy's
Travelers interested in helping the planet thrive by reducing their carbon footprint can look into sustainable luggage to minimize pollution and waste.
At Rothy's, you'll find an array of travel bags that are consciously made using recycled and natural materials. Not only do we make sure every product is designed with sustainably-sourced textiles, but we also ensure our manufacturing process is earth-friendly. Plus, we combine functionality and fashion, so you can travel in style without sacrificing practicality or comfort. You can't go wrong with a bag from Rothy's.