Backpacks Made from Recycled Materials | 3 Backpacks

There are backpacks made from recycled materials and backpacks that aren’t.

A trend towards recycled materials has been growing over recent years.

Buying such products helps reduce waste that could otherwise end up in landfill.

backpacks made from recycled materials being fitted to a bicycle

In this article, we will explore backpacks made from recycled materials and what makes them eco-friendly!

With a backpack constructed from recycled materials, you can feel good about your money being invested towards a sustainable future.

Most such products that are made from recycled materials will last as the materials they are made from are so durable that they can be given a new repurposed life.

What are Eco-Friendly Backpacks?

An eco-friendly sustainable backpack is generally a backpack made from recycled or repurposed materials. One of the largest reasons for choosing an eco-backpack is that they help reduce waste by using discarded items in a new way.

They also often last longer because the type of recycled fabric that manufacturers use is generally extremely tough.

We’re an Affiliate

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Thank you, if you use our links, we really appreciate it!

How to Find Eco Friendly Backpacks?

Eco backpacks can be found at most department stores, retailers and online these days! Even though it might seem like everything we buy ends up in landfill eventually, there’s still plenty you can do to make your pack more environmentally friendly.

You just have to be willing to spend some time looking around before buying one. The options available vary and it can sometimes be a little difficult to find a backpack, depending on what you are looking for.

But these backpacks made from recycled and repurposed materials are becoming more and more readily available in many retail locations.

What Materials are Used to Make a Backpack?

There are many different products that are used as base materials to make backpacks. In this article we will just be looking at recycled materials that are commonly used for the manufacturing of backpacks.

Any kind of fabric that has strength can be used to make a backpack. For that reason it is common to find different kinds of canvas and denim being repurposed in the construction of backpacks.

Another kind of recycled material is a polyester fabric that is made from recycled plastic bottles. A process takes place to recycle the bottles as they are made of a plastic that can be reused many times over. The end result is a recycled fabric ready to be turned into your brand new backpack.

These are just some of the most common products that are being used to produce recycled materials for manufacturing backpacks and bags for everyday use:

  • Upcycled bicycle tire tubes
  • Plastic bottles
  • Fire hoses
  • Cork*
  • Hemp*
different materials used to make backpacks

* Cork and hemp used in production of bags aren’t usually recycled. However, there are businesses that use cork and hemp waste that is left over from manufacturing other products.

From these and combinations of new and recycled hemp and cork they either manufacture ready to be used products or make durable, sturdy and heavy duty textiles and industrial materials that can be used in production of backpacks, furniture and so on.

What kind of cork products can be recycled?

Wine corks are one cork product that is recyclable and recycled into all sorts of different things by companies such as ReCORK and Jelinek Cork.

Recycled cork helps to replace environmentally harmful, petroleum-based materials such as plastics in consumer goods with a natural and sustainable alternative. 

Cork Characteristics

Cork is 100% natural fiber that has lightweight, elastic, durable, rot-resistant, wear-resistant and moisture-wicking along with many other great qualities. It’s an extremely versatile material that even recycled has so many uses.

It’s popular for arts and craft projects and can be used to create coasters, placecard holders and so on.

Recycled cork is made into products such as shoes and shoe soles, clothing, umbrellas, bulletin boards, flooring, wall tiles, upholstery and so on. Cork is a sustainable resource that is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. 

What about Hemp?

Hemp is one of the most sustainable fibers that possesses amazing characteristics. And, although the cannabis cultivation process leaves behind masses of biodegradable waste, there are so many benefits to recycling this raw material. 

Did you know that hemp fiber is 3 times stronger than cotton? It is breathable, rot-resistant, easily dyeable, anti-microbial and UV-resistant.

All of these make it great for manufacturing building materials, paper, apparel and heavy duty fabrics as well as biodegradable plastics along with many other products including oils for human consumption and feed for birds.

Fabrics can be either 100% hemp or composed of other natural or fossil-fuel based fibers like polyester, acrylic, nylon, etc. By blending raw materials the resulting canvas can become water-resistant and even waterproof, which makes it awesome for producing great items for outdoor usage.

These natural fibers have come into fashion and are used widely due to the demand for a sustainable future.

Backpacks Made from Recycled Plastic Bottles

These are the most common backpacks that are recycled backpacks. As mentioned earlier a process takes place to recycle the bottles, which turns them into a recycled fabric that is then used for manufacturing bags.

These kinds of backpacks are eco-friendly and are strong. This means you wont need to replace your backpack as often as you would, if it was made from a weaker fabric.

So, backpacks made from recycled bottle fabric are a win-win for you, your pocket and the environment.

Are Recycled Backpacks Machine Washable?

Of course,  backpacks made from recycled fabrics are machine washable, because they’re just like any other backpack out there.

Just make sure you read the tag on your backpack to find out what fabric it is made of, how and how often you should wash them.

As long as you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on taking care of your backpack you should be able to wash it when it needs to be washed.

reduce reuse recycle

Can a Bag be Recycled?

Totally. As long as the bag or backpack is made of fabrics that are recyclable. If it’s made from recycled fabric already it’s even better. Recycled fabrics can be recycled again and again.

What is the Best Backpack for Everyday Use?

If you are after a backpack for everyday use, then you should look for something that is tough, durable and easy to clean.

A trend towards sustainable backpacks made from recycled plastic has been growing over the years with more people buying these kinds of bags due to their sustainability benefits. It is no longer as difficult to find a backpack that is manufactured from recyclable or recycled fabrics as it used to be.

Today, a vast selection of them is readily available for purchase in physical as well as online stores.

Backpacks made from recycled fabrics are a fantastic everyday option as they will last just as long as a backpack that wasn’t made from recycled fabrics if not longer.

Why Can a Backpack Be So Expensive?

The price tag has so many factors. The cost of a backpack will come down to these following points. 

What kind of fabric a bag is made from and more often the quality of the fabric. The better grade and quality the fabric is, the more it will cost.

Also, where a backpack is made often plays a big role for many consumers today. We all know that countries that have lower worker pay rates will produce cheaper products.

However, more often than not the other sacrifice here is quality. When a product is made in those countries, the quality more often than not will suffer.

Another factor is the brand. If a brand is well-known, especially for quality of products, quite often it will have an emphasis on price. Their popularity allows them to charge a premium for their product; although, it does not mean the product is any better than a no name brand.

These are the most likely reasons for a backpack being so expensive. So, if you’re going to buy an expensive backpack take all of these things into account. You may find that a locally made backpack can also be expensive.

But, at least you know that it’s local and you are helping someone within your country. And, the quality of the product may be better than another higher priced option.

Where Can I Buy a Sustainable Backpack?

Right here. Below, we have put together some outstanding backpacks, which are all made from recycled fabrics. These backpacks are quality and built to last. They will save you having to replace your backpack more often.

You can find such packs at many retail shops and department stores as well as online. Recycled backpacks are pretty common today. You can even find ones that are made in the USA, if you want to support local business.

What Bags are Made in the USA

Green Guru Gear – If you’re looking for a quality product that’s manufactured in the USA, you’ll want to check out this company from Colorado.

Green Guru Gear has a cool range of all kinds of packs and bags including this awesome modern backpack below.

This backpack is made from upcycled materials, which makes it a fantastic eco-friendly partner for your everyday life.

Green Guru Pannier & Backpack
  • Made in the USA
  • Made from bicycle tire tubes
  • Built tough
  • Great for Bicycles

Backpacks Available in the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK

If you’re after sustainable bags outside of the USA and don’t want to ship it from the US then these backpacks will be what you are looking for. They are manufactured by well-known companies and sold in most places around the world.

Vera Bradly – Is a bag maker that uses recycled fabrics for manufacturing many different kinds of bags. Their Lighten Up Reactive Journey backpack is just one of many different backpacks that could become your permanent companion for all your outdoor adventures.

This one has many different compartments, which let you separate and keep tidy different things you may want to take with you on the next trip.

If you are traveling by aircraft, then this bag is perfect as a carry-on.

Its design will allow you to attach it to the top of your suitcase for even easier transportation.

If you’re looking for a backpack from a well-known brand, then Vera Bradly bags are worth checking out.

Reactive Journey backpack
  • Lighten up fabric
  • Made from plastic bottles
  • Multiple compartments

Jack Wolfskin – Another big brand that has a selection of backpacks that are made from recycled materials.

Their backpacks come in different sizes and types for every possible use. Quality and convenience is the key in Jack Wolfskin’s bag design. 

Here’s one of Jack Wolfskin’s backpacks that is made out of a fabric that was produced from recycled materials.

If you are after a backpack to suit your needs, no matter what they may be, one from the Jack Wolfskin backpack range will definitely do the job.

Jack Wolfskin Berkeley Backpack
  • Recycled fabric
  • range of colors
  • Unisex
  • Handy size
  • Convenient size


So, backpacks are a pretty common thing to have in your home especially if you like to travel and most of us will need or find one handy from time to time anyway.

Many backpacks don’t hold up well over the long term because they are either made cheaply or not out of a quality fabric. If you want something that is quality, eco-friendly and will last you for some time, then the backpacks we have listed are just what you are looking for. 

The backpacks above are all made out of quality materials and are manufactured by companies that stand behind their products. No matter which recycled backpack you pick, you will have a great bag that will last you for many years to come.

And, you will have a piece of mind, knowing your bag is made from materials that have been recycled.

And, just one more thing, remember to donate or recycle your old backpack when you replace it with the new one.

backpack made from recycled materials sitting on stairs