Which Purse Material Is Better for the Environment?
Did you know that over 5% of all solid waste is textiles?
While 5% may not sound like much, it’s 5% of 300 million tons of waste. This means that around 15 million tons of textiles are discarded every year by Americans alone.
This is why it has never been more important to be environmentally conscious about the materials used to make the everyday items we love. Whether you’re looking into clothes, bags, or purse materials, choosing sustainable options can help reduce global waste.
Looking for more information on sustainable purse materials? You’re in the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about green purse materials and the benefits of choosing sustainable materials.
What Are Purses Made Of?
Purses and bags are made from a wide variety of different materials. Materials are usually chosen depending on the kind of bag you’re making, along with the production budget of making that particular bag. This means that cheap bags are generally made with easily accessible materials such as nylon, polyester, or other cheap textiles.
This has become a huge problem in the fashion industry as many companies have realized that it’s cheaper to use alternative compounds rather than organic and sustainable materials. Along with the internet and social media, this has resulted in a fast-fashion nightmare.
Retailers and brands worldwide are just creating new clothes with no real plan on what to do with older textiles. This leads to people having to throw away old clothes in mass.
What Are Green Purse Materials?
Green purse materials refer to organic materials that are more environmentally friendly than traditional materials. Here are a few of the most sustainable fabrics.
Hemp is an incredibly useful plant that can be used to make building materials, food, and even cosmetics. This versatile plant is one of the oldest fibers used to make clothing. The benefit of using hemp is that it can get softer every time it’s washed.
This plant also grows in abundance without the need for much water. This makes it one of the easiest plants to farm to make clothes and purses sustainably.
Cotton is one of the most popular materials in the world. As a natural fiber, clothes, sheets, and other useful fabrics all rely on cotton. Despite being so common, growing cotton uses quite a bit of water.
Cotton farms also make use of pesticides to keep pests and bacteria away from cotton. However, organic cotton does not make use of any pesticides or chemicals. This makes the entire process more eco-friendly.
Linen is incredibly similar to hemp. This material has been grown and harvested for hundreds of years. In addition to being popular, this material requires very little maintenance to grow. As a light, soft, and strong material, linen is often used for sheets, curtains, and breathable clothes.
The best part about linen is that it’s completely biodegradable when left untreated. This makes organic linen one of the most eco-friendly materials to use in clothes and bags.
Recycled or Upcycled Materials
While the options mentioned above are all eco-friendly, they can’t compete with recycled or upcycled materials. This is because recycled materials have no additional effect on the environment at all.
When it comes to recycled materials, recycled cotton, polyester, leather, and canvas are often the best options. This is because these materials are strong, leaving you with a durable material that is not significantly weaker than when it was first used.
In some instances, upcycled materials even look better. This is the case with leather, as leather can age over time. New leather is often hard and untextured. Aged leather, on the other hand, has character that just can’t be replicated.
What Are Upcycled Materials?
Recycling and upcycling are two completely different processes. While recycling deals with converting waste into something useful, upcycling repurposes items before they become waste in the first place.
Recycling is an effective way to reduce waste. However, the process of recycling can be expensive and inefficient. In addition to this, there are often limits to how many times a particular item can be recycled before it loses its utility. This will then result in waste anyways.
Upcycling seeks to solve this issue by not allowing items to become waste in the first place. This process essentially acts to maintain and repurpose materials before losing value or utility.
How Does Upcycling Work?
To give you an example, let’s look at glass bottles as they can be recycled and upcycled pretty easily. The recycling process will gather broken glass to then melt and create new bottles. This process will require energy to melt and construct new glass bottles. Despite the energy use, it’s still a greener option than making new glass.
Upcycling works in a different way. Upcycling will collect glass bottles before they’re thrown away. This way, you won’t need to melt them down or construct new glass bottles. You would just need to clean and repair the bottles so that they can be safely used again.
This process is far less energy-intensive, making for a far more sustainable approach to repurposing materials.
Why Is Upcycling Important?
Upcycling is important as it repurposes materials without needing to use too much energy in the process. As mentioned above, traditional recycling requires energy to create new products. Upcycling still requires some energy usage, but not nearly as much.
In this way, upcycling works to create a more sustainable and long-term solution for waste.
Trending Purse Fabrics
When it comes to materials being used for bags and purses, there are a few eco-friendly options trending. These materials are both upcycled, making them some of the most energy-efficient fabrics to work with. Here’s everything you need to know about these materials.
Canvas is one of the most durable textiles in the world. Tents, backpacks, shelters, and even sails use this versatile material. While this material is often used for painting, bags and pants are some of the most common items made from canvas for hundreds of years.
Modern canvas comes directly from cotton or linen. However, it’s cheaper to produce canvas from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This makes it a fairly complicated process, to say the least. While the process is complex, it’s also cheaper to manufacture in mass.
Manufacturers have discovered that it’s much cheaper to make canvas chemically as it can scale much further. This is why upcycled canvas is so important, as it manages to repurpose old canvas. This essentially reduces the demand for new canvas.
Upcycled canvas is used to make totes, shoulder bags, weakened bags, and even satchels. This material makes for a robust bag to protect your belongings from the elements.
Without a doubt, leather is the most popular material for bags. Whether you are looking for a laptop bag or a suitcase, leather is one of the best-looking options on the market. Leather has been around for hundreds of years, making it one of the oldest materials in the world.
However, leather comes directly from animals. This makes it a controversial material to use when making everyday items such as clothing and bags. This led to the rise of faux leather. This material is synthetic leather that gives off the same look and feel even though it’s made of plastic.
Whether you’re settling for real or faux leather, both are not very eco-friendly options. This is why upcycled leather is such a great alternative. As leather ages, it develops more character. This makes it the perfect material to upcycle.
Upcycled leather is used to make a wide variety of products. This ranges from purses to bags and clothing. With the proper care, leather items can last over 100 years before they start to disintegrate. This makes it one of the most durable materials in the world.
Choose Sustainable Purse Materials
When it comes to choosing a purse, the most popular material option is leather. While leather does have its clear benefits, why not choose upcycled leather as your purse material of choice?
At Jandy’s, we prioritize sustainable materials when handcrafting our bags. As a sustainable business, we pride ourselves on using upcycled materials in as many products as possible. From Myra Totes to Canvas Leather bags, upcycling materials have helped reduce our carbon footprint while still providing you with excellent quality.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about our bags, feel free to contact us today.