We offer a range of sustainable fibers. All of cotton fibers are 100% recyclable as textiles.
- GOTS Certified Organic Cotton
- Recycled Cotton
- Natural Cotton
- NWPP (100% virgin or 80% recycled)
ECOBAGS® Material Information
- Green, Greener, & Greenest
- Since 1989, we have sourced only the most environmentally and socially responsible goods available. We ensure that all of our products are Fair Wage & Fair Labor Certified and offer a variety of eco-friendly material options for our customers to choose from. Recently, we have found that there is confusion in the marketplace regarding which materials are the "greenest." Hence, we have put together all the information we possess concerning material types that we use in the construction of our bags in order to inform our customers and help guide them in their purchasing decision. We are calling this educational campaign Green, Greener, Greenest as we hope to illuminate the differences between our material options and help you decide which suits your personal needs and goals.
- The Cottons
- Conventional cotton production uses more chemicals per unit area than any other crop and accounts for 16% of the world's pesticides ("Picking Cotton Carefully", Institute of Science in Society, March 2007). We attempt to source our cottons in a more sustainable fashion by offering the following cotton options (All three of our cotton options are Lead-free):
- Organic Cotton - Organic is the Greenest of the cotton options as it is grown without chemical pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides. This cotton is certified. Our most popular Organic tote bag would be the ORC-201, Organic Canvas Standard Wide.
- Recycled Cotton - This cotton is made up of reclaimed post-industrial organic and natural cotton scrap. This scrap typically would be sent to the landfill, but we grab it before it does. This canvas may be slightly darker and grainier than its organic and natural cousins. On our scale this marks our Greenest mark, as less waste means a healthier planet. Our best selling CAN-801, Recycled Canvas Standard Wide is the most popular in this category.
- Natural Cotton - While there is no process to "certify" that this cotton is grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers our manufacturing facility has maintained purchasing relationships with small farmers that do not use these chemicals for over 20 years. Our CAN-501 Natural Canvas Standard Wide is our bestselling bag and fits into this category of cotton.
- Hemp is up to 250% stronger, grows quicker, has a stronger resistance to ultraviolet light and has a stronger resistance to mold than cotton. Hemp, since the 60's, has receive a bad reputation due to it's illegal cousin, Cannabis, but hemp has historically been a very useful resource in the USA, most notably a source for rope. Fun fact: the Declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson on hemp paper! In Taiwan the use of Hemp dates back over 10,000 years. All in all, Hemp is a very Green material to consider in your purchasing decision, as its production requires far less water and chemicals than conventional cotton. Make sure to check out our Hemp/Cotton Blend Tote which is 55% hemp and 45% cotton.
- PET or PETE (Polyethylene terephthalate)
- PET is a common thermoplastic polymer resin often found in beverage, food and other liquid containers. Our EcoTec-101 is 20% Recycled PET (rPET) and 80% Natural Cotton. Like a NWPP bag, it is extremely smooth to the touch and has similar strength as the Natural Cotton material. The smooth surface allows for superior screen printing. Our reclaimed PET comes from recycled soda bottles, which means less waste in this world.
- NWPP (non-woven polypropylene)
- NWPP - This material is "non-woven" meaning it is neither woven nor knit and "polypropylene" which is a thermoplastic polymer, petroleum-based material. Polypropylene is used in a wide variety of applications including packaging and textiles and is a #5 recyclable plastic. Unlike many other low-cost NWPP bags on the market, our offering of the GreenBag® line is a brand of bag which is produced in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
- Neoprene - This is a synthetic rubber commonly found in wet suits, braces, electrical insulation and car fan belts. This material is perfect for lunch bags because it is insulated, durable and machine washable. This material is used in our BUILT NY lunch bags.
- Palm Leaf, Water Reed and Wild Grasses
- Woven Baskets - All of our baskets are hand-woven in Moroccan villages, typically by farmer's for extra income. The leather is then added in Marrakech before being shipped to the USA. The baskets are woven from sustainably grown palm leaf, water reed and wild grasses, all of which are renewable resources that are sustainably harvested. The leather is either goat or cow and is dyed using traditional techniques for leather treatment.
- Tapioca root is a non GMO plant (actually a weed) that grows in abundance in Asia. It is a renewable resource that is and responsibly harvested. It is 100% compostable. This bio-starch breaks down to the micron level in water or soil. It fully composts in one year or less (on average) vs. the current plastic bags that take +1000 years to do the same thing.