Recycled bags and/or recyclable bags? Sustainable fashion beyond greenwashing

Juli 17, 2023

Two models with a Re-flag Tote Bag

In recent years, sustainable fashion has become increasingly popular and many more people are looking for environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional products, thanks to the introduction of eco-design.
Bags, for example, are certainly a popular accessory for everyone, but their production can have a significant impact on the environment, which is why recycled and recyclable bags have been introduced on the market. Although both options are aimed at sustainability, there are important differences between them. Their characteristics can, moreover, be combined into bags that are not only recycled, but also easily recyclable.

Recycled bags are produced from pre-existing materials and can also be in upcylcing (creative use of pre-existing materials such as old clothes, blankets, curtains or industrial materials). The main objective here is to reuse existing materials to create a new and functional product. These bags are often handmade by craftsmen or designers using sustainable design methods applied to the transformation of materials otherwise destined to become waste.

Regenerate your jeans bag

Then there are bags made from regenerated materials, resulting from the industrial processing of waste. The advantages of regenerated bags are clear: reduction of the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and, normally, production by local craftsmen. Their strong point is the story they tell: each material that composes them had a previous life and they are materially resurrected to a new life.

Metamorphosis powder pink flap

Next we address the topic of recyclable bags, which are designed to be easily disassembled and recycled once their life cycle is over. These types of products are made from materials that can be efficiently separated and recycled, thus minimising their environmental impact. Recyclable bags are often made from fabrics or synthetic materials, such as polyester or nylon, which can be transformed into new products after their use.

We therefore find ourselves in a situation where on the one hand we can have bags that have both characteristics (recycled and recyclable) and are those that obviously have less environmental impact, but are more difficult to conceive in terms of eco-design and production; those that are recycled or recyclable (which are in any case called eco-friendly bags) and finally those that have none of the above characteristics.

At Regenesi, we believe that bags should be designed to be both recycled and recyclable. Therefore, we always choose an option that reduces environmental impact to promote a more responsible approach to fashion. However, the first decision must start with the emotion that the bag gives us: we often tell ourselves that beauty, which is what moves us, will save the world and therefore help us to be eco-friendly.