Add to Cart: A 100% Recycled Backpack (But Only if You Need One)

Herschel’s Eco Collection has new colours for Earth Day, but think before buying.

Add to Cart is Vanmag’s new weekly style column, in which assistant editor Alyssa Hirose offers honest takes on current trends, local designs, and whatever new clothes/jewellery/shoes she’s talking herself into (or out of) buying.

Here’s the thing: if you already own a Herschel backpack, you probably don’t need to read this. I’ve shouldered my own black pop quiz backpack (they actually don’t let you on UBC campus unless you have one of these or a Fjallraven Kanken) for about four years now. I’ve used it as a student, summer camp counselor, sneaky beach drinker, etc. It’s been places. It’s seen things. And other than looking a little faded (who doesn’t after several sneaky beach drinks?) it’s like new—and more miraculously, still in style.

It’s not, however, made of 100% recycled materials. Herschel’s Eco Collection is, “from label to liner,” all recycled, with 11-22 recycled plastic bottles going into each style. Today they’ve introduced two new colours, Kelp and Peacoat (read: tan and navy blue) to the collection. With both sturdiness and enduring style on their side, it’s hard to pass up the added bonus of sustainability. 

But I will. And you should too, if you already have a great backpack. This isn’t meant to be a slam to Herschel, but something to think about for the eco-conscious shopper: If you replace functional, stylish pieces before they’ve lived out their lifespan—even if the replacement is 100% recycled—you’re still creating more waste than you need to. 

My old faithful Herschel bag has certainly proved its worth, and as soon as I need another, I’ll be looking at the Eco Collection. Till then, I’m using what I have.

The Look: Herschel’s Eco Collection Heritage Backpack
The Price: $85
Where to Find it:
Where to Wear it: Getting laundry soap at a zero-waste refillery, walking through Pacific Spirit Park, taking the bus but not far because we’re not supposed to travel outside our community remember?