We’ve recently talked about the benefits of hemp in a few different contexts, like underwear, shampoo, and body wash. But how does hemp hold up when you need it for something durable such as a backpack?
Spoiler alert: hemp is actually a great fiber to use for backpacks and bags. In this article, we’ll briefly talk about why that is, and then give you the best online shops for just about every type of hemp backpack or bag you could be looking for.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase. We only make recommendations that are genuine and meet our material standards.
Why Choose Hemp for Backpacks & Bags?
When talking about hemp fabric for underwear, we discussed how it’s breathable, temperature-regulating, anti-bacterial, soft, and sustainable. While of course these are all great qualities, they’re not quite as important when it comes to hemp backpacks and bags.
When it comes to backpacks, you probably want to know more about the durability of hemp fabric.
Hemp Fabric is Strong & Durable
We’ve got good news: hemp is naturally a very strong and resilient fiber. In fact, hemp canvas fabric can be up to five times stronger than cotton canvas. This is, of course, an essential if you’re looking for a bag you’re going to use on a daily or weekly basis!
Hemp fibers hold color well too, which means your backpack is more likely to stay fresh looking after years of use.
Hemp is Sustainable
If you’re looking for eco-friendly products, hemp is going to be one of your favorite fabrics. It’s truly one of the most sustainable textiles on the market:
- It can grow easily without hebicides or pesticides.
- It requires less water to grow.
- It actually regenerates the soil as it grows, meaning it gives back just as much as it takes and can be grow in the same spot over and over again.
- It grows very densley and quickly compared to other crops, which means it requires less land.
- It can grow in a wide variety of climates, which means it’s easier to keep manufacturing localized and cut down on shipping emissions.
- All parts of the hemp plant can be used, which means it can be a zero waste crop!
Why All the Himalayan Hemp?
You’ll notice that a lot of the brands below source their hemp from Nepal, in the Himalayan mountains. There is actually a long tradition of hemp harvesting in Nepal, but because of the War n Drugs, it is still illegal to be grown on an industrial scale.
BUT hemp grows wild in the rural areas of Himalayan mountains! (Without any pesticides or herbicides of course.) This means the local people of Nepal can harvest it and weave it into fabric. The wild and indigenous hemp crops of the Himalayan mountains provide an economic opportunity for the locals.
Up until 2018, it was illegal to grow hemp in the USA as well. However, now that farmers are allowed to legally cultivate it again, we hope to see more hemp products that are made in the USA!
The Best Places to Buy Himalayan Hemp Backpacks, Purses, & Other Bags
When you search for “hemp backpacks” online, you are likely to see a lot of the same aesthetic from various shops. (This is likely because they’re all getting their backpacks from the same wholesaler.)
So, we’ve sorted through all of the different storefronts to narrow it down to the best six places to find hemp backpacks, purses, tote bags, fanny packs, and more. We’ve prioritized the brands that not only use high-quality hemp but also have good customer service reviews, offer bags that are actually stylish and practical, and prioritize fair trade and eco-friendly pactices as well.
Whether more of a “hippie” aesthetic is more of your thing, whether you like something that’s more minimalistic, or if you like a modern vibe, you’re likely to find something you love in one of the shops below. Happy shopping!
Hemp & Hope carries large hemp laptop backpacks, mini hemp backpacks, rolltop bags, tote bags, makeup bags, and pencil pouches. All of their hemp bags are ethically handcrafted in Nepal using traditional methods. Plus, they use eco-friendly packaging and a tree is planted with every order. We love the stylish varieties they carry!
Use code THEFILTERY10 for 10% off your order.
Core Hemp carries a wide variety of large and mini hemp backpacks, crossbody bags, messenger bags, fanny packs, wallets, and more.
All of their unisex products are handmade in Nepal using authentic organic hemp and Fair Trade practices. They’re durable, lightweight, machine-washable, and come with a 100% quality guarantee.
Whether you’re looking for a colorful design or something more simplistic, Core Hemp has a lot to choose from!
Rawganique carries just about every kind of hamp bag you could be looking for: large backpacks, drawstring bags, mini backpacks, various kinds of laptop bags, hemp duffel bags… you get the idea.
Rawganique is incredibly strict when it comes to the materials and dyes they use. They’re committed to using the safest, healthiest, non-toxic materials throughout their entire manufacturing process. It’s all made sweatshop-free in the USA out of European-grown hemp.
This B Corp brand makes stylish, vegan, hand-sewn backpacks that are colored with plant-based dyes.
In addition to the mini hemp backpack pictured above, they also make large laptop backpacks, crossbody bags, drawstring backpacks, roll-top backpacks, hemp tote bags, and more.
The hemp used for these bags is grown and harvested in the mountains of Nepal, where local families have cultivated this crop for centuries. After it’s harvested and spun into yarn, it’s taken to Kathmandu, where women use traditional looms to form the fibers into fabric. After that, it’s all hand sewn together by artisans in Budhanilkantha.
If you’re looking for the popular hemp mushroom backpack, check out Namaste All on Etsy. In addition to the mushrooms, they also have several other designs and sizes of backpacks, along with hemp fanny packs.
Each backpack is colored with non-toxic dyes and sewn fairly by hand on a loom in Nepal. The designs on each hemp bag represent the “old and colorful culture of Nepal.”
This brand makes a large hemp tote bag that’s perfect for grocery shopping, running errands, or a weekend getaway. These bags are made in Los Angeles, California out of 100% durable hemp canvas. For the colors, the Sunshine Series team worked with a family-owned dye house in L.A. that specializes in low-waste, non-toxic dyes.
These super cute and spacious hemp tote bags are available in white, yellow, matcha, terra cotta, and turmeric.
Need to Waterproof Your Hemp Backpack?
One potential problem you may run into with hemp backpacks is that they’re not waterproof. Natural fabrics like hemp and cotton tend to be less water resistant compared to synthetic fabrics (which are essentially plastic).
Not only that, but most truly waterproof bags and other garments are treated with PFOAs, which are linked to things like cancer, organ damage, reproductive problems, and more. (If you’re curious to learn more, check out the documentary called The Devil We Know and the movie called Dark Waters.)
This can present a real problem if you need a backpack that’s truly waterproof! One great option is to use Rawanique’s waterproofing wax. This heavy duty wax is made from beeswax and other plant-based oils and can be reapplied as needed. They also sell a wooden smoothing tool to help you get a better seal and remove any excess wax. You can use it on other natural fabrics (like cotton) as well!
This is a really effective way to waterproof (and stain proof!) your backpack or other garments without the use of toxic chemcials.
Hemp is a great fabric for backpacks, purses, tote bags, and more. Not only is it a super sustainable fiber, but it’s also one of the strongest and most durable natural fibers available. So next time you’re in the market for a non-toxic, sustainable backpack, check out the brands above!
Image Credits: Featured Image – Core Hemp. All product images belong to respective brands.