I don’t know if treehuggingest is a word yet, but it maybe it ought to be, just so we can talk about this über-green briefcase.
reWrap’s Tree Bag is a sustainable interpretation of a briefcase, or a hand bag if you like, that is touted to be not only climate neutral and 100% biodegradable, but to also be waterproof and lightweight and durable. It’s “a bag completely made out of materials from trees.”
The bags also happen to be sewn together at a workshop that provides employment to those with disabilities, so there’s a social good component to its production, and the company funds carbon offsets for the estimated emissions related to the product’s manufacture, so they are said to have “a 0% footprint.”
The outside of the Tree Bag is made from coconut fiber (and a resin), and the inside is coated in 100% natural rubber, which provides the waterproofing. Even the thread is sourced from a tree, as the bags are said to be sewn with wood pulp thread, and the handle and clasps are sourced from FSC certified “sustainably managed” walnut wood. The large bag measures 38 x 12 x 30 cm (15″ x 4.7″ x 11.8″) and the medium Tree Bag is 32 x 6 x 28 cm (12.6″ x 2.3″ x 11″), so they’re not exactly sized like a carryall such as a backpack or shoulder bag, but they look to be roomy enough for the necessities.
The prices on these Tree Bags aren’t out of line with those of other better quality bags from other brands, but they also aren’t nearly as low as one might wish, considering the relative abundance of the basic raw materials, as the medium sized version sells for €245 ($268 US) and the large for €275 ($301 US).
Of course, price isn’t everything, and many of us are willing to pay more for a quality product that is designed with sustainability and a truly circular, cradle-to-cradle approach to its lifecycle. And the more that we support the use of these alternative materials and design, the faster they may get adopted on a larger scale, or adapted to another use as a greener option, or so the story goes (we’ve been saying the same thing about hemp as a miracle eco-fiber for years, and it’s still a fringe material).
I don’t carry a briefcase, and I’ve never seen one of these bags in person, so I can’t exactly say for sure, but if I had to choose a daily carry bag that checked off all of the treehuggingest boxes, this would probably be it. The only thing left to question is whether or not it was made from organic free range trees…
Learn more about ReWrap, which also makes a line of tablet and phone sleeves out of wool, at the website.