Whether you’re a makeup minimalist or a serial product collector, all your prized beauty possessions deserve to be stashed somewhere nice and organized — especially when you’re packing them for a trip. With that in mind, we tracked down 15 of the best sustainable toiletry bags (also known as washbags) for all of your adventures.
Some time along our travels, we have all endured in-transit mishaps like a broken compact, or a nail polish that exploded all over your clothes. While these mishaps have more to do with luggage handling and air pressure, the best way to minimize the mess of it all is by stashing your beauty essentials in a neat and compact toiletry bag.
Since you’re bound to invest in at least two of them (one for your toiletries or skincare), it would be wise to opt for an eco-friendly makeup bag while you’re at it.
Why Choose a Sustainable Makeup Bag?
Most makeup and travel bags are made of non-biodegradable plastics (more specifically, PVC) that are harmful to the environment. Polyvinyl chloride (commonly known as PVC) causes a lot of harm throughout its lifecycle as it’s known for releasing toxic, chlorine-based chemicals that build up in our ecosystems.
The ethical makeup pouches and sustainable toiletry bags we’ve sourced are made from all sorts of recycled, organic and biodegradable fabrics that fare a lot better than their plastic counterparts.
At the end of the day, the most important aspect is functionality — and you’ll find plenty of it with these bags or pouches that offer several convenient compartments, pockets and inserts for all your little makeup knick-knacks.
Where to Find Eco-Friendly Toiletry Bags and Makeup Bags:
Note that this guide includes affiliate links. As always, all brands meet strict criteria for sustainability and are brands that we love — and that we think you’ll love too!
Ideal for an upcoming camping trip, Patagonia is known for offering a range of sustainable hard-wearing technical gear — and its eco-friendly toiletry bag is no exception.
Made from weather-resistant, recycled polyester fabric that’s been Fair Trade Certified™ sewn, this sustainable toiletry bag comes in three different sizes that are differentiated by the volume they can carry (3, 6 and 10 liters, respectively). Toss all your essentials in these highly durable pouches and stow them away in your backpack for a carefree adventure.
Price: $29 – $49
Materials: Recycled polyester
2. Terra Thread
It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to Terra Thread’s range of versatile sustainable toiletry bags.
Perhaps we could praise its affordable price point? Or its generous size, that has enough room to fit all your favorite lipsticks, a sizeable eyeshadow palette or two, your brush collection, and still have room for a makeup remover and some cotton pads?
Maybe the fact that it’s available in an array of bright colors?
We’ll let you know when we decide, but in the meantime, we’re vouching for their functional makeup bags for your next trip.
Oh and we can’t forget about the eco-friendly bonus: All of their bags are made from fair trade, GOTS certified organic cotton.
Price: $15 – $20
Materials: Organic cotton
Naturally anti-microbial and water-resistant, Carry Courage’s multitasking cosmetics bag might just be the most durable of the bunch. With enough room for essentials like a full-sized makeup palette, brushes, foundation, and just about everything you need, no matter where you’re going.
Their range of eco-friendly travel-friendly bags is made from cork fabric, which happens to be renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable. Each bag is lined with eco-friendly linen, while their cork fabric is PETA approved vegan and can be easily cleaned using mild dish soap.
Price: $43 – $77
Lightweight and eye-catching, Anchal’s ethical makeup bags feature intricately embroidered cross-stitch details all over that come in a variety of rich earthy hues. We love the fact that these bags come with an outer zip pocket that’s ideal for stashing away from cotton pads and makeup removers.
These earthy bags are made in India and crafted from GOTS certified organic cotton that has been dyed using eco-friendly dyes. Their design approach revives the traditional Kantha quilting techniques from North India to create modern, one-of-a-kind pieces that are fair trade certified.
Price: $36 – $48
Materials: Organic cotton
5. BEEN London
Chic enough to double up as a clutch bag, BEEN London’s eco-friendly makeup bag is made using Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certified recycled leather sourced from tannery offcuts and trimmings that would have otherwise been discarded as waste.
Down to the very little detail, they even use eco-friendly NATULON® zippers that are crafted from single-use post-consumer plastic bottles across all their products.
For every bag purchased, the BEEN London plants a tree and so far, have managed to plant over an acre of trees in the Peruvian Amazon.
Materials: Recycled leather
This brand gets practical travel right by offering not just one, but two differently sized, complementary eco friendly toiletry bags. (A large one for your toiletries plus a smaller one for makeup and/or skincare.)
Made from recycled materials, Rothy’s collects ocean-bound plastic waste from within 30 miles of coastlines and marine environments and transforms them into sustainable toiletry bags that are completely machine-washable. The latter is an important feature when it comes to those unfortunate cosmetic spills.
Materials: Recycled marine plastic
As its namesake suggests, the brand was founded by two chemically-sensitive folks who wanted to create wearables for people who could not find organic, allergy-free items. As a result, they only create clothes, bags and shoes from dye-free organic cotton, flax linen, and hemp.
Their sustainable toiletry bag is crafted from organically grown European hemp that comes in a range of earthy hues. Spacious enough to fit everything your face, lip and cheeks require — feel free to toss this little bag into your tote or weekender.
8. O My Bag
Based in Amsterdam, O My Bag creates roomy sustainable toiletry bags made from a unique composition of 30% GRS certified recycled cotton and 70% GOTS certified organic cotton. According to the brand, using this unique blend of recycled and virgin fibers helps them significantly decrease their product’s environmental impact, especially when it comes to water usage.
Their striped eco-friendly makeup pouch comes in a matching set of large and small sizes, perfect for accompanying you on a long backpacking trip.
Materials: Organic cotton
Check out O My Bag (NL)
9. KOHA Beauty
Made in a minimal black design, KOHA Beauty’s no-frills zip-around sustainable makeup bag can easily fit all of your essentials without taking up too much space in your bag.
The eco-friendly toiletry bag is made from pineapple fibres that are obtained from the fruit’s plant leaves, which are washed and dried before being woven into cloth.
KOHA Beauty also offers a range of soaps, hair care and dental care that are certified cruelty-free and vegan, making them the perfect choice for the environmentally-conscious traveler.
Materials: Pineapple fiber
10. Sea Bags
We love a travel-sized bag that boasts of a functional design feature, like this flat-bottomed cosmetic bag. The design makes it easy for you to place your bag on an airport bathroom counter or tray table in front of your seat without having all its contents roll off and fall on the floor while you try to squeeze in a quick touch-up to freshen up your look.
Sea Bags upcycles used boat sailcloths and converts them into nautical-inspired bags that are both functional and eco-friendly. Since 1999, the brand has managed to save over 700 tons of material from heading to landfills.
Materials: Upcycled sailcloth
11. Luxtra London
Understated and elegant, Luxtra London’s sustainable makeup bags can easily pass for an evening clutch bag owing to how good they look. We love how these bags come equipped with an elasticised interior pocket that’s perfect for storing your beauty blender or makeup sponges.
Available in gorgeous emerald green, ballet pink and metallic silver hue, these eco-friendly toiletry bags are crafted from PETA-approved vegan leather alternatives like Piñatex® (pineapple-derived leather) and AppleSkin™.
Luxtra is also a certified B Corporation, which means that it also meets high social and environmental performance with transparency in its business practices.
Price: £65 – £95
Materials: Piñatex, AppleSkin™
12. The Dharma Door
Yet another brand with rustic aesthetics at its core, The Dharma Door offers functional and eco-friendly makeup bags crafted from naturally dyed jute canvas fabric. These zip-around sustainable toiletry bags come with handy internal pouches and pockets, perfect for stashing pint-sized makeup essentials and hairpins.
Each bag is hand-sewn by artisans in a small community fair trade production centre in rural Bangladesh. We love that their travel pouches come in matching sets of two sizes, making them ideal for a long trip.
Price: $31 – $45 AUD
Materials: Jute canvas
13. Mayan Hands
An ethical makeup bag that can easily fit all of your on-the-go essentials without taking up too much space in your carry-on, the Nella Cosmetic Bag is handwoven using a traditional foot loom technique that’s native to Guatemalans. It also features a recycled denim lining, that’s made from discarded scraps spun with undyed cotton.
We suggest coordinating it with the matching Nella Tote.
Mayan Hands works with women from different areas of the Guatemalan highlands and practices fair trade principles in doing business to provide their artisans with a dignified path out of poverty.
14. The Tote Project
A brand with an inspiring mission at heart, all of The Tote Project’s bags are ethically made in India by survivors of exploitation and women who are at-risk. The brand works with artisans at a Fair Trade social enterprise to help empower them.
Manufactured fairly using organic cotton, the brand’s ethical makeup bags are spacious enough to hold your beauty essentials and promise to be just as colorful as your makeup. Each bag features a unique print made from eco-friendly inks and dyes that come with a unique zipper tassel made from upcycled saris.
Materials: Organic cotton
OneNine5’s minimalist travel makeup pouches will appease any Type A tendencies with their multi-purpose design that features elastic band slots, mesh pockets, and dividers that are perfect for storing all your beauty essentials in place.
The outer shell is crafted from recyclable polyurethane and comes internally lined in recycled plastic that’s been certified by the Global Recycle Standard.
UK-based customers can return their well-used OneNine5 bags back to them (for free) and the brand will either reuse or recycle the materials through their partnership with recycling firm TerraCycle®. Customers who return their well-used items will receive a 15% discount on their next order.
Materials: Recyclable polyurethane (plus free send-back program) and recycled plastic
Looking for more travel bags? Check out our guide to eco-friendly luggage.
About The Author:
Jharna Pariani is a fashion writer and creative strategist whose work is rooted in honesty and deep observation of the world around her. When she isn’t busy penning down her thoughts, she moonlights as a video editor creating fashion and food reels on Instagram for several brands and influencers