Amazing Backpacks That Give Back: Top 5 Brands to Look For

Sienna Clay Patagonia Atom Tote Pack: 20L Backpack

As a modern shopper, you have endless options when it’s time to buy a product you need. But a simple choice can lead to real-world effects, whether good or bad. And if you’re on a mission to do good with your purchases, finding products that give to others is an easy way to get started. That’s why We’ve found five of our favorite companies that offer backpacks that give back. 

Each brand donates a portion of its proceeds or uses your purchase to contribute to real and impactful charitable actions. We’re confident you’ll find something you love and a cause you care about with these picks. 

Jump To Our Picks

Top 5 Backpack Companies That Give Back: How We Chose

To ensure we only uplifted the best backpack companies that give back, we did some digging into each option’s charitable actions, sustainability, and labor practices. We only selected brands that donate or use money from each purchase to pursue their philanthropic commitments. Some of our picks also give back by minimizing their impact on local communities and the planet. 

Our Picks

Where to Buy Backpacks That Give Back: Our Full List of Brands 

Check out any of these brands for a full collection of backpacks with a cause. 

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author and DGHQ editors. However, Do Good HQ may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

1. Cotopaxi

Multicolor Cotopaxi Batac 16L Backpack: Versatile & Sustainable!
Ideal ForBiking and outdoors
MaterialsRecycled and leftover materials, repurposed nylon
Price Range$60-220

Few companies understand the concept of backpacks that give back better than Cotopaxi. The brand’s high-quality backpacks, pouches, and other bags have your back – literally. They’re designed not only to generate sales but to do good.


Cotopaxi thinks outside the box when repurposing materials and creating sustainable designs. Their (Re)Purpose™ Collection boasts pieces that “make leftovers shine.” The Del Dia line, a popular branch of the collection, showcases one-of-a-kind color combinations selected by local artisans in Bataan, Philippines.

Charitable Giving & Sustainability

Cotopaxi is first on our list due to its dedication to sustainable business practices, philanthropy, and building healthy and thriving communities.

1% of all earnings go to The Cotopaxi Foundation, which provides grants to nonprofits that help communities experiencing extreme poverty. But Cotopaxi doesn’t stop there – they also regularly donate emergency resources and disaster relief funds.

2. Patagonia

Patagonia Atom Tote Pack 20L: Stylish & Functional.
Ideal ForHiking, biking, daily use
MaterialsRecycled polyester and nylon
Price Range$69-299

We know we can trust Patagonia backpacks to be sturdy, beautiful, and made to last. Patagonia creates hundreds of sustainable products; their backpacks are among their top-selling options. They’re designed with recycled materials and have plenty of space to hold whatever your travels demand. 


All of Patagonia’s Fair Trade backpacks are manufactured in Vietnam by Kanaan Saigon Co., Ltd. It’s hard to find labor and supply chains that are as transparent as Patagonia’s. You can rest assured that your purchase is doing good in more ways than one – helping you, the planet, and the communities that contributed to it.

Things to Consider

We love that Patagonia uses recycled materials in its packs, but we also appreciate the company’s use of organic cotton. While cotton can demand a lot of resources, their regenerative agriculture pilot program helps them minimize their environmental impact.

Patagonia is serious about giving back, too. The company is one of the co-founders of 1% for the Planet, one of the biggest charitable giving programs in which brands worldwide participate. 


KANE Kids Travel Backpack in Metallic Pink/Silver
Ideal ForKids, teens, and anyone who loves customization
MaterialsCotton, recycled materials
Price Range$78-210

Shopping for backpacks that give back doesn’t mean giving up customization or fun designs. Look no further than STATE for sustainable and recycled backpacks that you and your kiddos will love. 


One of the biggest selling points of STATE is the company’s personalization options. You can choose to add your initials or embroidered symbols to your bag when you place your order. 

With plenty of styles, colors, and extra features to choose from, STATE has something for everyone. Plus, their bags are made from water-resistant, recycled, and vegan materials.

Charitable Giving & Sustainability

STATE’s mission is about more than creating beautiful backpacks – it’s about giving back to families in need. Every bag purchased helps STATE support American children and families in need. 

Past STATE projects have donated fully-packed backpacks to students, sparked dialogues about social injustices, and more. When you shop with STATE, you support a brand that will put your money to good use.

4. Backpacks For Life (BFL)

Black BFL Bowery Pack: Lightweight and Easy to Carry.
Ideal ForAdventures, hiking, backpacking
MaterialsNot listed
Price Range$38-86

A large, unfortunately often overlooked group can be well-served by backpacks that give back: veterans. Backpacks For Life (BFL) knows that many veterans return home with little to nothing except the clothes on their backs. 

A backpack can be far more than a convenience; it can be a necessity. BFL is committed to helping veterans get back on their feet by providing fully-packed bags and essentials.


These backpacks are designed to go above and beyond what traditional bags provide. Each one features a sleeping mat – to lay on while sleeping in a shelter – as well as a detachable toiletry kit, a whistle clip, a locking cable, and more.

Things to Consider

BFL’s backpack distribution program, More Than A Backpack, donates a bag for each one that’s purchased. BFL also accepts direct donations and sells other merchandise to generate proceeds that go toward their charitable efforts. 

And given that BFL has distributed over 10,000 backpacks in 27 states, it’s safe to say that their work makes a difference.

5. Terra Thread

Terra Thread: Your Sustainable Backpack Solution!
Ideal ForSchool, work, everyday use
Materials100% Fair Trade and GOTS-certified organic cotton
Price Range$60-70

A cute and functional sustainable backpack from Terra Thread is the perfect addition to your back-to-school haul. While the brand only offers a handful of dedicated backpacks, it also sells plenty of pouches, pencil cases, and other goodies that make it easy to give back. 


Terra Thread manufactures all of its products in a Fair Trade-certified factory in India. That means employees receive fair wages and good work conditions. The bags are also fairly affordable, especially compared to some of our other picks. 

Things to Consider

In addition to good working conditions, Terra Thread also gives back to its workers by paying into a Fair Trade premium account that workers can use for community development, essentials like clean water,  and more.

Terra Thread takes it a step further and also commits to donating money to Feeding America with each purchase. Your backpack can help Terra Thread provide meals to those who need them most. 

How to Choose a Backpack That Gives Back

Ask yourself questions like these as you shop to find the best backpack for your needs and preferences.

  • What size backpack do you need? Many of our picks are on the smaller side, but there are plenty of packs that are longer and bulkier. 
  • How will you use the backpack? Most backpacks are optimized for outdoor use, but not all of them are waterproof or durable enough to stand up to the elements.
  • What is your ideal price point? Pricier doesn’t necessarily mean better, but investing in a nicer backpack will likely get you longer-lasting results.

No matter which choice you make, you’ll be helping someone somewhere with your purchase. We hope this list helps you find a backpack that gives back in more ways than one!

Feature image via Patagonia

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