Monday, September 26, 2022

Paravel Makes Sustainable Luxury Luggage—But How Eco-Friendly Is It?

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Newsweek Green Award

As sustainability becomes more and more of a buzzword consumers genuinely look for when making purchases, bigger becomes the threat of greenwashing (advertising or marketing unfairly representing an organization as greener than it really is). In Newsweek’s pursuit of products and companies that are actually doing meaningful work within the sustainability space—like sustainable denim and eco-friendly sneakers—we’re putting the spotlight on luxury travel accessories brand Paravel: Where does Paravel really stack up in terms of sustainability?

According to Paravel.com’s sustainability page, “At Paravel, we create top-quality travel goods that are as easy on the eye as they are on the Earth, but that is just part of the story. Sustainability is at the core of every decision we make, and we do our part in the fight against climate change by focusing on three key issues: reducing and offsetting carbon emissions, incorporating upcycled and eco-certified materials throughout every product detail, and planting trees in depleted ecosystems.”

Keep reading for more insight into Paravel’s sustainability efforts and how it ranks. As always, the prices listed may fluctuate over time.

What is Paravel?

how sustainable is paravel 3
The Luggage Tag is made from recycled vegan leather—60 percent of which is a recycled textile.
PARAVEL

Indré Rockefeller and Andy Krantz founded Paravel in 2016 with the hopes of “creating travel goods that feature a timeless aesthetic, exceptional functionality and forward-thinking sustainability,” according to the Paravel website.

It’s a luxury travel accessories brand that makes luggage and other accessories. With the main headquarters in New York, Paravel’s manufacturing happens in Florence, Italy, according to Forbes.

Paravel makes suitcases, travel-sized organizers, makeup bags, passport cases, luggage tags, handbags, backpacks, packing cubes, duffle bags and more.

What are some of Paravel’s most popular products?

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Paravel’s Negative Nylon Packing Cubes are derived from 16 upcycled plastic water bottles.
PARAVEL

One of the hallmark products of Paravel is the brand’s 100 percent carbon neutral luggage. There are three size options: the Aviator Carry-On, Aviator Carry-On Plus and Aviator Grand, the checked size.

The Aviator Grand—Paravel’s first checked luggage to date—features a recycled polycarbonate exterior, lining made from 21 recycled plastic water bottles, recycled zippers, a recycled aluminum handle, vegan leather detailing and steel handles.

In travel accessories, Paravel makes Negative Nylon Packing Cubes and Compression Cubes—both of which are comprised of OEKO-TEX and Global Recycle Standard certified water-resistant Negative Nylon. The four-pack of Packing Cubes is made from 16 upcycled plastic water bottles, while the Compression Cubes are made from 10.

Not going to lie, we also have to applaud Paravel’s Cabana Pet Carrier. After all, it’s hard to find a pet carrier that’s both cute and good for the planet, so we love to see that it’s made from Ecocraft Canvas derived from 38 upcycled plastic water bottles.

Most of Paravel’s items can be monogrammed by way of embroidery, too.

What materials does Paravel use?

According to Paravel’s sustainability page, the materials used to make its products include Negative Nylon—a trademarked material made from 100 percent post-consumer plastic water bottles that passes both the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 and the Global Recycle Standard. Also included is EcoCraft Canvas, a natural cotton fiber combined with thread from recycled plastic bottles that also passes the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 and the Global Recycle Standard. Additional materials include recycled polycarbonate, jute, recycled vegan leather and circular cotton.

Does Paravel offer vegan options?

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Paravel only uses recycled vegan leather in its products.
PARAVEL

As far as Newsweek can tell, every Paravel product seems to be vegan. After all, Paravel uses recycled vegan leather for all of its “leather” details. However, knowing where that leather comes from and how much of the textile accounts for truly recycled material is essential.

Paravel developed its recycled vegan leather on its own, combining two layers of polyurethane with one layer of recycled polyester. The result, according to Paravel, is a textile made from 60 percent recycled material.

However, we must note that Paravel does have a line about animal welfare on its website, stating, “Suppliers must comply with principles, practices and regulations that require animals in the Paravel supply chain to be treated ethically and humanely.”

Does Paravel pay workers living wages?

Paravel has a section of its website dedicated to a “Code of Social Responsibility.” There, Paravel lists its social responsibility criteria, citing that the company never works with suppliers that use child labor or forced labor.

Then, under “Fair Wages,” Paravel adds, “Fair wages are essential to meeting their employees’ basic needs. Suppliers will, at a minimum, comply with all applicable wage and hour laws and regulations, including those relating to minimum wages, overtime, maximum daily and weekly hours, piece rates and other elements of compensation, and provide legally mandated benefits. Employees are entitled to at least 24 consecutive hours off in every seven-day period, except under exceptional business circumstances.”

Find out more about Paravel’s Code of Social Responsibility.

How sustainable is Paravel?

When ranking Paravel’s sustainability, we looked at the ethics of its business practices, certifications and overall efforts to pioneer a more sustainable future.

According to Paravel’s website, “Our eco-friendly luggage, bags, and organizers are crafted so you can make better choices for your adventures, without sacrificing design, price or quality. We have upcycled over 4.7 million plastic water bottles to date, offset 12,247 tonnes of CO2 through our carbon-neutral shipping program, and planted over 170,000 trees through Eden Reforestation Projects.”

Regarding how sustainable Paravel is, Newsweek must give credit where credit is due. Paravel scores big points for the number of recycled materials it uses. (Although we would like to see its recycled vegan leather be closer to 100 percent recycled rather than only 60 percent.) Paravel is definitely doing something right in that regard!

As far as how sustainable Paravel’s production process is, we’d appreciate more transparency. However, we love to see that Paravel does pay climate offsets, offers carbon-neutral shipping, works with reforestation projects and even offers climate-neutral products.

How much does Paravel cost?

One of the main criticisms of sustainable products, of course, is that they are costlier. Eco-friendly items generally use longer-lasting, better-quality materials, and since they are often considered a luxury, they tend to be priced as such.

The Aviator Carry-On retails for $350 in all available colorways; Aviator Carry-On Plus costs $375, and the Aviator Grand costs $425.

However, if you bundle two or three Paravel products, you tend to get the most bang for your buck. For example, the Aviator Set—which features the Carry-On and the Grand—is currently $700. Similarly, the Aviator Packing Cube Set comes with the Carry-On, Aviator Grand and a packing cube set and is priced at $765.

Still, there is no denying that this luxury item is relatively expensive.

Is Paravel worth the money?

It’s hard to say. Paravel makes products that are both sustainable and considered luxury, so it’s no wonder you pay a premium for these items. But as with most eco-friendly products, you have to think they will likely last longer because they are so well-made. So, is Paravel worth the money?

While Paravel is undeniably costlier than suitcases of the comparable size and aesthetic—the Away, Beis, Monos—it could end up being a better, longer-term investment should it stand the test of time and prove to be more durable than its counterparts. (After all, the Away bag scuffs almost as soon as you use it, and it really was a lot of hype over style, not function.)

It also depends on what you buy from Paravel when considering how much use you’ll get out of it. Luggage prices aside, some of their other products are incredibly functional, and you’ll get a ton of use from them (they’re also a bit more affordable). So, if you splurge for a weekender bag or duffle and use it all the time, then it’s a total no-brainer!

Is Paravel sold in stores?

Paravel is available to purchase at TourParavel.com. However, you can also find the luxury travel accessories brand in stores at your local Bloomingdales.

Newsweek’s Green Awards highlight companies and products that use sustainable and ethical business practices and deliver exceptional quality, service and value. The evaluation focuses on three key areas; measurable sustainability practices as certified by trusted organizations, product or service quality and overall value. Learn more.

Newsweek may earn a commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. We participate in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

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