The New York–based team behind Want Les Essentiels has quietly been making a name for the brand since it launched in 2006. Its minimal but never boring accessories champion functional fashion. Built for withstanding laps around the globe, the briefcases, backpacks, and carry-on bags are timelessly designed and endlessly easy to pair with everything from your sharpest suit to your most-loved jeans. And now, the brand’s new Recycled Nylon Collection has applied this approach to functionality and sustainability, designing pieces that put in work both for you and the planet.
Sustainability is nothing new to the brand, which, in addition to crafting bags meant to weather the test of time, has been committed to using 100 percent organic cotton in all of its core pieces since 2009. Now, Want Les Essentiels is taking this commitment one step further—giving its technical nylon pieces an eco-friendly makeover. Following in the footsteps of brands like Adidas and Huntsman, both of which recently introduced pieces made out of recycled ocean plastic, each of the bags in the new collection is made entirely of eco-nylon. Developed in Italy, the new fabric, called Econyl, is fabricated by upcycling materials that would otherwise work their way into landfills (think carpet and fabric scraps, fishnets, and other plastic waste), saving thousands of barrels of crude oil from being used and avoiding thousands of tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
For Want Les Essentiels, the result of these efforts is a range of sporty bags that are every bit as performance-driven as they are chic. Rendered in sleek black, the Rogue Utility backpack ($395) and classic Ohare shopper tote ($210) are ideal for days spent zipping between meetings or jetting across continents, as each comes equipped with padded pockets to protect laptops, hidden pockets to keep valuables safe, and water-resistant zippers to ensure everything stays dry, no matter the weather. For days when you don’t need to have everything on hand, the Bryce crossbody bag and the Fillmore waist pack ($165 each) also make for easy travel companions. Both compact styles have plenty of space for phones, cameras, and backup chargers—and we’d suggest leaning into the collection’s edgy colorway by wearing the latter across your body (over a bomber or trench) for a playful nod to street wear.