I was psyched to find a wide variety of cool iPad cases that are made with recycled, eco-friendly, and vegan materials. What makes an iPad or iPad Mini case cool? Here are some features:
- Made from natural, sustainable, and biodegradable materials, such as sustainably-harvested wood, bamboo, or cork
- Made of toxic-free materials
- Not made of animal skin, such as leather or suede from cows, pigs, crocodiles, snakes, or any other living creature that will suffer
- Not made of traditional, virgin plastic or other virgin petroleum-based materials
- Made by companies that take efforts to lessen their environmental footprint and provide safe and fair working conditions for their workers
For easy organization, I separated the iPad cases from the iPad Minis, and each of those sections is further broken down into the materials the cases and sleeves are made with. You can click on the jump link to get to a specific section in this post. Have fun!
Cool iPad Cases and Sleeves
Cool iPad Mini Cases and Sleeves
Hoentjen Creatie hails from The Netherlands where they make a variety of tech accessories, watches, and sunglasses from natural wood. Each case is handmade and one-of-a-kind. Their iPad covers come with a fold-out folio that you can convert into a convenient stand. Hoentjen Creatie makes wood covers for iPad Air and Mini.
Reveal is a leader in the sustainable tech accessories space. Not only do they make beautiful products out of sustainable materials, they also plant a tree for every product they sell. In partnership with the non-profit American Forests, they’ve planted over 50 million trees on behalf of their customers. Company founder Terry Omata spent a decade getting products manufactured in China and he knows first-hand the environmental and human consequences of creating and disposing of products that are not made sustainably.
This bamboo iPad case fits a 9.7″ iPad and comes in a dark wood-colored or blond wood-colored bamboo. Bamboo is 100% sustainable and is the fastest growing woody plant on Earth. While it’s actually a grass, bamboo often gets put in the wood category because it’s just as strong and durable and has the same natural look.
Maderacraft creates a range of ultra-sleek wood and bamboo tech accessories for Apple computers and mobile devices. Be sure to check out their Etsy store to see their iPad cases, bamboo monitor stands, and other handmade accessories
Designer Sophia Victory Joy will personalize an iPad case with etched text of your choosing. Just email her in here Etsy store and send here your specs!
Cork is a sustainable material because the cork tree isn’t harmed when its bark is harvested. Plus, when cork bark is harvested, it enables the tree to absorb even more CO2 from the atmosphere. Cork forests are also home to a number of endangered species, so a demand for cork products helps to ensure these important forests are preserved.
This cork iPad case fits iPad Air 2 and 9.7″ iPads. It should be noted that it’s interior lining is made with a vegan fabric created from recycled plastic bottles.
This next set of cool, vegan iPad cases are made with a variety of different recycled and upcycled materials. But first, here’s the distinction between upcycled and recycled:
What’s the difference between recycling and upcycling again?
Recycling (as it relates to products) involves taking used products or the materials used in those products and breaking them down into more basic sub-materials, which can be used to create new materials and products. Most often recycling involved an industrial process. An example is plastic from plastic bottles that is melted down and then spun into fibers that can be used to create fleece material for jackets or a woven material for dog collars.
Upcycling, on the other hand, does not require an industrial process because materials used from the original products are not broken down. Rather, the materials remain in their near-original, and often recognizable, state and are simply reused to create something new. An example is used tire inner tubes that are cut down and then sewn or glued together to create wallets, iPad sleeves, or belts.
Generally, recycling requires more energy than upcycling because it utilizes an industrial process. (Though artisans who make upcycled goods from used materials that they go out and salvage may have a different opinion about “energy” output!)
Even though recycling takes energy, it’s generally considered a better alternative to using virgin materials taken from our very depleted planet. The consensus by most environmentalists is that if you’re not using sustainable natural materials in your products (such as cork, bamboo, hemp, or sustainably-harvested wood), it’s best to at least use recycled or upcycled materials.
While the term “upcycling” is still a fairly new term in our vernacular, the concept of upcycling is as old as the hills. Think your grandmother’s patchwork quilt or wine cork bulletin boards.
Upcycling is a winner for a few key reasons:
- It keeps “waste” out of our landfills and waterways.
- It generally doesn’t take much energy, and few if any raw materials, to create usable, high-quality products.
- It sparks creativity and ingenuity that inspires us to re-think how we view “waste” and throwaway items.
GreenSmart creates tablet computer cases made with its “Neogreene” material, a better alternative to traditional neoprene.
Neogreene is considered a non-toxic material because it doesn’t contain unhealthy chemicals. It doesn’t use things like phthalates, volatile organic compounds (short for VOCs, which are carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate into the atmosphere), chlorine, or metals. It also requires less energy and petroleum to produce. In addition, Neogreene sleeves are constructed with water-based adhesives vs. chemical-heavy solvent-based adhesives.
And an extra bonus on this case: The interior fuzzy liner is made with 100% recycled plastic bottles.
It measures 10.4″ x 8.2″ x 0.7″.
Tires are 100% recyclable, and it’s very important that we do recycle them. For one, we use a lot of tires, and we keep using them. In the U.S. we scrap about 300 million tires every year. Used tires take up a lot of landfill space. And if they’re burned, they emit toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. Tires can be recycled into useful materials for flooring, playgrounds, and the soles of shoes.
The tablet cases I showcase here are made with upcycled tire inner tubes. I appreciate how they serve not only their primary function – to protect your computer, but they also make statement about the power of upcycling. You can guess what they used to be in their past life.
Planet Rubber makes a variety of accessories from used tire inner tubes, including wallets, purses, duffle bags, and dopp kits. All of their items are handmade to order. Just contact them through their Etsy store and give them the dimensions of your iPad or tablet.
This zip-closure bag by Ecoupcycle Studio is made with used truck tire inner tubes. It has a handy wrist strap for carrying and dual zippers for easy access. It measures 9.9″ x 7.4″ x 1″ and will fit in iPad Air, Mini, or similar-sized notebook.
Like tires, we all know that virgin fossil fuel plastics are a scourge on our planet. OWL Recycled is doing their part to keep plastics out of the landfill and our oceans. These sleek tablet sleeves that are made with 100% recycled materials.
The felt fabric is made with 100 % recycled water bottles and other food containers and comes in a few super bright colors. It’s machine-washable too! It measures 11.5” x 9.2” x 1.5” and will fit a number of iPads and tablet computers.
Kaz Style creates lovely zippered tablet cases that are one-of-a-kind and handmade.
This iPad sleeve is made with upcycled obi and kimono fabrics. Be sure to check out Kaz Style’s shop on Etsy to see more designs. This sleeve measures 11” x 9.5”.
The perfect blend of old and new, these upcycled book covers for your tablet are fun and protective at the same time. Visit Book Grrl Bindery’s Etsy store to see more fun titles.
Sustainable tech accessories company Reveal offers a couple of well-made bamboo iPad Mini cases: one has the look of a dark hardwood and the other a blond wood. The cover of the case folds out to make a stand. Reveal’s cases are all sleek and low profile.
In partnership with the nonprofit American Forests, Reveal plants a tree for every product they sell, making them a truly environmentally conscious company in product and practice.
Reveal lines its cases with a 100% vegan fabric that is made of recycled plastic bottles.
This case fits iPad Minis 1, 2, and 3.
Another cool iPad Mini case from Reveal, this folio is made with natural, sustainable cork. Like bamboo, cork is a superb material for eco-friendly products. When cork bark is harvested, it doesn’t hurt the tree. And cork forests are the natural habitat for many species, some of which are endangered. When we buy products made of sustainably-harvested cork, we help to ensure these important forests are preserved.
This eco-friendly case fits iPad Minis 1, 2, 3, and 4.
I didn’t think I’d find one, but sure enough I did – an iPad Mini case made with hemp, brought to you by Cover-Up. Hemp is another superstar sustainable material because it’s easy to grow without the use of harmful pesticide and herbicides. The hemp fabric used in this case is blended with cotton, and the lining is faux leather.
I’m a huge fan of any artisan who is keeping tires and inner tubes out of the landfill and converting them into useful, cool-looking products. Used tires are an environmental scourge, but thankfully, they can be recycled and upcycled into a wide array of products, from carpeting to playground materials to shoes and bags.
Used rubber lends itself especially well to making bags and cases because it’s super durable and water-resistant. (Plus, it’s easy to clean!)
Blue Dragon Craft is another artisan that is doing their part to keep used tires out of the landfill. This clutch-style iPad Mini case, made with used inner tubes, is handmade and sewn. Even the tie that closes it is made with upcycled rubber.
Disguise your Mini in one of these whimsical iPad Mini covers made with used book covers. Each cover is handmade and one-of-a-kind. Book Grrl Bindery is doing their part to keep old books out of the landfill.
And it gets better: They do custom orders. Have an old hard cover that you’ve read and re-read but can’t bring yourself to throw away? Contact Book Grrl Bindery in their Etsy store and ask them about creating a unique iPad Mini cover just for you.