I was psyched to find a wide variety of eco-friendly iPad cases that are made with recycled and vegan materials. What makes an iPad case gentle on the Earth? Here are some features:
- Made from natural, sustainable, and biodegradable materials, such as sustainably-harvested wood, bamboo, or cork
- Contains with nontoxic materials
- Not made of animal skin, such as leather or suede from cows, pigs, crocodiles, snakes, or any other living creature that will suffer
- Doesn’t contain petroleum-based plastics
- Made by companies that take efforts to lessen their environmental footprint and provide safe and fair working conditions for their workers
For easy navigation, I separated the iPad and iPad Mini cases in this post, and each section is broken down by materials. You can click jump links below to get to a specific section in this post. Have fun!
iPad Cases and Sleeves
iPad Mini Cases and Sleeves
1. Wood iPad Cases by Hoentjen Creatie
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.
2. Bamboo iPad Cases by Reveal
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.
3. Reveal Cork iPad Air Cases
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.
4. Heaven Hemp iPad Sleeve
This iPad sleeve is made with all-natural and sustainable hemp, and it’s lined with cotton. It has a snap closure and a zippered pocket that will hold your headphones, charger, and ther accessories. This sustainable sleeve is handmade in Nepal.
5. Sustainable Hemp iPad Sleeve
Proud London Store makes a variety of sustainable accessories with hemp. Their hemp iPad and tablet sleeves come in a few different color combinations and they are 100% vegan. With outside pockets for your phone and other items, they’re fully functional and will protect your tablet or iPad.
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.
- Generally, it 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.
6. Recycled Plastic Bag Cases
These uniquely colorful iPad sleeves are made with reclaimed plastic bags. They’re splash-proof, eco-friendly, and padded so, they’ll protect your devise. And if you have a favorite color combination, let owner-designer Anne Hermine know and she’ll create a custom design for you.
7. iPad and Tablet Sleeve in Neogreene by GreenSmart
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″.
8. Custom Upcycled Inner Tube Tablet Sleeve by Planet Rubber
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.
Eco-Friendly iPad Case Made with Upcycled Inner Tubes
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.
9. Upcycled Book iPad Cases by Book Grrl Bindery
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.
10. Reveal Bamboo iPad Mini Cases
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.
11. Cork iPad Mini Case by Reveal
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.
12. Love and Cork iPad Mini Folio with Stand
13. Custom iPad Mini Case Made with Upcycled Inner Tubes by Planet Rubber
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!)
14. Upcycled Book iPad Mini Covers by Book Grrl Bindery
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.