I’ve been planning to write a post about vegan handbags and purses for a while now because it’s such a fun topic. And truthfully, I got lost a little while doing my research because I found so many great bags. I discovered new, innovative designers who are working with high-quality vegan leather. Plus, new styles from well-established designers, like Stella McCartney and MATT and NAT, who continue to create gorgeous luxury handbags that are always cruelty-free.
I also discovered new materials (to me anyway) that I had not seen used before in handbags, like bamboo. I know, I know, purses have probably been made with bamboo for eons, but I can’t remember ever laying my eyes on one! Other natural materials used to make vegan handbags include hemp, raffia, and even palm leaves.
Plus, there are great affordable vegan bags made with faux leather and faux suede that are surely disrupting the leather handbag market. And of course, no UniGuide post would be complete without some recycled and upcycled options. Yes, Ladies, vegan handbags made from cement bags, tire inner tubes, and boat sails are leaving bags made with animal skin in the Dark Ages where they belong!
Vegan Handbags and Purses in this post:
Faux Leather Handbags and Purses
LaBante London is a socially conscious handbag brand that donates 10% of their profits to charitable causes. LaBante’s founder, Vanita Badlani Bagri, experienced a pivotal moment in her life when she was in college. She passed a butcher’s shop where animals were kept alive in cages before they would be killed in front of customers and sold for their meat.
Bearing witness to this horror was transformative for Vanita. While she didn’t know at the time that she would eventually become a vegan handbag designer, this experience shaped her world view and the values that she infuses in all of LaBante’s products and operations today.
And not only are LaBante bags vegan, they’re also eco-friendly. The materials used have the look and feel of leather, but they’re actually made with recycled plastic bottles.
Melie Bianco is another PETA Approved, 100% vegan brand. And they produce their socially conscious handbags in ethical, fair trade conditions.
The vegan leather that Melie Bianco uses in their bags is made with polyurethane (PU). PU use fewer solvents and toxic chemicals than PVC (polyvinyl chloride), a type of plastic that’s used to make a cheaper faux leather. In addition, PU uses fewer resources to produce than does leather derived from animals.
In this video, Melie Bianco explains the difference between PU vegan leather and faux leather made from PVC:
Good Mood Moon also makes 100% vegan clutches, purses, and other cute bags. Self-described lovers of animals, nature, and color, they donate 5% of sales from their subtly colorful bags to homeless pet organizations.
MATT & NAT’s name is derived from the words “materials” and “nature.” And these concepts are interwoven in every product they create, from their designer handbags and purses to fashionable shoes and other accessories. Their mission it to help unveil the “humanity, creativity and positivity found in all of us.”
MATT & NAT’s chic designs have been 100% vegan since the company was founded in 1995. They also infuse eco-friendly principles into their designs by using natural, plantbased, and recycled materials. You can see their stylish shoes in my post on vegan shoe brands.
Angela Roi’s love for animals and their passion for fashion inspired them to create their ultra chic, 100% cruelty-free handbags. They believe there’s no reason for fashion to be cruel, and they take these values a step further by supporting animal welfare organizations.
Stella McCartney is a true trailblazer in the fashion world. She was a big name advocating for cruelty-free and eco-friendly fashion back when most big names were still in the Dark Ages, creating designs with animal skin and fur. Stella was an advocate for cruelty-free fashion well before Gucci, Versace, and just recently Chanel went fur-free. (But thank God, other top designers are seeing the light and helping to end animal cruelty in the fashion industry.) Stella is a designer who wears her values and her heart on her sleeves and the world is better for it.
Canopy Verde’s founder, Linda Wong, admits she’s a minimalist who doesn’t like the idea of “owning a lot stuff.” It might seem an odd statement coming from a product designer, but then again, Linda represents the values of other modern-day, progressive product designers who believe in quality over quantity and in minimizing waste.
Linda was inspired to create her own line of eco-friendly and vegan handbags after working in the fashion industry and seeing how much waste is generated season after season. She felt she could do better. And it was her love of mid-century Danish design and the character of her Brooklyn neighborhood that shaped her design aesthetic.
Canopy Verde produces their vegan handbags using methods that minimize waste and reuse materials whenever possible. In addition, they utilize PU vegan leather, which has a lighter carbon footprint than leather derived from animals. The linings of Canopy Verde bags are also eco-friendly: They’re made with GOTS certified organic cotton, which is dyed with Earth-friendly, chemical-free dyes.
Pixie Mood says their top priority is creating beautiful handbags and purses that do not harm any of our furry friends. Their motto is: “There’s always room for fashion with compassion!”
In addition, the Pixie Mood team is committed to environmental sustainability and social causes. They focus on sourcing the most innovative and eco-friendly materials they can find, and they support charitable organizations like PETA and Progress Place Mental Wellness.
Maravillas hand makes their sustainable, vegan handbags in their workshop in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. They do create some styles in traditional leather, so be sure to look for the designs that are made with 100% vegan and sustainable Piñatex Pineapple Leather. Maravillas’ founder, Christina Bussmann, is an advocate for timeless designs and she’s an activist against fast-fashion and its exploitation of people and nature.