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15 Must-Have Vegan Handbags That Make Leather Obsolete

by Aly Laughlin

Apr 20, 2020

Finding vegan handbags is easier than ever now that cruelty-free fashion is overtaking the runway. Leather alternatives have existed for decades, but their increased widespread availability has officially made wearing animals obsolete.

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Why Vegan Leather?

It's ethical. While leather is often thought of as a natural byproduct of the meat industry, about one billion animals are killed each year for their skin alone.

It's sustainable. On average, producing leather requires 20 times more energy, water, and land use than is required for synthetic alternatives.

It's beautiful. Vegan leather has come a very long way, with a multitude of wonderful options to choose from.

Vegan Handbag Brands

Here is a handy list of brands that make 100% vegan handbags to make your shopping a little easier. That means they don't use any animal derived materials including leather, fur, hair, wool, silk, feathers, or shells. As you can see, there are sooo many! This list isn't exhaustive and there are new brands emerging all the time.

  • Alexandra K
  • Alienina
  • Alixane
  • Angela Roi
  • Ashoka Paris
  • Beyond Skin
  • Ceibo
  • Colibri
  • Evve Milano
  • Filbert
  • Freedom of Animals
  • Golden Ponies
  • Gunas New York
  • HFS Collective
  • Jill Milan
  • JW Pei
  • Kwonn
  • LaBante London
  • Lee Coren
  • Little Rooms
  • Luxtra
  • Mashu
  • Matt & Nat
  • Melie Bianco
  • Miakoda
  • Minuit Sur Terre
  • Miomojo
  • Moenn
  • Noize
  • Novacas
  • Osier
  • Pixie Mood
  • Samara
  • Sans Beast
  • Scarleton
  • Stella McCartney
  • The Lovely Things
  • Trópicca
  • Urban Expressions
  • Veggani
  • Vendula Londo
  • Wilby
  • Will's Vegan Shoes

15 Vegan Handbag Options

Faux leather and synthetic materials used to be associated with cheap quality, but these carryalls are the epitome of luxury. Here are 15 timeless options for every style and budget. Best of all, no animals were harmed in the making of these handbags.

1. Matt & Nat Doctor Bag

Founded in the 90s in Montreal, Matt & Nat ("Mat(t)erial & Nature") is one of the most popular vegan brands, and for good reason. Their minimalist designs and sophisticated color choices make for great wardrobe staples. The streamlined "Doctor Bag" has a zipper closure, back pocket for smartphones, detachable shoulder strap, and like all their bags, 100% recycled nylon lining.

Brand Matt & Nat
Price 150.00$
Dimensions 10.5”L x 9”H x 6”D
Materials PU vegan leather exterior, 100% recycled nylon interior

2. Angela Roi Cher Tote

Angela Roi is an equally popular luxury vegan brand based out of New York, with chic and sophisticated styles. The "Cher Tote" gets its name from Cher in the 90s movie Clueless (perhaps not so coincidentally portrayed by vegan advocate Alicia Silverstone). It has a magnetic closure, center zip compartment, and detachable shoulder strap.

Brand Angela Roi
Price 250.00$
Dimensions 13.8”L x 10”H x 7”D
Materials PU vegan leather exterior and interior
Buy Angela Roi

3. Ceibo Ring Tote

The "Ring Tote" has a streamlined minimalist vibe with a hard body structure, metal ring handles, magnetic clasp, detachable chain shoulder strap, and canvas lining. All of Ceibo's vegan handbags are handmade in Houston by the designer, Maria. For her next capsule collection, Maria is working with Piñatex, a sustainable leather alternative made from pineapple leaves!

Brand Ceibo
Price 115.00$
Dimensions 10.2”L x 8.5"H x 4"D
Materials PU vegan leather exterior, canvas interior
Buy Ceibo

4. Matt & Nat Drew Crossbody Bag

Another classic bag from Matt & Nat, the "Drew Crossbody" style is perfect for bopping around town with just the essentials. It has a magnetic closure, slip pockets, detachable strap, and 100% recycled nylon lining.

Brand Matt & Nat
Price 60.00$
Dimensions 7.25”L x 4”H x 2”D
Materials PU vegan leather exterior, 100% recycled nylon interior

5. Angela Roi Cher Mini

The "Cher Mini" is the little sister of the aforementioned "Cher Tote", but with a more playful and trendy vibe. Like its larger counterpart, it has a magnetic closure, center zip compartment, and detachable shoulder strap.

Brand Angela Roi
Price 225.00$
Dimensions 10.75”L x 8.25”H x 4.5”D
Materials PU vegan leather exterior and interior
Buy Angela Roi

6. Dasein Faux Leather Tote

This is a great inexpensive cruelty-free option to the famous Celine "Micro Luggage Handbag". It's roomy with lots of pockets, zipper closure, detachable strap, and a matching wallet. And its shape can be adjusted by folding in the winged sides.

Brand Dasein
Price 45.00$
Dimensions 16”L x 12”H x 6.5”D
Materials PU vegan leather exterior, fabric interior
Buy Amazon

7. Pixie Mood Crossbody Bag

Pixie Mood makes uniquely architectural vegan bags with a sleek aesthetic. The rectangular "Crossbody" is one of those deceptively spacious small bags. It has accordion sides, a push-lock closure, interior slip pocket, and detachable strap.

Brand Pixie Mood
Price 90.00$
Dimensions 9”L x 7”H x 2”D
Materials PU vegan leather exterior and interior
Buy Pixie Mood

8. Dasein Top Handle Tote

Here's another affordable option from Dasein that closely resembles the infamous Hermes "Birkin Bag". It comes in tons of colors and textures, including faux ostrich leather. It has one main zipper compartment, pockets galore, padlock detail, detachable strap, and a bonus matching wallet.

Brand Dasein
Price 40.00$
Dimensions 15”L x 11.8”H x 4.75”D
Materials PU vegan leather exterior, fabric interior
Buy Amazon

9. Sole Society Rubie Crossbody

Sole Society has a ton of great leather-free options, with a dedicated "vegan bags" section on their website. The "Rubie Crossbody" has a subtle 70s aesthetic with its contrast stitching and square clasp closure. It has expandable sides, a back zipper pocket, and a detachable strap.

Brand Sole Society
Price 60.00$
Dimensions 7.25”L x 10.25”H x 3.75”D
Materials PU vegan leather exterior, fabric interior
Buy Sole Society

10. Melie Bianco Diana Tote

Impressively, the "Diana Tote" in a three-in-one bag with two bonus zippered pouches, one of which can be transformed into a second smaller crossbody purse by attaching the detachable strap to it! It also features handwoven handles and a magnetic closure.

Brand Melie Bianco
Price 112.00$
Dimensions 19”L x 14”H x 4.5”D
Materials PU vegan leather exterior and interior
Buy Melie Bianco

11. Korvara Small Crossbody Purse

This little affordable wallet bag is made to emulate a Saffiano leather crosshatch pattern. It has neatly organized pockets for cards, cash, and phone, plus magentic closure, and a detachable chain strap.

Brand Korvara
Price 40.00$
Dimensions 8.75”L x 5.5”H x 1.75”D
Materials PU vegan leather exterior and interior
Buy Amazon

12. Melie Bianco Roxy Crossbody Bag

The "Roxy Crossbody" is a lovely petite option from Melie Bianco. It has two moderate compartments, zipper closure, polished gold hardware, and a detachable shoulder strap.

Brand Melie Bianco
Price 105.00$
Dimensions 13.75”L x 9.25”H x 4”D
Materials PU vegan leather exterior, fabric interior
Buy Melie Bianco

13. Stella McCartney Falabella Bag

Stella McCartney's iconic "Falabella" bag comes with a high price tag, but it's a great investment piece for those looking for a high-end luxury bag. And unlike so many other designer bags, it's allure doesn't come from exotic animal skins, but from good design. It features a signature silver diamond-cut chain, magnetic closure, and 100% recycled nylon lining.

Brand Stella McCartney
Price 875.00$
Dimensions 11.4”L x 8.7”H x 3.9”D
Materials PU vegan leather exterior, 100% recycled nylon interior
Buy Stella McCartney

14. Samara Classic Handbag

This is another one of those bags that looks small but somehow fits a lot...a Mary Poppins bag if you will. I love the simplicity of its design. It has three interior compartments, a stitched pocket, and an adjustable (but not detachable) strap. It's also designed to perfectly fit Samara's innovative "Apple Leather Mini", which is made from apple skins!

Brand Samara
Price 125.00$
Dimensions 6.5”L x 5.5"H x 3”D
Materials PU vegan leather interior and exterior
Buy Samara

15. Gunas Jane Satchel

Many of Gunas New York's bags are named after champions of animals like Moby, Miley Cyrus, and vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli. The Jane Satchel is inspired by well-known primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall. It features 24K gold hardware, magnetic closure, interior zipper pocket, and a detachable strap. It also comes with a bonus removable makeup bag (or mini clutch) perfect for your cruelty-free faves.

Brand Gunas New York
Price 275.00$
Dimensions 13.5”L x 9.75"H x 5.5”D
Materials PU vegan leather interior and exterior
Buy Gunas New York

Sustainable Materials

By choosing vegan leather over animal leather, you're already making a more sustainable choice, but not all vegan materials are created equal.

Vegan leather is traditionally made of PU (polyurethane) or PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Whenever possible, aim for PU over PVC, as PVC requires more energy and toxic ingredients to manufacture and isn't biodegradable.

PVC, often referred to as vinyl or leatherette, first debuted in the 1900s as "Fabrikoid", an upholstery material for automobiles by DuPont. It's made by combining polyvinyl chloride with stabilizer, plasticizers, and lubricants, then applying to a base material, resulting in a weather resistant, durable, and stiff alternative to animal leather.

PU first debuted in the 1960s as "Corfam" at the 1964 New York World's Fair by DuPont as a more realistic and flexible sister material to PVC. Because of it's flexible nature, it lends itself very well to being imprinted with different textures. It's made by applying a polyurethane coating to a base fabric like cotton, nylon, or polyester, resulting in a soft and supple leatherlike finish.

Other innovative materials include mushroom leather (MycoWorks), grape leather (Vegea), pineapple leather (Piñatex), citrus cellulose (Orange Fiber), algae fiber (Algalife and AlgaeFabrics) corn leather, apple leather, coffee leather, palm leather, synthetic spider silk (Bolt Threads), upcycled rubber, hemp, lyocell (Tencel), bamboo, and cork. And that's just the tip of the sustainable materials development iceberg.

Zero Waste Handbags

Last but not least, the most sustainable materials are the ones that already exist. Consider looking for handbags in vintage shops and thrift stores! Some of my favorites are from the 60s and 70s. And it's as good for the wallet as it is for the planet.

More Vegan Product Guides

If you're looking for more vegan products guides, here's where to start:

Which Brands Are Cruelty-Free?

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