As more and more people commit to an animal-friendly way of life, the beauty and fashion industries are beginning to take notice. Vegan fashion is now becoming popular even with those who don’t conform to an entirely vegan lifestyle. Cruelty-free vegan designer handbags are infiltrating both the catwalk and the sidewalk.
Previously, vegan fashion was made using man-made or plant-based materials which were not treated with animal derivatives. However, the creation of vegan leather has changed everything. More designer fashion houses are adding it to their collection as consumers move towards animal-friendly products.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (or PETA for short), has been a mainstay of the animal rights movement and the push for cruelty-free fashion, beauty, and food. It’s safe to say that veganism is close to their hearts on a personal level as well as in a professional sense. PETA was one of the first organisations to support the idea of ‘cruelty-free’ brands.
10 Stunning Cruelty-Free Vegan Designer Handbags!
With vegan living and ethical fashion on the lips of every magazine editor and insta-influencer, it’s no surprise that more and more luxury brands are shifting to vegan leather and other vegan materials in the production of their bags.
These 10 cruelty-free vegan designer handbags are not just beautiful, they are vegan and 100% cruelty-free. Who says you have to sacrifice style to be ethical?
1. Adelaide MAX-BRIGHTY PINK
A young brand which opened in just 2014, Adelaide C has nonetheless taken the world of ethical fashion by storm. In fact, that was their goal from the start.
By using local, Italian-made, vegan materials in every aspect of their designs they are leading the charge for a completely cruelty-free industry by showing that it can be done with flair. They are both PETA approved and a certified fur-free retailer.
The MAX-BRIGHTY PINK bag is a perfect example of the Adelaide ‘style’. The bold, strong panels of bright colour, the structured shape and firm body, are all trademarks of this Italian mini-powerhouse.
Made with vegan leather and cork, this medium bag, which comes with a handle and double shoulder straps, has three internal pockets and a folded top replete with a clasp-fastening mechanism. It’s stunning, durable, and entirely vegan-friendly.
Dimensions; 15 x 9.8 x 4 in
2. De Vesi De Tropical 40 Camel
De Vesi proclaims itself a brand for the modern, ethical woman who doesn’t want to be held back by the frills that sometimes come with luxury fashion items.
As a brand which is dedicated to the principles veganism and cruelty-free living. They are PETA-approved and proud to be so. They don’t rely on just this as all of their bags are water-resistant and durable enough for the woman on the go.
The De Tropical bag uses a traditional tote-bag shape and twists it with an interesting camel vegan leather and clear design that gives what would be an otherwise banal offering a modern and chic bag. The small clutch style wallet which comes with it is a nice touch for those who want to keep documents or important items separate within the interior.
Dimensions: 15.5 x 21 x 7.5 in
3. Urban Expressions KARMA
Certified by both PETA and Vegan.org, Urban Expressions is as uncompromising in their designs as they are in their ethics. Founded in 2005 by two entrepreneurs who were well ahead of the ‘woke’ trend, Urban Expressions blends luxury fashion with street style to stunning effect, and they do it all with one eye on their environmental impact.
The KARMA bag is a stunning vinyl and vegan leather crossbody offering has a snap closure and an additional shoulder strap. The interesting look offered by the clear vinyl outer layer and vegan leather inner bag is very much in keeping with current trends. As a small bag, the carrying capacity is not huge but internal compartments make it easy to organise.
Dimensions: 9 x 2.75 x 7 in
4. Pixie Mood Jasmine Bag
As more and more brands hop on the vegan bandwagon, Pixie Mood stands out as one of the authentically ethical brands in the world. Created in 2010 with the specific goal of promoting social responsibility and vegan ethics in the fashion industry. To this day they continually innovate and seek new ways to produce stunning bags in an environmentally friendly way.
The Jasmine hobo-style tote is one example of their effortlessly chic and consciously kind brand of luxury fashion. Using PETA-approved methods and materials. Pixie Mood has created a bag that easily rivals those seen on the covers of fashion magazines.
The magnetic button closure and crossbody strap mean that this is not a classic tote, but these functional twists are all part of this bags overwhelming charm.
Dimensions: 11.5 x 7 x 10 in
5. Pink Stix Triple Compartment Origami Tote
An irreverent and fun brand which believes in being boldly feminine as well as environmentally and socially conscious, Pink Stix is dedicated to being not only 100% vegan (they are PETA-approved), but also high-quality, and employee-friendly. That’s right, this is the responsible small business that everyone should be supporting. It’s just a coincidence that they also make beautiful handbags.
As far as vegan-friendly bags go, the Triple Compartment Origami Tote is somewhat of a chupacabra. It is elegant and classically chic yet unusual and a touch whimsical (as well as being 100% cruelty-free).
This should be a staple piece for ethically & socially conscious fashion lovers. The natural bamboo handle is a nice touch, and the three distinct compartments make it a great bag for those who like to be organised while on the go.
Dimensions: 10.5 x 10 x 5 in
6. Doshi Lady Bag 2
Doshi is a brand with big plans and an even bigger vision; looking beyond the immediate concerns of cruelty and vegan ethics. They are also focused on making sure that their PETA-approved products are made in ways that don’t impact human workers or the environment negatively.
By sourcing the most durable vegan materials and producing their bags in clean, socially conscious factories. In fact, they are pushing to have all of their factories audited by the BSCI (or Business and Social Compliance Initiative) to ensure that their business is kind to workers as well as animals.
The Lady Bag 2 is a funky twist on a style that saw a lot of mileage in the ’70s. This satchel-esque handbag comes with a shoulder strap and a bold, chic clasp to fasten it (and break up the otherwise simple design.
Available in a range of colours and made from the highest quality vegan leather with tarnish-resistant metal detailing, this is a classic and dynamic bag that can follow you anywhere you go.
Dimensions: 9 x 12 x 4 in
7. Alexandra K Faith Black Ink Croco
A Polish brand first opened in 2014, Alexandra K is world conscious as well as PETA-approved. One of the few brands today that operates using primarily vegetable and fruit fabrics instead of traditional polyurethane vegan leathers.
This eco-friendly approach has marked them out as a brand set to shake the fashion world. They are also dedicated to socially conscious manufacturing procedures and aims to be a brand in line with their customers’ lifestyle as a whole.
The Faith Black Ink Croco handbag is a vegan take on an old classic; innovative vegan corn-leather with a snake-skin like texture, it favours clean lines, a tight, structured form, and a discreet magnet clasp fastening mechanism.
The overall effect is that of a fresh face on the iconic ’90s trend for chic, professional bags for high-flying women. Interior pockets for a tablet, phone, or diary and a separate small pockets for makeup and other small items make this an organisers dream.
These days the devil doesn’t wear Prada, she wears Alexandra K – and she does it with a smile.
Dimensions: 9.4 x 13.1 x 6.3 in
8. Colibri Blue Vesper (Limited Edition)
Colibri was the vision of one, socially conscious woman who found that, despite her love for fashion, she could no longer carry animal skin bags.
Inspired by the legend of the hummingbird, she started Colibri Vegan Bags in an attempt to make the kind of handbags she wanted to carry in a way that made her proud.
Today, Colibri is recognised as one of the most desirable vegan fashion brands thanks to their PETA-approved, organic, and sustainable methods (as well as the stunning beauty of their products).
The Blue Vesper bag, which is a limited edition, is a bucket bag with a modern twist. The vibrant colouring and slouched structure are at odds with the clean-cut lines and rigid leather. The addition of a decorative zipper on one side and a delicate but sturdy chain handle give this almost professional-looking bag a rock and roll aesthetic that is undeniably appealing.
The uncompartmented inner space has a huge carrying capacity with the magnetic button top makes it easy to secure. Designs like this are the reason that Colibri is on every influencers wish-list.
9. Mashu Irish Satin Burgundy
PETA-Approved and environmentally conscious brand Mashu are all about bringing Art Deco back with a modern twist. Designed in London and made in Greece, their handbags make use of vegan, organic, and sustainable ingredients which give undeniably stunning results.
Many of their smaller bags are less than practical, but Mashu is really about statement pieces that make you walk with a little more confidence knowing that you have something special on your arm.
Made with vegan satin, suede, and leather this small and elegant bag has brought Art Deco lines into the modern age with a few gentle nods and curving edges. The striking, rectangular handle and square shape is offset by a chain shoulder strap and rolled top whose asymmetrical lower line brings whimsy to the piece.
Roaring ’20s party? This is your vegan approved, Daisy Buchanan statement piece.
Dimensions: 6.2 x 6.2 x 2 in
10. Matt & Nat REIKA Frame Crossbody Bag
Matt & Nat, short for material & nature, launched in 1995 which makes it one of the oldest socially conscious, animal-friendly luxury brands in the world.
Founded with the determination that no animal products were to be used in any of their products, they have since gained the PETA-approved stamp and focus on using sustainable, vegan alternatives to animal products.
More than this, all of their linings are made with recycled plastic bottles and have been since 2007! In fact, Matt & Nat have always been ahead of the ‘woke’ curve.
The REIKA Frame Crossbody bag is a part of Matt & Nat’s vintage collection, and while it definitely has that retro feel, it has managed to nod to modern tastes with discreet branding and an on-trend off-white option (dubbed ‘pearl’). Making use of the iconic snap-fasten design and a simple leather shoulder strap it straddles timelines admirably and makes a cute, feminine addition to any outfit.
Dimensions: 9.5 x 8.5 x 3.25 in
What Does PETA- Approved Really Mean?
In short, it means that a product uses no animal products or derivatives and that it is at no point tested on animal. In the case of the fashion industry, a PETA-Approved seal means that the item is not made from the skin of animal, embellished with any part of an animal, and was not treated or created using animal derivatives. In short, items with this seal are both cruelty-free and in-line with vegan ethics.
Do Classic Designer Brands Offer Vegan Handbags?
Viora London reached out to four iconic designer brands; Chanel, Chloe, Dior & Louis Vuitton requesting information on any handbags they could supply us that were PETA approved or Vegan.org certified.
All four brands were very helpful and replied to us the same day with their answers plus additional information. Unfortunately, none of the 4 brands offers vegan-friendly bags at the time of writing this article.
What is Vegan Leather?
Vegan leather is a non-animal derivative product, usually made from polyurethane, which can be moulded to resemble animal skin of any kind, as well any other textures that a designer may desire.
In recent years there has been a rise in instances of vegan leather being created from sustainable materials like pineapple leaves, cork, apple peels, and recycled plastic, so it can also be an environmentally friendly alternative.
Is Vegan the New Coutour?
Recent trends suggest that vegan fashion and beauty brands will continue to rise. After all, we are more open to and understanding of the feelings and concerns of animals in the world today, and with climate concerns ever-growing plant-based, sustainable options are being sought in every walk of life.
With that said, the venerable institutions of the fashion world remain immune to this trend at the moment. Some big designers, for example, Stella McCartney, have made ethical fashion their cause, but until all the giants of the beauty world are on board vegan fashion may well remain a niche choice favoured by socially conscious Millenials and ‘woke’ Insta-influencers.
Before you go, I have put together a review of the most elegant designer handbags in a collection that I think you will enjoy.
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