Choosing the best vegan handbags brands can be a tricky decision as there are a variety of great options.
No worries, we’ve got you covered whether you are looking for an affordable bag or you’re in the market for a luxury handbag or tote.
We’ve done a deep dive on the best brands to make your life easier.
It was tough work testing out so many awesome bags!
Real leather handbags – the kind made from animals – have been a staple of the fashion world since, well, forever.
But this is changing rapidly with a variety of new and established brands producing vegan leather or faux leather bags.
CLICK TO LOOK: OUR TOP PICK FOR 2020
MELIE BIANCO LOS ANGELES: SEE ALL DESIGNS, PRICES & REVIEWS
And it turns out that what’s good for the animals and the planet is also good for your pocketbook. You can almost always get vegan or alternative leather options at a better price than their animal leather counterparts.
We’ve identified ten vegan or faux leather handbag (and purses) brands that are proudly “cruelty free”.
This is an exciting time to be a handbag enthusiast!
What Is Vegan Leather?
Vegan leather is a catch-all term for materials that replace animal leather and are cruelty-free.
This can include a variety of materials including wood, cork, rubber, barkcloth, apple, pineapple and glazed cotton. We’re seeing more and more alternative options available as the market grows and evolves.
The two most common types of vegan leather, however, are produced with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane (PU).
This is where so-called “vegan leather” can be problematic. Sure, PVC and PU are not animal products. That’s the good part.
The bad part is that PVC is manufactured with toxic chemicals that cannot be recycled. So we recommend that you avoid any handbags made with PVC. You’re probably more familiar with PVC in the form of Naugahyde.
Andrew Dent is the Vice President of Library and Research Materials at Material ConneXion and he recently told Vocative that “there have been concerns over the last few years about PVC because of production challenges and because they release dioxins, potentially hazardous chemicals, if burnt.”
A better synthetic alternative, while not perfect, is PU which is less enviromentally harmful and can be recycled.
Top 10 Vegan Handbags Brands
Melie Bianco makes beautiful, cruelty-free leather bags, handbags, crossbody bags, and clutches.
Melie Bianco believes in quality, craftmanshop while delivering affordable luxury while making a difference in the fashion industry.
Their beautiful handbags are made from premium vegan leather (PU) and are cruelty free and animal friendly.
And they operate their manufacturing using fair trade principles.
Matt & Nat
Matt and Nat Canada is a Canadian brand founded in the beautiful city of Montreal. We’ve featured the company in the past on Whole People.
We love that their company motto is “live beautifully” as it’s one of ours as well at Whole People.
We’re on the same page when it comes to acknowledging our collective responsibility to nurture and celebrate the creativity, positivity and most importantly, the humanity inside each of our beautiful souls.
They make exceptional vegan handbags and should be a top choice for anyone looking to buy a faux leather or vegan leather bag. You will not be disappointed!
Matt & Nat handbags can be found online here but also at boutiques in North America, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Australia.
Angela Roi makes premium vegan leather handbags that are modern classics.
They are ethical AND fabulous!
Their leather bags are constructed solely with non-animal materials and their artisans get paid fair wages for meaningful work in clean, comfortable factories.
This video of how they make your Angela Roi bag is a great introduction to the high quality, affordable luxury you can expect from this brand.
Gunas New York
Gunas was founded by Sugandh Agrawal over ten years ago so it’s one of the elder statesmen of the animal friendly brands.
Agrawal started Gunas in her cramped Manhattan apartment with a highly focused goal – start a fashion brand that disrupts the handbag industry with vegan and environmental acitvism.
All of the Gunas bags are made with sustainable materials and are made to last.
Gunas makes a wide range of both bags and purses as well as shoulder bags, clutches and totes. There is a Gunas bag for every budget and lifestyle!
Alexandra K was founded in Poland back in 2014 and they have since emerged as a leader in the vegan and environmentally-friendly handbags and accessories industry.
In addition to being cruelty-free and vegan friendly, Alexandra K is also focused on reducing the environmental impact of their products.
They are constantly researching and implementing new materials ( plant-based) as well as more environementally friendly processes.
These are high-quality, excecptionally well made products. Each bag is unique and has its own serial number. In 2014, they were won a prestigious Vegan Fashion Award for the Best Women’s Handbag.
Stella McCartney is a lifelong vegetarian so it’s no surprise that she doesn’t feature any leather or fur in her collections.
Stella’s commitment to sustainability is evident in all her collections and is part of her brand’s ethos of being a responsible, honest, and modern company.
If you are looking for high-quality, luxury vegan products then Stella McCartney may be the perfect fit for you!
If you’re wondering whether any designer bags are vegan then Stella is the way to go!
The co-founder of Jill Milan, Jill Fraser spent years searching for the perfect luxury bag that was not made of animal leather.
She finally partnered with Milan Lazich and launched Jill Milan in 2010 to address a gap she perceived in the market.
All Jill Milan creations are vegan and are crafted by artisans in Italy.
Everything is done by hand and the quality is magnificent.
Jill Milan is popular with the Hi-So community and have been spotted on the red carpet at the Oscars and movie premiers.
Celebrities such as Anne Hathaway, Kerry Washington, and Eva Longoria are all big fans.
Check out more celebrities on the Jill Milan site.
Moenn is known for their minimalist, classic designs that reflect their belief in sustainable innovation.
What does that mean?
For Moenn sustainable innovation means using superior non-animal skin materials, following ethical labor practics, designing classic styles and demanding the highest quality construction.
They regularly research and explore innovataive new materials and have committed to using linings made from recycled plastic bottles.
The HFS Collective bags are made in Los Angeles at a small, family-run factory.
I’ve been a big fan of the HFS brand for awhile and I love their bags!
As a family, they provide a fair, living wage to every person that cuts and sews their products.
Their timeless. classic designs are according to them ” a reminder of the ease of living a life of simplicity–a life filled with more experience, happiness, wholeness and joy in exchange for less stuff.”
Scarleton Los Angeles
Scarleton makes really affordable, stylish bags. The kind where you get asked “Is your bag vegan?” They look so good! They also make beautiful backpacks.
When someone asks “Can you buy them on Amazon” my first response is always “Absolutely, check out the choices available from Scarleton.”
If you’re on a budget and are hunting for a bag or vegan backpack then Scarleton is your best bet.
“I can honestly say that this is my most beautiful bag. I love, love, love this purse.Actual Customer
If you’d like more tools and ideas to live your perfect, sustainable life then don’t miss our Guide for the Natural Life.
Love our 10 Best Vegan Handbags? Check out our Top 7 Best Ethical Jeans.