10 Best Vegan Leather Bags
The first step to creating a more sustainable society is supporting fashion labels committed to providing those very eco-conscious products every day. A great place to start is with vegan leather, a.k.a. faux leather, bags that look sophisticated and stylish—all while remaining safe, cruelty-free, and high-quality—for work, the weekend, and, of course, the ‘gram. While we may not be carrying them anywhere for a while, a girl can dream about running around the city again with a cute bag on her shoulder. (It is the little things.) Shop and browse our favourite vegan leather bags below.
1. Brooklyn Heights Vegan Backpack
This fashion-forward backpack is both vegan and comes in recycled and organic leather, providing long-lasting comfort for your back and stylish looks for you. Pack it all in this vegan leather backpack with a compact structured design, a textured finish, and multiple zippered compartments. There are four zippered compartments with patterned lined interiors and adjustable straps.
This two-in-one backpack is so chic and so sleek that you'll hardly even notice the faux leather. Available in brown or pink, this vegan option is a wise investment for work and play. For the girl who loves a stylish backpack, this vegan-friendly option has lots of room for everything in it—it features a snap-up top for easy access and a shoulder strap for added support.
The faux leather, which is 100 percent vegetable-tanned, is solid and flexible, with a durable finish and feels like canvas. The unique cut of this bag will take your busy outfit to the next level. Plus, the zip closure makes the straps easy to adjust, even for those of us who wear a backpack every day. For those who work or live in a more urban setting, the Brooklyn Heights Vegan Backpack from Gaiam is a practical, versatile option that can easily be thrown in your suitcase and carried around.
The large outer compartment and interior zip pocket easily hold your essentials, while the adjustable shoulder strap and spacious pockets ensure they can fit all your stuff. Brooklyn Heights makes beautiful, comfortable bags, but we're obsessed with the vegan Backpack, a convenient option for commuting, gym trips, or just taking on a day of errands around town. It's made of cowhide, so it's low-maintenance and low-maintenance-er too.
2. Croc-Embossed Vegan Leather Satchel
With our newest curation of sustainable products for the Uncrate Oceans program, we hope to celebrate, support and raise awareness about ocean conservation. ELA handbags are made with vegan leather, made from polyurethane, and have a lower environmental impact than natural leather. This crocodile-embossed faux leather tote bag has a comfortable top handle drop and gold-toned hardware details.
There is one interior zip compartment and a removable mini pouch with a zipper on the inside. Any day you can wear a handmade handbag is a good day—ask Lauren Bush Lauren. The style icon's love of Céline and leather accessories know no bounds, and this Croc-embossed satchel is hands down one of our faves. For those who don't already have one, snag it and feel the authentic leather and texture.
This soft, muted bag is unisex but designed for women, too. Plus, the croc-embossed texture and rope straps will have you feeling like Audrey Hepburn's Oscar-winning character from Breakfast at Tiffany's. This vegan leather satchel, which comes in various patterns, is a chic take on the traditional version but is a fraction of the cost.
Diane von Furstenberg's eco-conscious label is loved for its classic style, so it comes as no surprise that their leather pouches are one of our favourite things from the brand—until this year, that is. The signature chunky crocodile embellishment on this satchel (and its sister—the Indigo Crocodile) has been replaced with sustainable black organza and white satin ribbon embellishment. Available in red, blue, or silver.
3. GUNAS Tote Bags
Whether you're holding a cup of coffee or a packed lunchbox, a vintage-inspired tote bag like this one from Gunas is a small but essential part of every woman's closet. Its soft, distressed leather and kick-ass floral pattern, as well as its feminine shape and size, instantly make it the perfect bag for a casual outing or a party look. GUNAS is a cause-driven independent high fashion label! Sugandh G. Agrawal, a designer and animal lover, founded GUNAS in 2009, intending to be the voice of animals.
Sugandh, who has an award-winning design and business background, left her 7-year corporate career as an Industrial designer at KitchenAid to launch her cruelty-free fashion brand in New York. Her mission is clear and unmistakable. Animals are not meant to be a part of the fashion industry. We can look and feel good while causing no harm to other living things. We need to connect with what is going on behind the scenes and question our actions and their consequences.
What began as an all-MADE IN NYC label has gone global, sourcing and manufacturing bags and shoes from artisan and small-scale ethical manufacturers in India, South Korea, Mexico, Brazil, and Hong Kong. GUNAS has a bag to suit every mood and lifestyle need, with styles ranging from totes, satchels, crossbody bags, wallets, and backpacks. The ideal everyday shopper top handle tote for a busy day out.
Holds files, an iPad, a wallet, keys, a water bottle, an umbrella, a makeup bag, and all your essentials for on-the-go! You don't want to go anywhere without this bag. The GUNAS tote bag combines functionality and fashion, making them ideal for grocery shopping and other errands. GUNAS strives to be an environmentally responsible brand by using upcycled, recycled, and vintage materials whenever possible.
4. Cuyana Vegan Leather Bags
Cuyana's leather bags are well made and will stand the test of time—cute and chunky is never wrong. Cuyana's newest handbags are vegan, made in Mexico, and look as good as the run-of-the-mill leather bag. Their Classic Basket Lid and Classic Basket Tote ($200 and $150, respectively) are hands down our top picks, and we love that they can easily hold everything you could need—all without feeling heavy.
The sleek leather handbag is a quintessential part of any wardrobe, but for those interested in going vegan (we're not judging), this Cuyana one is great because it's raw and vegan. Plus, it's so stylish! The best part about this bag is how big it is. It's a cross between a small tote and a messenger and has a significant but chic bow handle that adds a cute detail.
This pouch would be the perfect statement-making addition to any casual-chic work ensemble. And because it's vegan, you can rock it from day one! Add an edgy touch to any outfit with this logo-covered vegan leather tote. Because, well, it's one way to get political. If you're a lover of classic black, you can never go wrong with Cuyana's vegan leather backpack. Cuyana creates high-quality, fashionable vegan leather totes for the modern fashionista. The brand prioritizes quality, so their bags are built to last, so you don't have to keep buying more.
The Cuyana backpack is handcrafted in a family-owned factory near Pisa, Italy, from high-quality heavyweight leather. This bag can be worn as a backpack or as a shoulder bag. Cuyana used Italian Leather. Made in Turkey by a woman-owned factory, this bag is durable Italian leather and has an unlined interior. LWG certification ensures that the leather is responsibly tanned in traceability, resource consumption, and effluent treatment. Look no further than Cuyana's collection for a classy-chic carry-all.
The brand has been making genuinely premium leather goods for over 20 years, handcrafting their leather bags, wallets, and coin purses in small batches in San Francisco. There are a variety of colours and styles in the collection if you're looking for a minimalist alternative to classic clutches.
Our mission is to make the world a better place. We want to make beautiful products that help solve some of the world's most pressing issues while also caring for the people and planet on which we all live. — Amy T. Ting, Cuyana's Co-Founder and Co-CEO.
5. Matt & Nat Totes
If the name of this brand rings a bell, it's probably because you've probably seen that iconic sign in the West Village that says, “MATT & NAT: Just trust us.” These pretty, colourful, top-quality totes are beloved by celebrities, Instagram influencers, and just about everyone in between. We love Matt & Nat's classic wallet-meets-tripod tote that offers plenty of room for essentials while keeping everything organized.
To say we're fans of the Totes for two reasons:
- One, they look like they'd make a great handbag, and
- two, they're made with vegan leather.
Matt and Nat Canada create exceptional vegan totes that will appeal to anyone interested in eco-friendly fashion. If you are unhappy with your purchases, Matt and Nat have a refund policy when it comes down to it. We believe that Matt and Nat's products are worthwhile to purchase. This brand has many options for you if you care about the environment and prefer vegan and sustainable products. You know the drill by now: in my brand research, I'll look for the following characteristics:
- Ethical or fair fashion: clothing that pays a living wage to its producers, garment workers, and so on.
- Sustainable fashion refers to clothing made from environmentally friendly materials and practices.
- Slow fashion refers to clothing not dictated by seasonal trends, such as classics and investment pieces.
So, while I'm using the phrase “sustainable fashion,” I'll be thinking about how Matt & Nat compares to all three. Matt & Nat began in 1995 as a pure vegan fashion brand based in Montreal, Canada. They produced a small selection of handbags, purses, footwear, wallets, and accessories in their first ten years, all without using animal products.
Their range has expanded exponentially over the last 14 years. Their style evolved from crinkly vegan materials to newer, slicker, sharper shapes; they collaborated with Apple Computers. Since my first purchase in 2014, their collection has expanded to include everything from carry-on luggage to dog collars, puffer jackets, to candles. One of our all-time favourites, this cute and durable bucket by Matt & Nat is our favourite “backpack” style of bag because it makes for a very comfortable tote when it's time to walk, run, or even stand still for a bit.
Bellroy made their name by making great leather bags that are also super smart—a minimalist design, wide straps, a long back for minimal fuss—and look good. It makes sense, then, that they've moved into the vegan world with a packable yet still-pliable-looking leather tote. These leather goods are recycled from existing materials and come in just about any colour you could ever want. Plus, they come in a range of sizes, so you can snag the perfect tote, crossbody, or satchel to fit your lifestyle.
Bellroy's totes are made from environmentally certified leather and nontoxic fabrics such as recycled industrial nylon and ripstop. The bags are made to last and can be used for a variety of purposes. Bellroy is an Australian accessory brand that creates carry goods such as bags, folios, wallets, pouches, phone cases, and critical covers. It has been designated as a B Corporation.
Designers Andrew Fallshaw and Hadrien Monloup and engineers Lina Calabria and Matthew Fallshaw founded Bellroy in 2009. Bellroy produces some of the best wallets and accessories tested by the Insider Reviews team. We decided to retest Bellroy's products because it was one of our first reviews. We're pleased to report that we're still impressed with the products' quality and value.
Bellroy, an eco-friendly wallet manufacturer based in Australia, believes that creating long-lasting products is essential. “By far, our most important emphasis is on making products that are used and loved for as long as possible,” says Tim Hawkens, Special Operations at Bellroy. This best-selling leather case is made from 70% recycled materials and features a waterproof cover, making it great for taking on a daily excursion.
Bellroy's Women's Wrap Slim Fit iPad case and Business Case feature enough space to fit most of your tech without feeling bulky or bulky-looking. Plus, with premium microfiber inside, they'll be looking and feeling great for years to come. Bellroy has a line of all-encompassing leather goods, so it's no surprise that their bags are luxe AF.
The Bloom Leather Belt Bag is made from supple “Liquidflow” leather, which features a sleek ruched exterior and adjustable side strap. If you love to run around town with a sleek bag for your most-occasional purchases, this is an excellent place to start.
Luggage has long been one of our favourite design categories, and this printed Luggage Tote ($425; neimanmarcus.com) is one of our favourites. Its geometric lines and bold colours (deep green, white, and red) make it one of the most eye-catching bags we've seen in a while.
Nisolo's leather totes are handcrafted in Peru and Mexico. The brand ensures that all of its artisans are paid fairly and work in a safe environment. These totes are not only fashionable but also durable. Every time you carry your Nisolo tote bag, you will be the center of attention.
Nisolo, well-known for its range of high-quality vegan leather goods, was voted “Best Vegan-Friendly Brand” by VegNews and “Best Vegan Leather Goods” by Incrediblycute.com for years in a row. The brand has gorgeous handmade bags, a quirky graphic logo, and easy-to-follow product descriptions. Be yourself and wear it well.
Back in 2005, Nisolo was created as a fun fashion statement for the creative, funky people of New York City. These days, they're the go-to brand for labels like Lela Rose, Marimekko, and Freida Pinto, but you'll still find them on everyone from Animal-A Venice (a.k.a. the brand's vegan leather) to style bloggers like @hernameismind, @iambuttercup, @d3frozen, and more. Nisolo is one of our go-to stores for vegan leather goods.
These pieces make it easy to shop from the coziest to the coolest end of the spectrum, from daywear bags to super-cool travel-sized purses. Thanks to their raw-hide canvas and leather finish, Nisolo's sustainable accessories are anything but minimalist. They are an innovative and robust choice for any season, making them the ideal handbag, no matter what's in your closet.
8. Caraa Medium Athena Tote
Skip out on all the microfiber and most polyester bags in favour of a sturdy, organic tote. This Caraaa bag was created from organic tree pulp, while the leather is faux. It features tons of storage space—and since it's made from a vegan material, you'll know it's made from the good stuff. If you want a leather bag with a timeless vibe, this go-to is the one. Its rich texture, classic rectangular shape, and minimalistic but still exciting decor make it easy to style. A good fit: because of its size, it'll look great whether you're carrying your laptop, your lunch, or just a few other things.
- Versatile: perfect for those days you need a comfortable bag to toss in a locker and then leave the rest of your items with your purse.
- Affordable: it's a fraction of the price you'd spend on a fake bag. Versatile: the size will fit all the essentials and take up minimal space in your bag.
- Bag for the stylish girl: with bright colours and fun details, this easy-to-carry tote will fit right in with your summer wardrobe.
The Athena Tote Medium ($195) is yet another reason why people return to Caraa Sport. It is well-designed for both aesthetics and your life. I ran to workout classes and the office in it for a few weeks and was impressed by its versatility, ease of use, and thoughtful design.
The form works well. The body is soft enough to concave and save space on the subway when half-filled with gear or to expand around a heap of bulky things. Its rectangular silhouette is distinctive, and it keeps the volume of the bag contained to the natural lines of your body — no wide, stuffed duffel bag that threatens to take out a few people every time you turn around, which is a complaint I've made before.
It also has a drawstring opening on the top that is easy to access and can be expanded to hold a lot of stuff. The only drawback is that you can't easily undo it with one hand. And, while it's not a weekender duffel that also doubles as a gym bag, it's deceptively spacious without being bulky. Overall, it's a near-perfect iteration of a good gym bag: it looks good, functions well, and is lightweight.
9. Alexandra K
Faux leather from New York-based label Alexandra K looks like the real deal but is created without animal materials. Retro styles inspire it. It has an open-weave style with printed elastic at the top, a full-grain calf leather handle, and a small flap with a clip, which can be cinched to the wrist for easy access. Alexandra K Vegan Handbags are high-end fashion handbags that are cruelty-free and handcrafted in Europe.
Materials that are sustainable, innovative, and environmentally friendly. Alexandra K is a vegan and environmentally friendly handbag and accessory brand that was founded in 2014. Each bag is handcrafted in Poland from innovative fabrics that are vegan and organic, and environmentally friendly.
As one of the few brands globally, they have apple, pineapple, corn leather, and many other vegetable fabrics in their collections. They are constantly on the lookout for new components that will distinguish their brand. They pay attention to every detail of the manufacturing process to produce high-quality products. Each bag is one-of-a-kind and has its serial number.
10. The Baggu
You've probably seen the Baggu tote bag before. The design is inspired by a typical plastic grocery bag. Baggu aspires to live in a world where everyone uses reusable bags rather than plastic bags. Baggu's reusable totes are made from a single piece of recycled nylon. The leftover waste is turned into convenient carrying pouches. Baggu bags are eco-friendly, long-lasting, practical, and attractive.
Ready to make the switch to faux? Start with a chic (and seemingly unisex) style from Asos. There are also loads of great transitional options. After reading this and navigating through it, you'll be well on your way to making a responsible fashion-forward purchase. Choose wisely, and you'll look even cooler toting your warm-weather gear in a stylish, 100% vegan leather bag.
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