9 Vegan Leather Handbags To Tote In 2023
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Vegan leather is in, and it’s here to stay. While leather requires the skin of animals, faux and vegan leather offer alternatives that keep us looking good and doing good. And not only is it better for the world, it’s better for our closets and wallets too: Vegan leather is almost always cheaper than the real thing, and can be versatile and adapted to whatever our needs are.
Not all vegan leather is created equally, though. When you can, avoid vegan leather created from polyvinyl chloride or PVC for short. PVC is not biodegradable and ends up creating microplastics that are ingested by fish and other animals. Plus, the production of PVC results in the creation of dioxin, a highly toxic manmade contaminant that remains in the body for a long time. Add on the fact that PVC isn’t easy to recycle and is often mixed with phthalates (cancer-causing chemicals) during production, and we’re sold on using it as little as possible.
We’ve found nine brands that are crafting rocking vegan handbags and purses, proudly wearing that “cruelty-free” badge. These brands opt for upcycled materials, polyurethane leather (vegan leather), and organic cotton and twill for handbags made to complement any outfit or occasion.
If you’re wanting to incorporate more vegan goods into your wardrobe, check out our guide to vegan shoes as well!
Best Overall | Most Affordable | Best Designer Bags
Best For | Contemporary, colorful designs
Ethics | Vegan, cruelty-free, ethically made, PVC-free, gives back, made-to-order options
Price Range | $125–$275
For over 10 years, Gunas has been selling vegan handbags and shoes, making it one of the first fully vegan brands around. Started in her Manhattan studio apartment, Sugandh Agrawal wanted to create a fashion brand centered around activism—and she has definitely succeeded. Rather than using leather, Gunas opts for canvas, nylons, upcycled materials, and other sustainable materials to craft simple yet durable products that also give back. It offers a variety of handbags and purses—clutches, totes, and shoulder bags, with lots of five-star reviews.
2. Angela Roi
Best For | Mini and micro bags
Ethics | Vegan, cruelty-free, ethically made, gives back, fair wages
Price Range | $65–$295
Angela Roi was born from two co-founders (Angela and Roi—could you guess?) who wanted to bring virtue to an otherwise competitive and wasteful world: fashion. The vegan leather artisanal purses are made ethically with premium materials while also staying relatively affordable. Bucket bags, pouches, saddlebags—you name it, and Angela Roi sells it in stunning colors and with impeccable design. The company gives back, too, supporting animals worldwide who otherwise might be mistreated or poached.
3. Stella McCartney
Best For | Statement hardware
Ethics | Vegan, cruelty-free, ethically made
Price Range | $490–$2,650
Of all the brands on this list, Stella McCartney takes the cake when it comes to luxury and impact. Its mission statement, ethics, and sustainable practices center around a world that treats people, planet, and animals equally. That’s why the company avoids fur, seeks out recycled materials, and works to reduce its environmental impact. With patterns that resemble leather or snakeskin, Stella McCartney opts for vegan alternatives that still give off designer vibes. We’re all about brands that make us feel like a million bucks, while avoiding harm in the process.
4. Matt & Nat
Best For | Shoulder bags and work-appropriate backpacks
Ethics | Vegan, recycled materials, ethically made, cruelty-free
Price Range | $40–$310
Matt & Nat is a longtime leader in the vegan goods industry, with handbags, shoes, and other vegan accessories. Based out of Montreal, it’s implemented cruelty-free and ethical practices that utilize sustainable materials whenever possible. From wallets to yoga bags to men’s briefcases, Matt & Nat use vegan leather for a polished, high-end look at affordable prices. Matt & Nat exemplifies what it means to live mindfully.
5. HFS Collective
Best For | Belt bags
Ethics | Vegan, cruelty-free, ethically made, PVC-free
Price Range | $98–$420
HFS Collective prides itself on creating high-quality bags that remind us to hold less and experience more. The hands-free belt bags are perfect for traveling, a full day out, or just running errands. And if those aren’t your thing, don’t worry, there are wallets, crossbodies, and even wine & water bottle holders. The ethically made bags are designed with organic and upcycled materials, right here in the US.
6. von Holzhausen
Best For | Totes and shoppers
Ethics | Vegan, sustainable & recycled materials, cruelty-free, ethically made, gives back, eco-friendly packaging
Price Range | $55–$495
von Holzhausen is a direct-to-consumer brand hailing from Malibu. Touting ethical, sustainable styles, this timeless brand crafts accessories for all genders, including bucket bags, totes, and crossbodies. Everything is made from either Technik-Leather, a proprietary blend of recycled plastic bottles, or plant-based leather. Even the packaging is eco-friendly! As an added bonus, von Holzhausen offers monograms and alterations on select products, as well as payment plans. This vegan brand is worth it.
7. Melie Bianco
Best For | Textured and unique bags
Ethics | Vegan, cruelty-free, ethically made
Price Range | $45–$150
Mix together fair trade practices, eco-friendly materials, and a love of design, and you’ll get Melie Bianco. Its vegan handbags are loved by the likes of Marie Claire, O Magazine, and Good Morning America, showing that luxury can still be affordable. With gorgeous natural colors, designer details like bows and bamboo, and budget pricing for all of the handbags, we wouldn’t be surprised if we became lifelong Melie shoppers for all of our purse needs. Most of all, we love the brand’s business model, which encourages profit sharing amongst the entire team.
Best For | Crossbody bags in unique shapes
Ethics | Vegan, cruelty-free, ethically made, gives back, recycled & biodegradable materials, carbon-neutral
Price Range | $160–$478
Made ethically in LA, Hozen bags use premium organic and upcycled materials for purses that are as bold as they are functional. Having perfected the craft with Italian manmade leather, Hozen offers canteen round purses, drawstring bucket bags, and small duffels in colors that pop—all made in small batches. 10 percent of each purchase alone goes to Mercy for Animals, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing cruelty towards animals. Hozen isn’t just talking the (vegan) talk; it’s walking the (vegan) walk, too.
9. LaBante London
Best For | Convertible crossbodies
Ethics | Vegan, PVC-free, gives back, recycled materials, ethically made
Price Range | £50–£415
Founded in 2009, LaBante London only uses recycled materials for its bags. From clutches and crossbodies to backpacks and tote bags, the faux leather and quilted textures come in natural colors, making them easy to incorporate into your everyday wardrobe. The polyester is made from plastic bottles and the outers are made with over 50 percent vegetable oil (a renewable natural source). Primarily manufactured in Guangzhou, China in a SEDEX Certified factory, the design and production team is made up of 99 percent women. And each year, LaBante donates at least 10 percent of its profits to charity.
Features image is from Angela Roi