If you want to make steps towards more considered and sustainable approach to fashion, but don’t want to sacrifice on style – then investing in a vegan, ethical or sustainable handbag is a great place to start. And supporting brands and labels that are committed to creating sophisticated, beautiful and eco-friendly products that still encompass all the quality and style is not as hard as you think.
While veganism happens to be a hot topic at the moment in terms of diet and dining, it’s also a hot topic where accessories are concerned. And, as well as established brands and pioneers like Stella McCartney who we know is committed to using vegetarian leather, fur and feathers in her designs – there is a slew of names rising through the ranks and giving all kinds of eco bags new appeal.
Bag brand Vanina (named after a ‘70s French song) was founded by Beirut-based Tatiana Fayad and Joanne Hayek. They design detailed occasion bags, packed with personality, that are handcrafted using up-cycling and zero-waste methods. They’re big on promoting environmental awareness and local community development, too.
Nannacay is another ethical brand worth noting, which is available through Net-A-Porter’s Net Sustain initiative. Deriving from the Aymara word for sisterhood – Nannacay was founded by Marcia Kemp and is inspired by her travels around the world.
Each bag is hand-woven by a single craftsman – that’s a big tick in the ethical manufacturing box – and in doing so the brand provide economic opportunities for artisans in Peru, Ecuador and Brazil. Their slogan is “creative hands transforming lives.” Given their origin, it’s no wonder this collection of bags has serious beach-appeal. We love the chunky bamboo handles, pretty macramé, and woven totes – perfect for stashing seaside essentials.
V By Townsley was founded by sisters Jo and Georgie Townsley and fuelled by their passion for veganism, fair trade and sustainability. The bags are made from Japanese vegan leather and handmade in Italy so still ooze luxury as well as practical appeal. If you’re looking for a simple, elegant design, they could be the brand for you.
Dubai-based Eurthlin also has a seriously impressive offering. The bags are expertly crafted using the finest, luxury vegan leathers, creating a beautiful and cruelty-free collection of contemporary and multifunctional must-have pieces. The leather is printed with a bespoke logo which is a repeat pattern print is inspired by the four classical elements; fire, water, earth and air – and it looks like a high-end designer monogram, too.
Eurthlin only uses 100% PETA-Approved Vegan materials and GOTS-certified organic cotton lining, the dust bag that has been made from recycled bottles and their mailer pouches are also home compostable. They also happen to be committed to plant one tree in the Amazon for every piece sold in collaboration with OneTreePlanted.org to assist with reforestation. And for those looking for a little extra luxury – you can personlise your bag with up to three initials.
Still not convinced? Here, we’ve rounded up a bag, and a bag brand, for every weekend eventuality, so scroll through the gallery below and you soon will be.
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- Words by Elaine Lloyd-Jones