9 best vegan handbags

Mark Vegan Month with an ethically made accessory

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The Independent Online

The last few years have seen a rise in the number of specialist, trend-led accessory brands creating luxe-looking pieces from ethically sourced materials. All these bags listed here are part of the PETA-Approved Vegan scheme so contain no leather or other animal-derived fabrics. There are range of styles, from clutches and bucket bags to roomy shoppers and structured shoulder bags. 

We’ve chosen our favourite pieces from British, European and US brands that all ship to the UK – just make sure you check any delivery charges.

1. Matt and Nat Phi Bag: £95, mattandnat.com


Montreal-based label Matt and Nat has really made a name for itself on the UK accessories scene in the last year. The brand uses animal and environmentally friendly materials, an ethos reflected in its name (MAT(T)erial and NATure). There are loads of styles to choose from, and they’re reasonably priced (between £50-£170). This one’s ideal for any cyclists who want to look chic on two wheels as the canvas straps attach to handlebars. Your valuables are kept safe with a zip for the main compartment and the magnetic closure. Inside, there’s a pocket for a smart phone and the lining is made from recycled bottles. It has an adjustable cross-body strap and comes in five colours, including this navy blue.

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2. LaBante London Avenue Bow Tote: £59.90, debenhams.com


All of London-based  LaBante’s bags are made from ethically sourced materials. And all are consciously glam and luxe-looking, with metal hardware and elegant detailing but the prices are very reasonable. This tote is a case in point. The bow detail, combined with gold-tone touches, makes it one for glamourpusses. If you want something smaller, there are clutches and cross-body bags in the new season’s collection.

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3. Jill Milan Newbury Street Portfolio: £131.44, jillmilan.com


Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway and Eva Longoria have all been seen with Jill Milan bags on the red carpet. The US brand’s Italian-made wares are crafted from sustainable faux leather. For maximum cost-per-wear value, maybe go for one of the small faux snakeskin clutches (Eva Longoria’s favourite) that will get a good work out this party season. Or, for a bag that will hold your office essentials like a tablet, but won’t look out of place at post-work drinks, opt for one of the oversized faux suede clutches. Jill Milan ships internationally but you’ll need to email customerservice@jillmilan.com to check charges.

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4. Wilby Mini Tip Satchel: £70, wilbyclutch.com


Another British Vegan-approved label, Wilby’s bags are designed in Chelsea and made in the UK and the brand uses organic materials where possible. This small, minimal-looking satchel is crafted from cork leather (or cork shavings) so it is super-lightweight. It has one front compartment but there are no zips or pouches so this is one is for those who like to keep it simple when they’re out and about . Comes in two colours with an adjustable strap that can be worn across the body.

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5. Stella Mccartney Faux Leather and Suede Tote: £680, selfridges.com


Perhaps the queen of the vegan handbag, Stella McCartney is committed to producing animal-friendly pieces. Her faux leather offerings are all super-stylish but we like this faux suede shoulder bag with a distinctive chain trim. At this price, it’s an investment piece, but if you look after it properly it will last you years.

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6. Classic Bag: £87.71, deniseroobol.com


Rotterdam-based Denise Roobol uses vegan materials sourced in Asia for her bags and accessories. This classically-shaped bag in a nude shade with brushed metal hardware manages to look both timeless and modern. With an external zip and a secure pocket inside, it’s a pretty but practical option for the commute. Also comes in camel or grey.

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7. Melie Bianco Hayley: £70, youresovegan.co.uk


This is really two bags in one from the LA label: a chic cross body bag with a detachable strap and an eye-catching clutch. The brand claims to put its faux leather through a rigorous testing process to make sure the materials are top notch and any chemical nasties are removed. This one comes in taupe or ivory colourways.

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8. Freedom of Animals Nikki Bucket Bag: £249, freedomofanimals.com


We love the clean lines and minimal designs of Freedom of Animals offerings. They’re at the higher end of the price spectrum but these look special; made from eco-leather that’s vegetable dyed, they have organic cotton linings. Our pick of the latest collection is this on-trend bucket bag with fringe detailing, a collaboration with Hollywood actress and ethical fashion advocate Nikki Reed. As the brand’s based in the States, just make sure you check shipping costs at the checkout before buying.

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9. Noah Borsa Paola Nappa-Cuoio: £83.22, noah-shop.com


If you’re looking for something classic-looking to fit all your work-day essentials, try this from the Italian vegan shoes and accessories specialist in a traditional rich brown. Noah works with small companies, all operating fair working conditions to produce stylish, practical pieces. This one is made from a high-tech microfibre material that has a leather-look appearance. It zips up to keep valuables safe and with a structured bottom, there is plenty of room for the likes of tablets and notepads. Shipping to the UK is currently around £10.

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For a reasonably-priced, trend-led bags, we like Matt and Nat’s and Wilby’s pieces. Anyone looking for an evening option should try LaBante or Melie Bianco. And if you’ve got the budget to invest in a designer piece, it’s got to be Stella McCartney.   

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