Created from recycled plastic and natural fibres, vegan designer bags are a growing billion dollar industry that’s marking the continued rise of veganism across the globe. Not only do these animal-free alternatives reduce our CO2 intake, they free us all from a guilty conscience too. In short, vegan leather goods are:
- Sustainable for the planet
- Easy on your wallet
And the best vegan designer bag is a ‘clean’ solution to the world’s increasing consumption problem, wrapped in chic packaging. Meaning, fashion does not have to be the environment’s enemy – even a purse can be a key player in producing a healthier planet.
How to Choose The Best Vegan Designer Bag
The best method to adopt when choosing a vegan designer bag can be broken down into three important factors:
- Knowing your personal style
- Narrowing down the type of handbag you want (tote, clutch, crossbody, etc).
- Setting a budget for what you’re willing to spend
Like leather handbags, vegan designer bags ring in at several different price points. They also come in many different shapes, sizes and colours. Below, we expand on these categories to help you pare down your dream vegan handbag further.
Each brand covered in our list of the best vegan designer bags offers something different, from comfort and practicality to luxury and femininity. There’s even a few statement pieces that are sure to change your perception of what a vegan handbag is, because let’s face it: most of us would pass on a vegan purse because we assume it’s overly simplistic. Dare I say, boring?
Oftentimes, people suppose vegan handbags cannot offer the same level of quality that leather-based bags do, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Some of these vegan designer handbags are made with innovative technologies and processes that have helped to define luxury leather goods.
There are a few distinctive materials that form the composition of vegan handbags, including but not limited to:
Polyurethane: A leather alternative derived from plastic, commonly referred to as ‘vegan leather’, along with other natural fibres such as plants and fruit.
Eco-Pu: ‘Pu’ refers to polyurethane. Attached to ‘Eco’, it signifies that the plastic derived to produce a vegan designer handbag is recycled (usually from made of plastic water bottles) and does not contribute to increasing plastic consumption.
Nylon: A synthetic material with a silky-smooth feel, nylon is water-resistant and extremely lightweight, meaning you can add more items into a vegan designer handbag without worrying about the weight that it carries.
Although the handbags listed in this review range from $79.99 to $835, the prices of vegan designer handbags are determined by the same factors as leather ones:
- The brand name – Prices of handbags are influenced by the label making them. For example, a Stella McCartney bag will not retail for the same price as one from Fawn Design.
- Hardware – Complex metals and mechanisms can increase the price, and if you have intricate clasps, closures, or pearls running along the handle for instance, then expect a price hike.
- Materials – Some vegan derived materials are extracted through a more complicated process. There are a few natural fibres and plants that are harder to craft into leather but to avoid a leather-goods process, this is necessary so know that your money is also going towards the technology and methods behind a vegan-produced product.
12 Best Vegan Designer Bags
So how can you possibly find the right vegan designer bag or scour the internet for one? With so many options, it’s hard to find the one without feeling overwhelmed by the research or browsing involved.
So, we’ve narrowed it down to 12 of the best vegan designer bags for you. You can thank us later!
#1 – Stella Mccartney Perforated Logo Faux Leather Vegan Designer Bag
Crowned the OG of vegan designer handbags, Stella McCartney understands how to redevelop contemporary fashions into wearable accessories that will produce a greener footprint, and this faux leather vegan tote bag is the perfect thing to sling over your shoulder for a day full of errands.
With an open concept, no zipper enclosure and thick handles, it’s ideal for those who want easy access to essentials at all times. It also comes with a detachable pouch that is large enough to hold credit cards and an iPhone.
What’s great about this handbag and the brand itself is how accessible Stella McCartney is regardless of being a luxury label. You can find this particular tote at department stores like Nordstrom or through Stella McCartney’s website, and if you know where to look and when, you might get it at a bargain.
Available in seven unique colours including blush, camel, cinnamon, black, moss, pure white and smoke, the dimensions of this vegan tote bag are 40 x 31.5 x 15 cm and it retails for $835.
#2 – Angela Roi Grace Mini Crossbody Vegan Designer Bag
Comfort and affordability are the names of Angela Roi’s game, and each one of her vegan leather handbags is constructed by hand, giving you a luxurious experience without the astronomical price point.
The Grace Mini Crossbody is simplistic and fit for a monochromatic look, with its double-strapped complimentary chain and contrasting leather strap. Even better, you can wear it with both!
A nod to Marc Jacobs’ iconic camera bags, the Grace Mini Crossbody comes in pebbled vegan leather and contains a zipper enclosure with an interior compartment for storing your cell phone. The secondary zippered section makes it a traveler’s dream, as well as those who crave security and organization without a hassle.
Available in six versatile colours including black, gray, coral pink, purple, blue, and light mud gray, the dimensions of this vegan leather crossbody bag are 8.5 x 6.25 inches with a depth of 2.75 inches. It retails for $205.
#3 – Matt & Nat Abbi Vegan Designer Bag
Short for ‘Material’ and ‘Nature’, this Canadian company has been producing vegan goods since 1995, making it a pioneer within the vegan handbag industry. Matt & Nat is a unisex brand that offers a more relaxed street style of faux leather purse.
Stylish and affordable, minimalistic and office-friendly, Matt & Nat bags should be slung over every young professional’s shoulder. This vegan tote bag easily fits a laptop or tablet, along with daily essentials to cover a busy schedule.
With a top zip enclosure and inner zipped pocket, the Abbi Bag can carry you through every season. In four gorgeous neutral colours – black, carotene, melon and opal – the dimensions are 13.5 x 12 inches with a depth of 5.75. It retails for $140.
#4 – Gunas Emily Crossbody Vegan Designer Bag
Modern and chic with a colour combination that is both traditional and neutral, this vegan crossbody is a classy accessory to any outfit. For the woman who needs to carry a lot but wants the interior of her bag to remain organized, this is the vegan designer handbag to shop.
Inspired by the Bones actress Emily Deschanel, it contains a buttoned flap enclosure, additional pockets, and a thick adjustable shoulder strap that allows you to pick the resting length of your choice. What sets this vegan designer handbag apart from the rest is that it can be styled either as a crossbody or a clutch.
Gunas, compared to most brands, entails that this handbag is ethically produced and sweat-shop free. So not only is it vegan, but your conscience can rest easy knowing this handbag is good for the planet and humanity.
The handbag is also a durable, easy-to-clean coated canvas material. Available in a striking beige trio-colourway, the dimensions of the Gunas Emily Crossbody are 9.2 x 7 inches and it retails for $198.
#5 – Nanushka Wisemoon Vegan Designer Bag
Modern and minimalist, this vegan leather bag is contemporary and versatile. Ideal for the city girl who loves a monochromatic street look, Nanushka’s Wise Moon Bag is uniquely shaped and simplistic, echoing the brand’s fashion philosophy.
Designed to carry the bare essentials, this purse can hold your cell phone, a card holder or bi-fold wallet, keys, and maybe even a few makeup necessities.
This vegan crossbody bag is anchored by a thin strap and top handle, along with a zippered enclosure for functionality. It can be easily paired with Nanushka accessories like keyrings or if you have a silk scarf lying around, you can weave it around the handles for a pop of colour and style.
The leather is smooth, which means it’s susceptible to scratches and is sensitive to harsh cleaners or surfaces, so this is one bag you need to use with tender love and care.
Available in tan, mole (a milk chocolatey brown), and butter (a creamy light beige colour), the dimensions of the Wise Moon are 18 x 36.5 cm with a depth of 14.5 cm and iit retails between $745 and $775 (depending on the colour you choose).
#6 – Alexandra K 1.6.1 Mini Vegan Designer Bag
Alexandra K offers the best of two worlds with this vegan designer handbag that can be worn as a statement piece during the day or in the evenings, for special occasions. Halfway between a trendy Y2K style and a vintage-inspired shoulder bag, this top handle pochette comes complete with a logo pendant and plated serial number.
Another unique detail about this handcrafted number is that it’s produced from grape leather opposed to cactus leather or synthetics like polyester. Containing a zipper enclosure and two large compartments, this mini vegan handbag is compact and structured, designed with a slim phone pocket and a smaller pocket perfect for storing ID, cash, or credit cards.
Although it only comes in black, the metal comes in either gold or silver and the dimensions of this bag measure at 22 x 21.5 cm with a depth of 15 cm. It retails for $329.
#7 – Themorie Bios Nappa Vegan Designer Bag
THEMOIRè designs some of the most distinctive vegan designer handbags, and the Bios Nappa clutch is no exception. Designed to make a statement at dinner or a party, the Bios is also versatile enough to be worn to everyday events.
The detachable shoulder strap gives you the option to go hands-free, and of course, like all clutches, this vegan leather bag carries the barest of the bare, so choose your items wisely. The Bios will hold an iPhone and a few pieces of ID cards and/or credit cards.
The nappa eco-leather comes in a rich, bold emerald green colour and the bag’s dimensions come in at 32 x 18 cm with a depth of 12 cm. It can be yours for $316.29.
#8 – Pixie Mood Riley Weekender Vegan Designer Bag
Determined to deliver style, Pixie Mood offers the largest and most practical bag on our list of the best vegan designer bags. Similar to Longchamp’s signature handbags, the Riley Weekender is a sporty yet stylish travel bag that functions like a traditional duffle bag.
Ideal for overnight trips with plenty of room to spare, this carry-on is able to hold clothes and other important necessities for on the go. It has a zip enclosure that opens to the large main compartment, an inner zipped pocket, and a slim slot on the outside to hold a phone, passport, or boarding pass.
This vegan designer handbag also comes with a thick, detachable crossbody strap, top handles, metal feet so that the bottom doesn’t get dirty, and a removable liner. It’s available in three colourways: sand/nubuck, black/nubuck, and black/white woven. Weighing in at 22 x 12.5 inches long and 8.5 inches deep, it retails for $125.
#9 – Mark & Graham Concourse Boarding Vegan Designer Bag
If Pixie Mood is made for the daily traveller, then Mark & Graham’s Concourse Boarding Bag is meant for the professionals or someone looking to purchase a uniform set. Whether you’re flying business class and have more room to store your luggage or carry a lot for an overnight trip, this large vegan leather bag is the weekender to bring with you.
Classy and simplistic with a customizable monogram feature near the top handle, it comes in two sizes: small (which really measures up to an oversized boho bag) and large (a few inches bigger and width and depth).
Secured by a zippered enclosure at the top, additional pockets, and a zippered compartment inside for loose items, the Concourse Boarding Bag is fastened by an adjustable buckled strap and it can be carried by its top handles to take some weight off your shoulders.
Available colours in nautical white and navy, the dimensions of this vegan leather handbag are 17 x 12 inches with a depth of 7 inches. Though it normally retails for $179, it’s currently on sale for $139.
#10 – Fawn Design Shoulder Bag
Fawn Design produces handbags that are timeless and versatile, as they can be worn with just about anything in your closet. Crafted in neutral tones for maximum styling options, the Fawn Vegan Shoulder Bag is condensed and lightweight for everyday wear.
For the gal who lives by “less is more”, this is the bag she’ll want to carry her daily essentials in. When nestled in the crook of her arm or draped over her midsection as a crossbody, the design boasts an eye-catching classic shape.
With one slim pocket and one zippered pocket inside, you can fit your phone, ID, and credit cards easily, but that’s about it. This handbag also comes with a buttoned enclosure, which means overcrowding the bag could result in it busting open at the wrong times. So, less is definitely more, in the case of this vegan shoulder bag.
Available in four functional colours including plain black, desert peach, sandy adobe and a caramel brown, Fawn Shoulder Bag’s measurements come in at 12 x 8 x 3 inches and it retails for $79.99.
#11 – Dagne Dover Landon Carryall
With this carryall, Dagne Dover managed to create a handbag that covers a diverse group of people. From working professionals to athletes to college students, this vegan designer bag is by far the most versatile in terms of functionality, colours, and sizing. And like the name suggests, it’s meant to carry everything you could possibly need.
Available in sizes XS through XL, the Landon Carryall can hold a laptop, clothes, and large notebooks. As the only handbag on this list made of nylon, it is also water-resistant and durable enough to pack lunches in or use as a gym bag.
When it comes to organizational features, the Landon Carryall has got you covered. With two inner side pockets, a slim snap pocket, and a detachable mesh pouch, you can easily categorize items into separate compartments. Plus, it comes with a thick detachable strap and top handles that are sure to be a favourite of commuters.
To top it all off, this vegan designer bag comes in 10 beautiful colours and patterns including:
- dark moss
- ash blue
- heather grey
- pollen air mesh (seasonal)
- blue plaid (seasonal)
- silver puff (seasonal)
- skyway (seasonal)
- pinto (seasonal)
The extra small Landon Carryall ($95) makes a lovable crossbody size, while the small ($125) and medium-sized ($155) versions are better off worn as totes or shoulder bags. The large ($185) Landon Carryall’s dimensions are 16.5 x 9 x 11 inches and it can hold up to 2lbs.
#12 – Laflore Paris Bebebark Convertible Cork Purse
Laflore Paris exudes a vintage Parisian vibe for being a modern brand. The company handcrafts classy, chic handbags that promote a luxurious lifestyle. If you’re on the hunt for a novelty bag that oozes historical elegance, then the Bebebark Convertible Cork Purse may be right for you.
Most handbags on this list can be worn two ways, but the Bebebark can be worn a total of three. It can be draped across the body at shoulder bag length, it can be worn over the shoulders as a tiny backpack, or it can be gripped in the palm of the hand like a clutch.
Regardless of the occasion or the outfit, this vegan designer bag really does it all. Not only is the exterior unique in terms of shape and style, but the vibrant interior is what sets it apart. Looks can be deceiving, as it can hold more than it appears at 23 x 12 cm. Throw your phone, wallet, keys, and makeup essentials inside the black or emerald version for $259.
What are the benefits of vegan designer bags?
The benefits of vegan designer bags really come down to the environmental concerns they address. Limiting your intake of animal derived leather means reducing poisonous CO2 output, which is better for animals, the planet, and humans alike.
By simply being a consumer, reusing and recycling your vegan designer bag cuts down on waste. In the end, using your purchasing power to invest in renewable items, like vegan designer bags, is better for all parties involved.
Vegan Leather vs faux leather: What’s the difference?
Faux leather looks and feels like real leather, though it’s entirely man-made. Faux leather can also be water-resistant, and inherit a pebbled or smooth texture. Plus, it has a long lifespan, as the makeup of the material is majority polyester.
In other words, faux leather is really created from fabric but still has a varnish that’s similar to real leather. Overall, faux leather is not the most environmentally-friendly material since the chemical and synthetic finishes may contain plastic. Faux leather can also be manufactured and processed in ways that are harmful to the ecosystem.
On the flipside, vegan leather does not harm animals and contains natural fibres that come from fruits and plants. Vegan leather is also more likely to be produced from recycled plastic materials, making it far more greener than faux leather.
Which vegan designer bag is the best?
The vegan designer handbags that are really worth your money are the Dange Dover Landon Carryall ($125) and the Matt & Nat Abbi Bag ($140); the former for its versatility and functionality, the latter for its sleek, polished design at a budget price.