Vegan. Plant based. Nothing that comes from an animal.
Those are the words I use to describe or explain how I eat. Gucci. Louis. Dior. Those are the words I use when talking about what handbag or shoe I am wearing.
9 years ago I changed my eating habits. 2 months ago I changed my wearing habits. I sold my handbag and shoe collection. A few tears where shed… I worked really hard for those items. I was proud of them. But something changed. I was not proud of them anymore. When my family would eat dinner at an all vegan restaurant and speak with the owner about what great work they are doing, I’d feel like a fraud.
‘I do not eat the animals.
Why would I want to wear them?’
Then started my journey of finding luxury handbags that had zero animal products on them. I also wanted to start minimising my life. I made a list of the essentials. What did I really need. A tote. A cross body. A going out bag. 2 wallets. 1 card case.
I knew a few brands but also wanted to explore others. I found it very difficult to find luxury or high fashion brands that didn’t have a little pig on a canvas bag that read “please don’t eat me”.
Agreeing with that but at the same time I do not want to advertise that. I know I’m vegan and if it comes up in conversation or you have questions, brilliant! Let’s talk. But I really do not want a canvas bag with a slogan on it, I want a handbag that while I’m in line at Trader Joe’s a woman will reach out to touch my bag and ask me who makes it.
Let’s start with Stella McCartney.
She is well known for her products that are made ethically and with no animal products. She is a luxury company that was just honoured and awarded for her innovation in the fashion world. I purchased 3 of my items from her website. Stella Logo Tote Bag, Falabella Shaggy Deer Mini Tote and Shaggy Deer fold over wallet.
The tote is made from smooth Alter Nappa, it’s butter. The tote is the ideal size for carrying all of your work day or mom essentials. The shoulder strap is an ideal length to fit properly and the straps are thick enough for comfort while carrying all of your bits. Falabella Shaggy Deer Mini Tote is a chain crossbody with an edge. Stella’s fashion house is committed to the fashion world with eco and animal friendly products. The lining in most handbags are made from 100% recycled bottles. And let me tell you. This lining is just as silky and luxe as any of my Gucci linings.
Seriously this woman knows what she is doing. Her wallets also carry the same quality and softness as her bags. The only negative review of Stella may be the fold over Shaggy Deer wallet which has a button closure. Having this wallet for 2 months I can already see wear on the outside in the area I continuously press to open and close.
2. Stella McCartney Beckett Bag [old collection]
Continuing my search for the other items on my want list I took to Instagram and Fashion Blogs. There is a lot out there- but then again there isn’t. I was pleasantly surprised to find Angela Roi.
When you visit Angela Roi’s website her tag is “a different kind of luxury”. She states her handbags are premium vegan leather, sweatshop free manufacturing, supports mistreated animals and fair pricing. Her website is timeless and easy to view the bags and see the fine details. I knew immediately I wanted to purchase one of her handbags. Not being able to find reviews on the internet, I pulled the trigger and purchased her Grace Crossbody and Zuri Card Pouch. The vegan leather is pebbled to perfection. Both products are beyond my expectation for a $215 price point. The Grace bag comes with 2 straps, a crossbody and shoulder. For my body the crossbody strap was way too short. (I am 5’4) It hit at a very awkward place around my hip. I ended up taking my Dior Mitzah making a few knots and hooking it onto the bag. It’s absolutely perfect and the mitzah adds a really chic vibe to the bag. Angela Roi is Luxury at high street price points. I’m coveting a few more of her designs.
Angela Roi Bag here
I am now in need of a small card case and large flat lay wallet/ organiser.
I have a lot of loyalty cards etc I do not want to carry with me all the time. Matt and Nat is a well known vegan fashion house that has made a name for themselves. They have an absolute great selection with textures and an impressive colour palette.
I have owned a piece or two from Matt and Nat in the past. This time they did not have the ideal wallet and card case I was searching for. I’ll always go back to them to keep an eye on what their creators are designing.
Another brand I ordered from is Charles Keith. I came across this brand from Andreia’s Instagram. I was loving Charles Keith’s wallet and card case. Before I did purchase I searched on YouTube for reviews and found many trashing the brand for their “knock off” styles. This fashion houses bags are alluring and look exquisite. Yes, many of this brands styles reflect a similar design to Givenchy and Celine. But why not? Those are classic structures that work. They are not putting a fake Givenchy logo on them. And let’s be honest Charles Keith are not using calfskin or exotic leather to make a handbag. I consider them in a league of their own and shouldn’t be compared to the fashion houses using animal bi products.
Shop the wide variety at Charles&Keith here [*please note this is a vegan friendly brand, always check composition of items before purchasing]
I have true obsession with luxury brands and still find myself headed to Fashionphile, Net a Porter and Gucci to see what’s new. In my life currently, I have decided I will still purchase from a brand
that sells animal products, baby steps for me. I have a Gucci phone case that’s all silicone along with clothing from these companies.
My advise for anyone changing or just curious about vegan/faux leather is to be
diligent with question about a product. It can be hard and I am finding that to be true. There is a Gucci bag I’m lusting over for the summer. The tote is made out of rubber and does have GUCCI
plastered down the side. I live in an area without a store close so I took to emailing the company for more information. The description says rubber. No where does it state leather. I emailed
the company and no one can really confirm or deny that there may be a leather tag on the inside. Knowing that most luxury brands do have a name tag or serial code tag where some are cloth and others are leather I find myself at a loss. I am going to purchase the bag and I know I can always return if there is a leather tag.
‘I want to yell at the big fashion houses and plead
with them to make a few really good bags that do
not have any animal bi product on them.
I’ll buy them!’
This is just one example of how we are slowly there. You are offering a rubber bag but as a company you know very little about the material(s) it has.
Gucci just confirmed productions starting in 2018 will not be using animal fur anymore (yay!).
While other companies like Louis Vuitton are pushing the leather bags and phasing out the availability of canvas. (Even though the canvas bags are still trimmed with leather). It’s a choice. A hard decision. A moral struggle internally to be wise enough to know this isn’t right.
If we are making the life time commitment not to eat the animals, we should not be wearing them.
What do you thing of vegan luxury?
Do you own any vegan bags?
Do you have a favourite brand?
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GUEST POST by Megan Edwards
Megan is a wife & mom of one curious vegan boy. Full time hair stylist. Lives in Pittsburgh Pa, USA. Quickly becoming a vegan haven.