A few months ago, I visited Paris and stayed in a bed and breakfast in Le Marais. Right next door, there was a boutique that displayed the most beautiful—but leather—handbags. I lusted after them every day through the window, vowing to find a vegan version that’s similar. Let it be known that I am a bag minimalist! I have a fall-winter everyday bag, a gift from 2012, and a spring-summer everyday bag—a Balinese handmade straw bag I bought on Etsy last year. I have two evening clutches: one black vegan leather and one gold satin. And then that’s it! So it’s probably not a bad thing to switch up my accessory lewk now and again. Here are my choicest picks for vegan handbags worth the investment.
Angela Roi Cacta Small Tote, $225
I’ve been lusting after Angela Roi bags for a while—and it’s clear to see why, with their modern luxurious aesthetics and animal-loving ethos. The bags in their Cacta collection are handcrafted by fairly compensated artisans from cactus leather. The cactus is raised without irrigation at an organic farm in Mexico, hand-harvested and then sun-dried. Its hardware-less simplicity makes it timelessly chic, season after season.
Senreve Poema pouch, $495
If money were no object, I would get my hands on one of Senreve’s vegan bags in a heartbeat! Do note that Senreve is not an all-vegan brand, but makes a significant vegan collection. Personally, I’m not opposed to buying vegan from a mixed brand (like buying vegan food from Whole Foods!), but if supporting a cruelty-free business is important to you, that might give you pause. All that being said, this Poema pouch is so cute and can be worn multiple ways: as a clutch with the ribbon wrapping around, or used as a shoulder strap, or with a delicate gold chain acting as the shoulder strap. It’s like buying three bags for the price of one. It’s also available in Currant, Walnut, and Night.
Gunas Jane Satchel, $275
If you’re someone who has to carry a lot of stuff throughout the day (makeup, gym clothes, laptop, smartphone, just to name a few), check out this lovely satchel by Gunas. It even comes with a matching makeup bag for chic organization. (No more lipstick rattling around with your loose change!) The brand is vegan and cruelty-free and partner with animal, human, and environmental organizations to give back.
I’m so impressed by the sleek, geometric, modernist appeal of Alkeme Atelier. This gorgeous little bag comes in bold, luscious hues and classic neutrals, plus a gold circular handle that makes it feel so luxe. The vegan leather is proprietary, composed of post-consumer recycled materials and is tested to be more durable than animal leather. Even the lining and the dust bag are made of recycled plastic and biodegradable bamboo, respectively. I am very tempted to grab one (or two!) of these bad boys.
Found it! This most closely mimics the impossibly chic leather bag I saw in Paris. Apple leather is amazingly made from the apple core and the skin discarded from the food industry. It’s skillfully created in Italy, and even comes in an organic cotton dust bag.
Which one of these bags are you enticed by?
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Photo: respective brands