If you've lived through the noughties, you'll know that synthetic leather bags was once stigmatised. They were seen as tacky, cheap and reserved only for those who can't afford 'the real thing'. But these days, with cruelty-free and sustainable movements gaining momentum, the tables have turned. Vegan leather is now a prized commodity. But even so, it's still a challenge to gain access to these alternatives. And it's partly because brands that do offer high-quality cruelty-free handbags are often under the radar. So if you're considering adopting a cruelty-free lifestyle, we've found some exceptional brands offering great alternatives that are just as luxe as leather.
Established only in 2013, this young NYC-based brand has prided itself in producing premium-quality luxury handbags made with ethically sourced vegan materials. Even though they're a newcomer in the industry, Angela Roi has already garnered loyal fans. As an alternative to leather, they use EPUL (Exquisite Polyurethane Leather), which is meticulously processed to achieve that creamy 'leather' texture. In an interview with Forbes, the couple behind the brand shared their philosophy: "Love people and love animals and to make Earth a happier place to live, we have to love and protect them."
When we think of recycled or upcycled goods, what come to mind are artisanal hand-made products that can be found at the local farmers market. However, that's just one form of upcycling. It may seem surprising but recycled materials can also be transformed into luxury goods. LaBante London is one of the brands known for creating top-notch luxury handbags and accessories of only recycled materials. The main textile that they use is recycled polyester made from single-use plastic bottles (PET bottles). LaBante London believes that with this system, plastic dumping in landfills and oceans will be lessened, or at the very least, won't add to the problem.