Spring is a great time to review your handbag wardrobe and assess the need for any adjustments. As vegan fashion continues to become more and more widely available, vegan bags are among the most popular areas of this market. Choosing to ditch leather is a conscious, climate-aware decision: as it's part of animal agriculture, leather is a significant contributor to global warming and a major villain in fashion's role in the climate crisis. Leather is also an industry that takes over one billion animal lives every year.
By Sascha Camilli: writer, speaker, activist and vegan fashion expert.
Luckily, we live in a time when buying a handbag no longer means have to choose between wearing a cow's skin or instead opting for lumpy, shapeless canvas totes with a floral print – today's vegan fashion brands lend as much attention to style as they do sustainability, offering collections that reach coveted status for their design as much as their ethics.
The everyday vegan tote: LUXTRA Bio Leather Vegan Tote Bag Caramel
Sleek and spacious, this vegan tote is made from E-ULTRA, an eco-friendy vegan leather made from corn waste. Whatever the day brings your way, this bag can stand – and fit – absolutely anything that modern life throws at us. A lifesaver for busy days.
Wear it with...a crisp, oversized white shirt and boyfriend jeans.
The vegan backpack: LaBante London Camberwell Quilted Vegan Leather Backpack
On those days when you just can't be bothered to use your hands, toss your essentials into this quilted backpack crafted from plant by-products and lined with a fabric that consists of recycled plastic bottles.
Wear it with...a relaxed jumpsuit and vegan trainers.
The vegan statement piece: FRIDA ROME WEEK/END
Consider yourself lucky if you can get hold of this one. After appearing on BBC's Dragons' Den (and successfully securing investment), the founders of FRIDA ROME can't seem to hang on to one of their vegan WEEK/END bags in cactus leather from Desserto – the coolest new kid on the block when it comes to vegan materials.
Wear it with...black trousers and a sharp blazer.
The vegan saddle bag: Will's Vegan Store Women's Saddle Vegan Leather Crossbody
This is one for the weekend. With this boho-inspired design, Will's Vegan Store has created a perfect piece for lazy strolls around town. This saddle style is made from plant-based materials incorporating bio-oils from cereal crops that grow in Northern Europe.
Wear it with...a patterned maxi dress.
The office piece: Ava Carrington Stockholm Vegan Leather Handbag
Coming into the office is such a rare occurrence these days that when you do, you might want to make it special. Team your best nine-to-five outfit with this structured vegan handbag from Ava Carrington – its gold-toned hardware makes it subtly stand out without overpowering your look. This design is also lined with a fabric made from recycled plastic bottles.
Wear it with...a puff-sleeve blouse and polished straight-leg trousers.
The colourful one: Alkeme Atelier Water Small Vegan Leather Metal Handle Bucket Bag
Add a playful pop of colour to your outfit with Alkeme Atelier's statement-making vegan bucket bag made from recycled materials such as discarded clothing and recycled wood. A conversation starter as well as a quick way to add interest to your look.
Wear it with...all black.
The vegan evening clutch: Svala Didi Vegan Leather Clutch
There are times when nothing except high-octane glamour will do, and that's when this silver-toned vegan clutch from Svala will make an elegant entrance. This design, locally made in Los Angeles, will add sparkle to any after-dark ensemble, while not contributing to cruelty to animals or environmental destruction. So you can party with a clean conscience.
Wear it with...your favourite party dress.
By Sascha Camilli
Sascha Camilli is a vegan fashion writer, speaker and activist. Her book Vegan Style is out now on Murdoch Books. For more about Sascha, you can read our interview with her. You can also follow her on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
For more great content like this in your inbox, sign up to our newsletter, and save 10% off your next purchase, plus great savings throughout the year.