28.05.18

14 Ethical, Eco-friendly and Vegan Handbag Brands

Kate Hall

A handbag is a lifelong investment, an external reflection of your unique personality, and an everyday companion carrying your most precious things. With this in mind, handbag decisions are crucial to get right.

Ethical handbags are made by someone valued for their skills and time, and will make you feel a whole lot better than picking up a bag from your local mall that every second person is wearing. Investing in a bag you know has been made with caution and care, means you’ll get it’s full worth.

Bag right: Ahimsa Collective

ethical handbag

"Investing in a bag you know has been made with caution and care, means you’ll get it’s full worth."

I’ve put together a list of the best ethical handbags, separating leather from vegan, for those with preferences.

Leather handbags

ethical handbag

Cuyana classic shoulder bag

Cuyana

Totes, cross bodies, saddle bags, and even backpacks. Cuyana work with artisans in both Italy and the USA to create the highest quality bags that will last you a lifetime. Cuyana’s lean closet program also encourages customers to buy less, but better items.

Nisolo

Nisolo’s mission is to change the fashion industry into one that respects and uplifts people and the planet. They offer side bags, pouches, weekender bags, and totes, made ethically from the highest quality leathers and canvas. Nisolo keep close relationship with their partners in Peru, Mexico, and locations throughout Africa where their independent artisans are based.

Parker Clay

Designed in California, made in Ethiopia. Parker Clay work with traditional tanneries that source leather as a by-product of the livestock industry, and recycle all the water used in the tanning process. You’ll find bags for both men and women, of all shapes, sizes, and colours.

ethical handbag

Mamuye Tote from Able

Able

The makers of Able bags are women who have overcome extraordinary circumstances, and have been empowered to work in a job with dignity. Able hold transparency with upmost importance, and share the true impact of each purchase. Their bags are perfect staples for all types of occasions.

Duffle & Co.

Duffle & Co. use small local suppliers, to help them expand their workshops and create more fair, safe, jobs in the community. The handbags are handmade, and the team are always looking out to improve their products and reduce their impact on the planet. Duffle & Co. also give back to two charities with each sale made.

The Loyal Workshop

The Loyal Workshop are a team working to stop sex trafficking. They rescue women from the sex trade and employ them to make beautiful leather satchels, and join a community who support them. The founders are New Zealanders with a passion for justice.

Raven & Lily

Rich brown and dark black leather staples, Raven & Lily offer a range of beautiful designs. Every bag they sell helps to support microloans for female entrepreneurs, whilst growing a thriving ecosystem of fair wages, health care, sustainable incomes, and tools to thrive.

Vegan Friendly and straw bags

ethical handbag

Gunas Ridley

Gunas

Gunas care about people just as much as the planet. Gunas bags are ethically made and 100% free of animal products, and have won several global awards. Whilst PVC is a common material for vegan bags, Gunas boycott it in their production, knowing the damage it does to the environment.

Mar Y Sol

Mar Y Sol enables traditional craft to be preserved by makers in Madagascar. The handbags are cute and quirky, offering pops of colour, and even pompoms to brighten up your wardrobe. The natural and sustainable materials emote a summery vibe, perfect for those wanting something more playful.

Eba Tote

The EBA tote is designed for the conscious, practical, and stylish lifestyle. This handbag is the Mary Poppins of all ethical handbags. The waterproof lining extends its lifetime, and the functionality of the compartments means it has multiple uses: baby bag, a day at the office, out with friends, and even a carry bag on during a flight.

Angela Roi

“The goodness of people has the caliber to alter the globe for the better.” Angela Roi is a luxury designer brand based in New York. The bags are made with the highest quality materials to allow for durability and wear. The factories in Korea, where the bags are made, are visited regularly to ensure they are always upholding the fair work standards which Angela Roi values.

ethical handbag

Kayu Coco bag

Kayu

Kayu eschew the mass produced, and focus on ultilising the skills of independent artisans so the bags bear a personality and mark of the maker. Fair wages and safe working environments are important to Kayu, and the bags are mostly all biodegradable (apart from the hardware and lining).

Ahimsa Collective

“For those who are trendy AF, but also don’t want the world to blow up.” Ahimsa Collective have crafted your daily companion, made from Pinatex; pineapple leather. The bags are made in Australia by a skilled master leather-maker. As well as pinatex, the bag is made up of recycled materials that would have otherwise ended up in landfill.

Melie Bianco

Cruelty free, animal friendly, and fair wages are the key values of Melie Bianco. A handbag is more than just a tool, but a form of self-expression; Melie Bianco understand this and use creativity to design unique shapes and styles.

Kate Hall

Ethical living/fashion advocate, eco wedding planner, and brand rep. Kate strives to promote ethical living in every way under the sun, and won’t stop at anything to make sure the planet and it’s people are being looked after the way that they should be.