LIKE TO FIND LEATHER ACCESSORIES it is possible in any mass market, but today more and more stores of low and medium price categories, in pursuit of an audience, prefer fabrics of animal origin. Products from more expensive brands like Stella McCartney are simply not available to the mass consumer. Find animal-free bags and backpacks from sports brands like Herschel Supply Co. and Jack Wolfskin. Here are some other brands that produce accessories from vegan leather and other alternatives.
Text: Anna Eliseeva
Sugand Agrawal spent seven years as an industrial designer at KitchenAid, but then quit her job to create her ethical handbag brand in 2009. Sugand calls not to consider animals "property" of people and not to dispose of their lives. The brand does not use leather, silk, fur, wool, down and other materials of animal origin. The bags are made of nylon, eco-polyurethane, as well as artificial leather (that is, made of polyester and other artificial fibers and resembling natural raw materials). In addition, the brand is experimenting with cork, rubber and pineapple leather to make the product more sustainable. For example, the logo is crafted from recycled metals and plated with 24-karat gold, and the lining is made from recycled plastic bottles or canvas.
At first, Agrawal created her accessories in New York, but then she began to use the services of artisans and small ethical industries in India, South Korea, Mexico, Brazil and Hong Kong. The brand's website contains a variety of bags: envelope clutches, laconic backpacks, neat reticules, roomy shoppers and much more. Delivers the brand all over the world.
Angela Lee was studying Political Science at Northeastern University when she got the idea to start an affordable vegan accessories brand. Although she always watched fashion “from afar,” the future designer noticed how few eco-friendly and ethical companies in the industry create quality and interesting things. Carried away by the idea, Angela left college to open a brand in New York in 2013 with her husband Roy.
The couple work with small factories in South Korea, which they say are highly skilled in bag making and have a limited staff of ten. All accessories are made of artificial leather, which is similar to natural material. The assortment includes actual belt bags, classic models with a chain over the shoulder, and strict rectangular options with a wide strap. Angela Roi are sold in stores in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, but they do not have international shipping. Many of the brand's accessories are presented on the Ethica website, which delivers worldwide.
Although Aleksandra Koscikiewicz founded her brand back in 2014, it was not until last summer that PETA donated one of the bags from designer Meghan Markle (the duchess said that she is trying to stick to a vegetarian diet). The Alexandra K brand stands against polluting tanneries and therefore uses not only ethical but also sustainable materials. For example, "silicone skin", the raw material for which is made from quartz sand, as well as microfiber with ultra-thin fibers. The brand also uses leather from recycled apple and pineapple waste. These materials are recyclable and require less water and energy to manufacture than polyurethane or PVC.
The assortment of Alexandra K contains all the current models: belt bags, totes, totes, backpacks, clutches and more. Decorated with tassels, logo tokens, chains, gold-plated rings and spare straps. The brand delivers worldwide.
Looking at the neat Ceibo bags and cardholders, it's hard to imagine that they are handmade in a home studio. Here you can find round models with metal handles, and narrow rectangular options, fashionable in the 90s, and mini-toes made of faux fur, and much more - all in pleasant pastel shades. Designer Maria Cadena founded her brand in 2016 in Houston and seems in no rush to expand its reach. She independently creates limited collections to the best of her ability, regularly participates in local markets and does not have an offline store, but delivers worldwide. And stands for the ethics of fashion, using polyurethane and raffia in its production.
Minimalist backpacks, small briefcases, classic shoppers, fanny packs and more can be found at the vegan label Sans Beast. Founder Catherine Wills has served as Managing and Creative Director of Australian accessories brand MIMCO for about ten years. But in 2015, having become a vegetarian, she decided to change the vector. At Sans Beast, she uses vegan polyurethane leather and admits that this material is also far from ideal from an environmental point of view. But the designer strives to create timeless accessories that they don't want to landfill.
The brand has international shipping, but not to all countries. Sans Beast recommends emailing them if they can ship the item to the location you want.
Ashoka Paris speaks out against cruelty to animals and urges not to buy leather goods in order not to support environmentally destructive production. Their products include recycled plastic bottles (for lining). Ashoka Paris materials are purchased in Italy, while the accessories themselves are made by hand at a factory in the Thai region of Chiang Mai.
The brand got its name in honor of the Indian ruler Ashoka, who was the first to decide to protect animals and forbid hunting for pleasure. Married couple Gwenaelle and Frederic launched Ashoka Paris just last year, immediately winning the annual Vegan Fashion Prize in the Vegan Bags category. The brand's assortment includes accessories for both women and men: reticules with unusual cross handles, “suede” baguette bags on a chain, classic backpacks and wallets, roomy shoppers with tucks. Worldwide shipping is available.
As the main material, the American brand, created in 2016, uses ultra-thin microfiber, which, according to them, is safer than plastic counterparts, lighter and stronger than natural leather. The JW Pei website clearly demonstrates the advantages of such fabric over others. However, over the next five years, the brand plans to switch to materials made from 100% recycled plastic bottles (now they go to the lining of bags).
The brand's arsenal includes trendy belt bags, small square models that fit literally everything, and crescent-shaped options. There is international delivery.
Designer Lee Korin makes bags by hand, trying to combine two main sources of inspiration: urban environment and escapism. She captures landscapes with her camera, which she then transfers to accessories, and also uses screen printing. Lee's main material is polyurethane microfiber, made in Italy, as a less harmful alternative to other synthetic fibers. In addition, the collections include cotton, polyester, imitation leather and suede. And, of course, Lee Coren accessories do not contain animal fabrics.
Soft shoppers, totes with appliqués, transparent mini-bags, clutches with chains, envelopes and other brand accessories are made in Israel. Lee Coren can be found in stores in select cities in the US, Europe and Asia, as well as Amazon and Etsy. Worldwide shipping is available.
The Los Angeles-based brand was founded in 2012 by mother and daughter Debra and Rachel Denniston.Women support the idea of slow fashion and strive to create accessories that are timeless and trendy. All designer bags are equipped with shoulder straps for maximum comfort. The brand focuses not only on the principles of vegan fashion, but on sustainable and fair production in general. HFS Collective uses four types of materials: Recycled, Recyclable, Illiquid and Low Impact. So, they release a collection entirely made of Pinatex fabric, as well as faux suede and leather.
Shoppers, belt bags, wallets and bottle bags are made in a family-owned Los Angeles factory. There is international delivery.
It's hard to argue with the slogan of the Californian brand: "We love fashion, but we love the Earth too." Hozen strives to create sustainable and ethical accessories, proving that beautiful things should not harm nature. Materials include grain based biopolyol, Pinatex, recycled plastic, natural rubber and organic cotton. And the brand directs 10% of the profits to the Mercy For Animals fund for the protection of animals.
Hozen founder Ray Nicoletti studied tanning at the Amblard atelier in San Francisco for about ten years under the guidance of Hermés master Beatrice Amblard. In the design of the vegan brand, you can find everything that is found in ordinary leather products: laconicism, complex decor in the form of openwork edging, soft materials, bright and deep colors. Hozen bags are sold in stores in Los Angeles, New York and London, Garmentory and others.