One of the fastest growing fashion movements lately is vegan fashion. Vegan means made without animal leather, skins and furs. More and more manufacturers and designers provide environmentally-friendly women’s clothing options and accessories with a zero-waste design process. Nowadays, more people decide to follow a vegan lifestyle and lower their carbon footprint. As most of us really want to do our part in helping the environment, we are now choosing animal-free versions of all the classics, especially now that they are easy to find due to their growing popularity. Due to vegan fashion developing at a very rapid rate, the market is estimated to reach the value of USD 1,1 billion by 2027. We all know that vegan sustainable handbags are more eco- friendly and just as fashionable as the leather ones, although for most of us it is hard to say what vegan is in relation to handbags.
What are vegan sustainable handbags made of?
There are many vegan alternative materials for leather. Often vegan sustainable handbags are made of fruit waste such as apple skin, grape skin, pineapple and banana fibres, pineapple bush leaves, and even lotus flowers. Other options are cork, paper or bamboo as it grows very fast and provides strong fibres. Vegan leather is often made from polyurethane, a polymer that can be made to order for any designer’s caprice. Fashion and accessories companies are trying to outdo each other in ideas for vegan leather. Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez from Mexico, developed a vegan alternative to leather made with nopal (a cactus!). The trade name for this cactus-based material is Desserto. In the fashion industry, there are many designers choosing to produce their handbags using environmentally friendly materials.
Designers choosing vegan leather for their bags
Stella McCartney is the biggest mainstream designer who eschews leather and is synonymous with vegan designer handbags. She is a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative and Sustainable Apparel Coalition. Stella uses recycled polyester and organic cotton. Although her entire collection isn’t vegan, all the shoes and handbags are, and they are a great mix of excellent craftsmanship, luxury and vegan style. Another great example is Jill Milan - the Italian company that specializes in luxury fashion accessories which are completely animal friendly. All the handbags are vegan and handmade in Italy. The company is committing to the future by reducing waste from their manufacturing process and selling all the products they make.