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Currently Coveting: 3 Vegan Handbags That Are Chic & Functional


Discovering upcoming vegan brands and new hi-tech leather alternatives has become my passion lately. I am always on the lookout for eco-conscious and cruelty-free brands for my wardrobe and am glad to share my current favorite vegan handbags with you. 

Melie Bianco

This PETA approved accessories brand from LA has become one of the most known vegan brands. Their handbags are high on style and ethics, and the best part is they aren't too heavy on the wallet either (unlike most ethical vegan brands). What I love most about Melie Bianco is their wide collection, which is always on-trend and super stylish.

I got this stylish boxy crossbody from them recently and it has become my favorite go-to bag. It instantly upgrades even the simplest of outfit with its buckle and stud detailing and is roomy enough to stow in all the essentials.

How eco-conscious is Melie Bianco? It isn't the most eco-friendly alternative out there, although it is vegan and sweatshop free. The materials used in the handbags is mostly polyurethane (PU) and they do not have collections with sustainable bio-leather options like apple leather, Pinatex, cork or recycled plastic. However, it is way better than leather bags and the cheaper PVC alternatives offered by fast fashion brands. 

Shop Melie Bianco handbags here (ships worldwide)



Stella McCartney

Many don't know that luxury designer brand Stella McCartney uses no leather, fur or down in her collection and all her handbags are vegan. She is master of faux-leathers and her cult Falabella style is in every fashionista's wardrobe. However, there's more to Stella McCartney than her Falabella. This crossbody bag from Stella is one of my favorites in my wardrobe. Beautiful versatile color and it opens from both the sides, making it easy to stow in things and keep everything organized.

The new Stella collection is also amazing, and somehow I have started liking the non-Falabella styles better because her chain bags are a little heavy, making them inconvenient to carry for long hours!

How eco-conscious is Stella McCartney? Stella McCartney is well-known as the "Queen of Sustainable Fashion". She is the first luxury designer to bring sustainability on the table. All Stella products are ethically manufactured - so you know people are treated fairly. The company is always on the lookout for sustainable materials for its accessories - however there's a lot they still need to do. While she uses 100% recycled nylon lining in all her handbags, the material is not always the most ecological.

Although I love Stella McCartney designs, and have over a dozen handbags from her collection, I noticed that not all her bags are good quality. Stella McCartney often says she designs products build to last. But some of my Stella McCartney Falabella bags, each worth over $1000, were so poor quality they didn't last even 18 months. So I would stay steer clear from her Falabella bags. While some of her other styles are great and all of them cruelty-free.



Nina Bernice

I am currently obsessed with cork, this eco-friendly leather alternative is super durable, water-resistant, has unique texture and is quite versatile. I was gifted this cork handbag from Melbourne-based eco-conscious handbag brand Nina Bernice and totally love it. Its stylish, functional, the color is amazing {love the metallic detailing in the texture} and the bag is roomy enough to even accommodate my wallet, keys, mobile phones, beauty pouch and other small essentials.

How eco-conscious is Nina Bernice? Nina Bernice bags are crafted from one of the most sustainable vegan leathers - cork. In addition to this, the brand has also partnered up with WeForest to plant a tree in reforestation projects within India for every bag sold. I'd say among all the three brands on the list, Nina scores highest when it comes to its eco-credentials

(Update June 2020: Nina Bernice has temporarily suspended its online sales and their website is down)


With the rising awareness about the planet and the exploitation of animals, there are now so many cruelty-free and eco-friendly options available that we don't need leather at all. However, it's a shame that people still use leather accessories. If you're reading this, I urge you to give vegan leather a chance next time you go shopping!

Shop Nina Bernice handbags here


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