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Style Destino is my personal style space bout cruelty-free and vegetarian style. Fashion is not above someone's life and it is irresponsible when someone makes a fashion choice that involves taking a poor animal's life. I believe in style that has a conscience. We are in 21st century where technology has advanced immensely, there are myriad options available and any person with a desire can make things happen. So it is sheer selfishness and irresponsible behaviour when people make unethical fashion choices. Through StyleDestino I share everything cruelty-free and ethical in my style. I do not use any handbags, shoes or accessories made from leather (animal skin), the make-up I use is also vegetarian and cruelty free. Luxury and compassion can coexist stylishly and Style Destino is an attempt to prove just that. Vegan fashion is not about dowdy clothes, cheap bags, or tawdry shoes. I can just easily be vegan and trot in my Olsen heels, sporting a Stella McCartney luxurious vegan handbag while showing off my red lips painted with OCC lip tar!! I travel the world around and never find dearth of stylish, high quality vegetarian fashion.


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This Alexandra K Vegan Handbag is Made From Apples

Vegan handbag made from apples - Alexandra K Apple Leather Vegan Bag

We've heard of cork leather, then came pineapple leather (aka Pinatex) and now let me introduce you to Apple Leather. Yes, a leather-like material made from apples - no kidding! 

In fact, I have a vegan handbag in my wardrobe made from apple leather.
Every time I tell someone my handbag is made from leather, their reaction starts with utter disbelief slowly turning into surprise and awe. When you touch this bag, from Polish brand Alexandra K, it's hard to tell it is not real leather because it looks and feels like one.

When Alexandra Kościkiewicz launched her eponymous handbag line in 2014, the goal was to offer luxurious, timeless cruelty-free accessories that were at par{or better} in terms of quality but was more accessibly priced than the typical, 4-figure designer handbag. Fast-forward 2020, we can see she definitely attained her goal. Her line of elegant and chic bags not only look stylish but are really well-made. 

Alexandra uses a variety of vegan leather materials in her collection, and I love her designs. But the one bag that caught my attention was this 1.4 Black Apple, made from apple leather. 

So what is apple leather really? How is it made?

Apple leather is a revolutionary new sustainable leather alternative derived from the food waste. The apple pulp left out by juicing industry was earlier thrown away. But now this pulp is processed so that all the moisture from it is removed. It is then dehydrated and turned into ground powder. This material is then combined with polyurethane (PU), spread on a solid sheet and is processed with heat to create this amazing bio-based alternative to leather, which is completely cruelty-free and sustainable.

Isn't it cool? We are living in exciting time when innovation is making it possible to go away with materials that are harmful for the planet and comes with cruelty like leather or plastic.

You may be thinking, is leather not sustainable? Most of the handbags and shoes are made from cow leather. The thing is, cows release a lot of methane into the atmosphere contributing a lot to global warming. In addition, livestock farming is often accompanied by deforestation - that's why the fires in Amazonian forests {to free up the land}. Furthermore, leather tanning uses many harmful chemicals that exposes to workers to deadly diseases and skin conditions and also the toxins are thereafter released in the water streaming, causing pollution and health issues in the region.

1.4 Apple Leather Vegan Handbag
Alexandra K Apple Leather Vegan Handbag - Vegan leather bags - Sustainable fashion blogger Style Destino

The classic Alexandra K bags, inspired by Celine (I would say), come in multiple sizes. I have their 1.3 mini, which is the perfect size for everyday use and running errands. However, they don't have this size in apple leather yet.

The 1.4 Apple Leather is my latest addition. It's a large bag with lots of room and pockets, and has become my go-to-bag especially for travelling. I have been using this bag for 8 months, extensively and so far it looks as good as new. 

This handbag, like all other Alexandra K bags, is handcrafted ethically in Warsaw. You can feel the quality the moment you take the bag in your hand - the stitching is on-point, the structure is perfect and the quality of hardware is top-notch too. 

At €299, some people may find it expensive, but if you consider the quality of construction, its sustainable practices and the material, I find the bag totally worth it. When we are ready to pay $1000+ for handbags that are mass produced in China using a dated unethical and cruel material leather just because it comes with a brand name stamped on it, why do we feel a €299 price tag for a ethically produced bag made with hi-tech and sustainable material is expensive?
My favorite part about all Alexandra K handbags is that they all feature a metal plaque with a unique serial number and a message that says, 
Are these vegan handbags ethically made?
Vegan handbags by Alexandra K - Apple leather - ethical handbag factory in Warsaw
This is Alexandra K's factory in the industrial area of Warsaw - a clean and safe place for workers who are paid living wages. Even the designers and brand owner work from the same premises.
Ethics are at the core of Alexandra K and all the brand's handbags are made in their own factory in Warsaw. On my visit to Warsaw last year, I even got a chance to visit Alexandra K factory where these vegan handbags come to life. All their bags are made in a small unit in the industrial area of Warsaw. The production building was a clean and good space to work from, and even the designers and brand owner work from the same premises. I was glad to see everything was ethically produced. 

The workers included a good mix of women (brownie points), and the company confirmed that they pay fairly to all their staff, including the workers. A lot of times we focus on the materials, when it comes to ethical fashion, but forget about the process - where and how it is made. I was happy to see Alexandra K was walking the talk when it came to ethical practices.

A vegan handbag that is extremely high quality, helps the world in some way, and does not harm anything in the process of it being made - make that your next purchase.

P.S. Each bag comes with a 2-year warranty!


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