No matter what the season, these vegan tote bags will be a welcome addition to your wardrobe!
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Having a few vegan tote bags in your closet is essential for the organised fashionista. They’re roomy, stylish, and endlessly versatile. Bigger than your average purse, they should be able to fit in everything from a laptop to an extra pair of shoes.
For summer, an easy-to-fold cotton option might be the best option to take to the beach or market. But for travelling, you may want something sturdier, like a Piñatex model. Moms will want something washable or in black, so food stains don’t show up, while women who spend a lot of time at the office will want to sport something that screams ‘professional.’
Why you need a vegan tote bag
Sure, clutches are sweet, and backpacks are practical. But a clutch can only fit in so much, and backpacks are great for the gym. But frankly, it can be a pain to access your stuff in them, and I find they tend to scrunch up the back of my shirt – not a good look at the office!
If you’ve ever been on your way out the door with full hands, wondering how you’re going to juggle all your stuff from the front door to the bus or car, then a vegan tote bag is for you. With their spacious insides, zipped pockets and sturdy handles, there’s nothing they can’t fit.
Any time, any wear
So, where can you wear your tote bag? The answer is pretty much anywhere. Love working out? Take yours to the gym with a change of clothes inside. Frequent flyer? Your tote can hold your passport, laptop, phone and snacks, with room for much more besides. Got kids? A vegan tote is the perfect way to keep you prepped for any surprises that may arise throughout the day.
Whether you’re looking for a natural canvas tote to haul your gear to and from the gym, or a designer tote bag made from upcycled plastics, there’s a bag out there to suit your style and ethics.
Ready to find yourself the newest and best vegan tote bag ever? Keep calm and carry on with the best vegan totes of the year, below!
Totes Adorbs! 10 Of The Best Vegan Tote Bags
Made from recycled ocean-bound marine plastic, this stunning reversible Essential tote bag by Rothy’s (also pictured above) comes in a variety of shades and prints. The bag is 3D knitted by machines, which means not only are they eco-friendly because they’re made of recycled plastic, but also because they use zero waste techniques. On Rothy’s site, there’s a wee video showing you just how much you can pack into this baby, too. Let’s put it this way: you can fit so much into the Essential tote, it could be too heavy to carry!
Best for: Moms. Since this is reversible, if it gets dirty, just turn it inside out!
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly vegan tote, those made by Svala are for you! Choose from natural cork or super-sturdy black Piñatex. This style is just the right size to carry with you every day. It fits snugly over the shoulder, and isn’t so large that you’ll throw your back out by toting it around regularly.
Best for: Everyday use
3. Cult Gaia
Creative, eco-friendly bags have never been so stylish! The Banu Beach Bag by Cult Gaia is the kind of vegan tote bag that will make you feel like a true sophisticate, thanks to the grandeur that it possesses in terms of size and style! This natural raffia and bamboo bag easily fits a towel, sunscreen and a change of clothes for later.
Best for: Making a huge statement, days at the beach
This Montreal based brand brings a chic urban vibe to the many styles of vegan accessories they produce. One of our favourites is the ABBI LG, one of the most spacious, sturdy and sophisticated vegan tote bags around. It comes with a two-way metal zip closure at the top and a removable and adjustable crossbody strap. Inside the interior, which is made of 100% recycled nylon, you’ll find a zipped pocket, a patch pocket, and a smartphone pocket, meaning this is the perfect bag for organising all your essentials.
Best for: Taking on long trips
This stylish, London based vegan bag brand makes their totes with recycled materials, and the Interiors are made from reclaimed plastic bottles. Besides tote bags, LaBante also makes hobo, clutch, crossbody and shoulder bags, all of which come in an array of chic colours chosen to match any outfit.
Best for: Looking professional at the office
6. Melie Bianco
The PETA-Award Winning label that has taken a strong stance against sweatshops isn’t just focused on ethical production. Oh no! Melie Bianco is also fully dedicated to making beautiful, timeless vegan handbags that last for ages.
A great example is their Heather Black Tote, below. It does double duty as a handbag – just snap off the the strap that makes it a tote! Its refined black vegan leather exterior offers a modern, polished look that matches any outfit.
Best for: Making a fashionable statement in the city
Sugandh G. Agrawal’s New York-based brand has established itself for its exquisite craftsmanship. Her Gunas label bags are made by small-scale ethically paid manufacturers from animal-free materials. Gunas’ embossed, round Meghan bags are famous with celebs, but we love their Naomi tote – especially the blue ‘python’ textured version! This baby not only holds pretty much all you need when outside your home, but it looks absolutely awesome paired with some faded jeans.
Best for: Wearing with denims and streetwear
8. Bark & Leaf
Looking for the most super eco-friendly of all the vegan tote bags? Look no further than the Ruth Rain Tree Natural Tote by Bark & Leat! It’s made out of handpicked, actual rain tree leaves, and the bag can be worn either with a crossbody strap or used as a tote with its main handles. Don’t think for one minute that this bag isn’t sturdy, just because this bag is made out of leaves – the brand has created a method of treating this cellulose fibre so that it’s just as durable as leather!
Best for: Seriously eco-minded fashionistas
Stella McCartney’s iconic ‘Falabella’ bag is, without a doubt, one of the most iconic vegan tote bags ever! This one is especially covetable, as it’s completely reversible! Choose from a black exterior, or flip it around inside-out and transform it to a cream coloured bag instead.
With its whipstitched chains, sturdy faux-leather and detachable pouch for securing valuable essentials, it’s perfect for everyday use or long haul flights, and is spacious enough for a book, tablet and even a change of shoes. No wonder it’s such a hit with celebs like JLo and Charlize Theron!
Best for: Timeless urban chic
Sure, macrame was one of the hottest bag trends this summer, but if you’re looking for totes that are ideal for seaside destinations, Kayu has some refined straw options, too. Crafted by women’s cooperatives in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, using indigenous techniques that have been passed down through the generations, all Kayu’s bags are as eco-friendly as they are ethical.
Best for: Beach babes
11. Paguro Upcycle
This bag has an interesting history – it used to be an inner tube! Luckily, eco-friendly vegan bag brand Paguro gave it a new life as their handcrafted Rika tote.
Inner tubes are an exciting alternative to leather, because they’re super strong and durable, and also because the patterns of the tyre treads make each piece unique. Of course, the material is also easy to clean and maintain, and this model comes in three colour choices.
Best for: The gym. This bag is super easy to clean, so feel free to put your dirty clothes and trainers inside!
Nannacay’s signature ‘Carolyn’ bag is handwoven using two-toned natural fibers into a structured rectangular shape. Straw bags are normally associated with a beachy vibe, but the minimalist design here makes it perfect for toting around the city in the summer months, too.
Best for: Lunch with the girls
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