By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
There are lots of vegan handbag brands around these days – and that’s great! But it seems a lot of the designs are focused on replicating the latest trend by Celine or Chloe rather than creating something uniquely beautiful or practical.
Luckily, there is a vegan brand more focused on making your daily life easier, more organised, and of course, stylish – meet Doshi .
This label, based in Southern California, was founded by Paras Doshi, a staunch vegetarian turned vegan who always supported animal causes and a compassionate lifestyle. After years of looking for vegan-wear to support his professional lifestyle and spending a few years in development, Paras decided to change people’s perspectives by launching a quality, fashionable offering that could accompany both men and women throughout their working day and withstand the test of time. And so Doshi’s line of cruelty-free bags and accessories was born.
Extensive research went into finding the best and most durable vegan leather to create his line of chic minimalist wallets, belts, bucket bags, clutches, briefcases and backpacks. Disappointed by inferior materials parading as vegan leather, he went through a discovery phase testing materials from around the world. He decided on using microfibre PU in all of his products. Microfibre PU is significantly more durable, has a better handfeel and is 10x more expensive than plain PU which is often passed off as vegan leather. He found his ultimate fabric, in Japan, where he selected a refined microfibre whose production minimises the use of water and solvents compared to other vegan leathers, increasing their sustainability.
At Doshi, not only are the fabrics thoroughly scrutinised, but so are also the working conditions of employees who take care of the manufacturing process. The Doshi team regularly visits factories where its goods are fabricated in order to ensure environmental practices and workers’ well-being are held up to high standards.
Furthermore Doshi’s noble mission of making progressive change is attested by the brand’s First Five For The World initiative, where Doshi donates five percent of revenue to responsible non-profits working to benefit animals, people, and the environment. So far, Doshi has sponsored four hundred vegan meals through the Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank, donated funds to Compassion Over Killing, as well as funds and various items to Mercy For Animals’ gala. The company has also adopted a rooster from Farm Sanctuary and intends to adopt more farm animals! Paras notes that they do all of this without over charging customers. Doshi decided to incorporate as a benefit corporation and is happy to take a lesser profit for the greater good. We have to agree on that point – check out their belts. They start at just $29!
One of my favourite pieces in this collection is, without a doubt, the camel lady bag, which provides a sophisticated touch to the season. I’m also a bit in love with the suave backpacks, which are anything but childish or touristy. What’s more, the wallets and briefcases make the perfect gifts for all busy bees in your life.
Doshi proves how glamour, compassion, and sustainability can walk hand in hand; and speaking of ‘walking’, the brand is planning to soon add a line of vegan friendly footwear. If the shoes are as elegant as the rest of the collection, they’re bound to land in the wardrobes of the chicest eco-fashionistas as soon as they drop!