Forget about plastic junk and polyester clothes. These are 15 of the most luxurious vegan brands EVER
By Diane Small
Vegan fashion doesn’t usually inspire images of chic women walking their dogs in Paris, hitting the nightclubs of New York or click-clacking in stilettos across the malls of Dubai. But the fact is, that handbag you’re admiring or those shoes you covet could well be cruelty free.
Today, vegan fashion is better designed than ever, using noble materials that are far more eco-friendly than previous ‘vegan leathers’–which were basically the worst forms of plastic.
Here, we’ve found some of the most luxurious vegan brands from around the world, all of which are bound to change your view of vegan fashion forever.
14 of the Most Luxurious Vegan Brands EVER
1. Matt n Nat
Though it sounds like a design duo, the name of this bag brand is actually an abbreviation of the two main values of the brand: ‘material’ and ‘nature’.
Launched almost 20 years ago in Montreal, Matt & Nat is not only inspired by the textures and different shades of nature, they are dedicated to protecting nature too.
They are constantly exploring new unconventional ways to maintain their eco-friendly and sustainable methods of vegan leather production, and thus far they have used different recycled materials such as recycled nylon, cardboard, rubber and even cork.
They’ve recently launched bags made from recycled bicycle tires to their chic collections, which are now available on ASOS, and line all of their creations with either organic cotton or a fabric made from recycled plastic bottles.
2. Jill Milan
A longstanding favourite of ours due to their commitment to classical styles and high quality Italian manufacturing, Jill Milan is a seriously high end vegan handbag brand that has often been seen not only in top restaurants, clubs and hotels around Europe, but also on the red carpets of Cannes and LA.
Plenty of celebs are fans, including Anne Hathaway, who raves about these bags – she even wore one of her Jill Milan bags to the Oceans 8 premiere.
We could hardly leave out the Vegan Queen here, could we? Of all the luxurious vegan fashion brands, this is probably the best known, since Stella was one of the original designers to insist on vegan ethics in her creations, McCartney is possibly most famous for creating her iconic Falabella bag, but as you can see below, she offers plenty of different luxury vegan handbag styles, as well as shoes and clothing, of course.
But that’s not all: we love this designer because she strives to ensure that her entire production process for every item is as transparent and sustainable as can be. You can read more about her policies here.
From vegan leather trousers and skirts to luxury, cruelty free bags and shoes, Nanushka has it all.
The label was founded by London College of Fashion graduate Sandra Sandor in 2005, and so-called after her childhood nickname. She believes that if a garment is designed to function well, it will by definition be beautiful – and that no animals need to be killed to make gorgeous fashion.
Based in Budapest, this European brand creates wardrobe staples that are sophisticated and feminine and feature unexpected details, like mock-croc textures or unusual cutouts.
5. Osier Studio
From polished backpacks that look like they could have been made from patent leather to simple clutches that match any evening gown, Osier Studio makes them all.
The luxury vegan handbag brand was a winner of the Eluxe Awards in 2019, and won their prize (and many fans!) due to their use of soft vegan ‘leathers’, recycled lining fabrics and organic cotton dust bags, all of which are expertly made in Italy. Keeping things local is important to this European-based brand’s CO2 compensation pledge.
6. Miele Bianco
Vegan handbag company Melie Bianco is a favourite with LA celebs, and no wonder: their styles reflect the quality and elegance of Balenciaga, Celine and Miu Miu styles, but without the cruelty.
The luxury vegan bag line was founded in 2003 by a husband-and-wife duo inspired to bring major design trends to the conscious consumer. “I design bags to reflect the season’s trends, but within a budget. Women–especially working women–want high-end handbags, but at an affordable price,” explains founder Melissa Song.
The eco-friendly label, which uses premium faux leather, has previously been featured in various publications including Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire.
Vegan Fashion Awards winners Nemanti make all their shoes with traditional, artisanal techniques in that global centre of shoemaking, Italy. The styles are exactly what you’d expect from this European fashion capital – sexy, seductive and strappy, made from only the highest quality of cruelty-free materials.
And if you don’t approve of any of the looks in the current collections, never fear – this luxury vegan brand also offers a bespoke shoe service, which also saves on waste by its very nature.
8. Ethique 212
When we first saw Ethique 212’s bags, we thought ‘no way that’s not real python’. But never fear, my friends – these skins have nothing to do with animals. The brand is committed to using only “better leathers” that are completely animal-free, and promises to carefully monitor all materials used in the manufacturing of their vegan bags and jewelry to ensure they are free from environmental hazards.
What’s more – the label recycles all waste, employs fair and ethical business practices, and has a kick-ass, rock chick vibe that we love.
This luxurious vegan bag range is different from many of its more expensive rivals, as it’s made from recycled plastic bottles and vegetable fibres (amongst other materials). Plus 10% of each LaBante handbag purchase is directed to the charitable cause of the buyer’s choice. The woman behind the label is Vanita Bagri, a former high-flying banker who quit the corporate world to follow a childhood dream to create a lifestyle brand.
“I am a vegetarian and wanted my range to reflect that so the products are ethically sourced and produced and we use no animal products,” she says. “These handbags look like high end luxury leather but they are completely natural. We use the same highly skilled craftsmen who produce some of the world’s most distinguished leather fashions but, crucially, we don’t use leather, animal dyes or glues,” she states firmly.
10. Angela Roi
While we think it’s great that American based designer Angela Roi creates luxurious vegan handbags from what she calls EPUL (Excellent Polyurethane Leather), what makes this label stand out.
“In the long term, we would like to be recognized as the most innovative, ethical fashion brand. We’re constantly looking for new, advanced materials to apply to create our handbags. Whenever we find new materials, we test them to create sample handbags. Currently, we’re deeply interested in finding ‘more’ eco-friendly options in addition to being vegan. We will see if we can introduce even more earth-friendly collection in the future,” states the designer.
Apart from Angela Roi’s high quality materials and craftsmanship and her clean, chic designs, the brand is also outstanding due to the fact that they donate a portion of each sale to the ASPCA. Animals win all round!
11. Cult of Coquette
Sadly, it’s true that vegan shoes can look a bit cheap. But Bebe Mehr, founder of cruelty-free shoe brand Cult of Coquette, set out to change that once and for all.
In October 2014, Mehr (pictured below) created a stunning shoe brand that shuns typically toxic ‘vegan leather’ for the most eco-friendly materials available. The resulting handmade shoes are for bold, stylish women who aren’t afraid to rock a heel.
They come in two main styles: the ‘Azar’, a classic pump with a 4.75” heel which comes in 10 vibrant colours, and a limited edition line, the ‘Muse’, a slightly modified version of ‘Azar’ pump, reminiscent of Christian Louboutin‘s style. Of all the luxurious vegan fashion brands, we’re perhaps the most grateful to this one: we can have chic vegan stilettos at last!
12. Denise Roobol
This PETA approved designer studied for four years at the Willem de Kooning design academy before applying her skills by launching a stunning, minimalist influenced range of luxury vegan bags.
Today, her eponymous brand uses sustainable, high tech materials to create accessories that are the perfect companion to any wardrobe: her bags are as practical as they are gorgeous.
13. Benedetti Life
Imagine if Gucci got really ethical and nixed all animal products from its line, whilst using GOTS certified organic cotton and other easily biodegradable fabrics. The result, in our opinion, would look something like the luxury vegan fashion line Benedetti, which is, by the way, PETA approved.
What we love about this brand is not only their kindness to animals and the fact that their garments are ethically made in Europe, but their incredibly artistic prints Each one is digitally made with eco-friendly, water-based dyes. Digital printing reduces water use because the fabric doesn’t need as many wash/rinse cycles, and there are no screens or colourant baths that require cleaning. And just look at the results! Each jacket, skirt, tee and dress is a unique piece of art.
14. R.J. Gibson
Intricately embroidered Arabesque details are the highlights of these elegant bags from R.J. Gibson.
Each item ordered from the London based designer can be customised to your taste, allowing you to choose your own colour, material and embroidery designs.
All the brand’s vegan-friendly materials are ethically sourced from Italy, and of course, every part of the bag -including the adhesives – is animal free.
All images courtesy of the brands. Main and second image: Stella McCartney.
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