By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
It’s summertime, and the living is easy, as the song says. And that living gets a lot easier when you have a handbag that can hold everything you need.
And by ‘everything’, I mean all your summer essentials. At work, that would possibly be a change of shoes, so your work clothes can transform into an evening outfit, thanks to a great pair of heels. Or maybe a blanket and a book, so you can take lunch in the park in comfort.
On holiday, giant bags are especially great as carry-ons for the plane – just stuff your travel kits, laptop and maybe a magazine or two inside. They and also function beautifully on the beach: pack in your sunblock, beach towel and some snacks.
In the colder months, a giant handbag is always handy to stuff in your extra sweater or jacket, plus all your work essentials, like your laptop and charger.
Basically, no matter what the season, I’m pretty sure that one of these supersized vegan bags is about to become your new favourite wardrobe staple!
15 Supersized Vegan Bags That Are Big On Style
These supersized bags are a sustainable dream come true! Not only are they are exquisitely stylish, but they also use natural materials such as cork (seen below), bamboo, organic cotton and reclaimed wood.
Besides their environmental strengths, ONO also ensures social ethics by aligning with standards set by the FairWear Foundation and the International Labour Organization, to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for all their employees.
Wear it: to yoga class – your mat could even fit in here!
The talented designer is dedicated to environmental responsibility, always avoiding leather, skins, feathers or fur in any of her creations. But lately, Stella has upped her eco game even further, opting for more recycled and forest-friendly fabrics. Her latest collection includes gigantic totes that bear her logo, which essentially symbolises the user’s support for environmental principles. Spacious, practical and neutral, these are a celebration of Stella’s sophisticated style.
Wear it: with just about any outfit, anytime, anywhere!
This New York based company specialises in bags that are sturdy, stylish and of course, sustainable. Of all the supersized vegan bags on this list, this may well be the most eco-friendly ones, thanks to the organic cotton canvas and recycled polyester and water bottles they’re constructed from. This Catalina weekender bag is ideal for the eco-conscious traveller. It comes in an array of shades, fits perfectly over the shoulder, and is suitable for both genders.
But what I love most is the zippable compartment at the bottom for storing shoes – it’s a great idea that keeps your clothes smelling fresh, and saves you the plastic bags that you probably normally wrap shoes in.
Wear it: when you’re off for a weekend away
Summer’s a time for travelling, and as any eco-gypsy knows, that can take a toll on your luggage. After being dragged on and off transportation and in and out of countless hotels, your bag is bound to fray around the corners a bit. Unless it’s this number from Paguro, that is! Made from upcycled rubber tyres, this Rika bag is great for travelling – and it’s practically indestructible.
Wear it: when motorcycling around a new city, or when out camping
5. Gunas NYC
A favourite with influencers and Instagrammers, the Naomi tote by Gunas is made from recycled plastic bottles, comes in a dozen colours and is PETA approved, too. It’s the perfect everyday shopper to accompany you on a busy day out. It holds all your files, iPad, wallet, keys, water bottle, umbrella, makeup bag – basically, all your essentials! If you pack a lot of stuff when you leave the house, you seriously don’t want to head out without this bag.
Wear it: every day!
6. Matt & Nat
This Canadian brand is constantly experimenting with materials such as recycled plastic bottles, metals and even bicycle tires, to create its elegant line of handbags and briefcases. Their Loom Collection is an excellent choice for large, timeless totes – this one even comes with a small pouch inside that can be used as a clutch.
Wear it: to work, then detach the clutch if you’re going out after.
7. Melie Bianco
These premium quality bags look and feel like real leather, but without the cruelty. While there’s a plethora of gorgeous styles to choose from, casual fashionistas will love the slouchy Brigitte Tote, which is the perfect oversized bag for the weekend.
Wear it: with torn jeans and trainers.
This chic British label is well known for its bang-on-trend collections, which change each season. They also have a great variety of supersized vegan bags, such as their PU based, voluminous Demi vegan shoulder bag. It’s great for all your stuff at the office, but it’s also the ideal choice for moms, who can pack snacks, wipes and changes of clothing in this.
Wear it: to work, every day.
9. Sole Society
This Los Angeles retailer is committing itself to go fully vegan, and so far, its eco-friendly bags are gaining incredible success with the cruelty-free fashion crowd! If you want to rock some French flare, their Bretton striped Gunnar bag is the perfect choice.
Wear it: for a weekend away with your partner’s parents, or on a short city break
10. Muzungu Sisters
This ethically-sourced, handmade luxury label loves doing prestigious collaborations – they just recently had one with Missoni that I love. Their ethical approach to fashion has gained recognition from the United Nations, who bestowed their Fashion for Development Award for bringing artisan-crafted fashion to the forefront of international consumer trade. This vivacious, oversized straw and cotton cloth clutch just screams ‘boho chic’, as does everything in the Muzungu collections.
Wear it: when exploring the shopping areas in Bali or Goa, or pack your stuff in it at a summer festival.
And now for something completely different….! We found this yummy bag by Binge Knitting on FashionCompassion. Apparently, it was inspired by Mexico’s architecture and textures, but for us, the Tassel Tote is more about Danish hygge – it’s roomy, cozy, and is the perfect holiday bag for fashionistas on the move. Supersized vegan bags don’t get much more comfy-looking than this.
Wear it: when travelling alone. It’s a great conversation starter, and is somehow…comforting!
A classic briefcase with a waxed microfiber shell, this supersized vegan bag offers a distinctive, yet nostalgic shape for the chic professional. Three separate zippered compartments were built into the design to help keep yourself organised.
Wear it: on a business trip out of town, or for a job interview
This huge backpack may not be suitable for trekking around Europe, but it is perfect for city safaris! I love the fact that it’s made from Piñatex – that leather-like material that’s made from pineapple bush leaves. It gives the bag an interesting, ‘leather-like’ texture.
Wear it: when you’re on your bike going to the gym, work, or on your way to a picnic.
14. The Noces
Launched only a year ago, this brand’s vegan friendly raffia handbags, pouches and baskets are made with locally purchased materials from Madagascar. The Noces truly promotes the heritage of artisans, who create the handicrafts in line with the Malagasy Ministry of Handicraft and Culture. If you become one of their customers, you’ll be pleased to know that The Noces gives 5-10% of their annual profits to charities operating in Madagascar.
Wear it: on holiday in Capri, Bali, Ibiza or any other chic location.
This innovative label offers reversible bags that allow you to turn them inside out so that the colour of your accessory always perfectly matches your outfit! One side is in Forest Green with piping in Metallic Mushroom, or you can flip the bag to have the reverse colour features.
I love this sturdy tote, which easily supports the weight of files, computers or books with its two strong straps. The generous size of the bag even allow for it to serve as an overnight bag.
Wear it: when you have a ton of stuff to bring with you to work or school!
Main image: ONO creations