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Best designer vegan handbags to shop this Veganuary

These are the vegan accessories we're lusting after this season...

vegan bags
Orin Carlin
Orin CarlinContent Writer
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Once upon a time, a quality designer bag meant one thing, and one thing only: leather. Now, the animal-derived fabric no longer necessarily represents the pinnacle of luxury goods.

In fact, there are plenty of excellent vegan designer brands that are making waves in the accessory market. For one, Los Angeles-based JW Pei has made a huge impression with its cult Gabbi shoulder bags, having been spotted on the likes of Gigi Hadid, Hailey Bieber and Emily Ratajkowski.

Securing that much-coveted supermodel seal of approval has propelled JW Pei to new heights, and so it's no wonder that many more designers are looking to get on board and cater for those wanting to avoid animal-derived materials.

READ: Vegan Beauty: everything you need to know  

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What are vegan handbags made from?

Vegan handbags are made from a variety of materials, with faux leather being one of the main alternatives. Most vegan leather is made from polyurethane, a polymer usually derived from petroleum.

Many brands are now experimenting with plant-derived alternatives, including 'leather' created from cactus, apple and pineapple waste.

MORE: Greenwashing in fashion is a huge issue right now – here's how to identify it

READ: 10 of the best sustainable underwear brands to have on your radar for 2023

Is Stella McCartney vegan? 

The Stella McCartney label has never used leather, feathers, fur or skin within its collections, but it is not vegan. Some of its pieces contain animal-derived materials, silks and wools for instance. 

However, the brand is committed to innovation, and is constantly working on developing new materials. Its 'Frame Mylo' design - marketed as the world’s first-ever luxury handbag - is created from mycelium, the root-like structures of fungi.

How we chose the pieces: 

  • Style: Naturally, a super stylish bag silhouette is essential. When combing through the internet's top fashion sites for the best styles, we made sure that each of our picks were either bang on trend for AW23 or had a certain classic appeal for maximum wearability. We've delivered on scope - from glossy clutches to croc-effect crossbodys, these are the pieces we're lusting after this season.
  • Brand: All our picks are by designer labels, ranging from Stella McCartney to Mashu, and they're all suitable for vegans.

Hello! Fashion shares the best designer vegan handbags to shop now:

  • Best Vegan Designer Handbags

    Cream Mashu bag

    Nicole Creme Bag

    Mashu

    This bio-derived vegan leather bag by Mashu is giving vintage glam with a contemporary twist. I love the warmth of the plated brass hardware and the pretty, sculptural clasp detailing. 

  • Thermoire burgundy bag

    Bios Clutch Bag

    Thermoirè

    Glossy and luxe, this wine-hued clutch by Thermoirè feels categorically autumn-appropriate. Crafted from polyurethane, the piece includes a detachable shoulder strap and the pleat detailing adds a sense of texture.

  • Silver shoulder bag

    Jana Hollow Out Shoulder Bag

    Flashy and playful, JW Pei's 'Jana' piece is giving major party season vibes if you're looking to swerve the sparkle and instead lean into the metallics. The cut-out detailing feels contemporary and cool, and it would look great with a wash of highlighter across your cheekbones. 

  • Giarite gold bag

    Brilly Bag

    For a dose of glitz, look no further than Giarité's 'Brilly' design. Adored by fashion editors, the bucket bag shape has a certain effortlessness about it, and I love the rhinestones for a hit of Y2K appeal. 

  • Nanushka camel bag

    Jen Bag

    Featuring a slouchy, knotted silhouette, Nanushka's 'Jen' bag is the minimalist's idea of accessory heaven. It's roomy enough to fit all your essentials, plus the camel hue feels super wearable. 

  • Stella McCartney dark brown crossbody

    Frayme Medium Embellished Vegetarian Croc-effect Leather Shoulder Bag

    Stella McCartney

    Created from croc-effect vegetarian leather derived from apple waste, this chocolate brown crossbody by Stella McCartney is perfect for every day. Style over a fluffy knit or a glossy trench. 

  • DeMellier black bag

    The Nano Montreal Vegan

    Sleek and versatile, DeMellier's signature 'Nano Montreal' bag now comes in vegan leather. With a structured top handle design, the piece feels smart and classic, and I love the timelessness of the hardware for a look that feels non-logocentric. 

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HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.

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