The 8 Best Vegan Handbags
Whether you’re looking for a cruelty-free laptop bag, a vegan leather backpack that looks like the real thing, or an on-trend tote bag that’s both animal-friendly and sustainable, rest assured: the best vegan handbags are just as stylish as they are kind. But when it comes to shopping for vegan handbags, it’s important to know your labels if you want it to be truly animal-free.
Generally speaking, you can feel confident that any bags labeled vegan leather, synthetic leather, or faux leather were made without animal hides. Synthetic leather typically consists of natural and/or synthetic fibers that have been coated with a plastic polymer or something similar, and synthetic leather material is usually made from polyurethane (PU), polyvinyl chloride, or textile-polymer composite microfibers.
However, while PU leather may be marketed as animal-free, that’s not always the case. Since PU leather, which is also referred to as bicast leather, is often made with split leather — the fibrous part of the animal hide leftover from making genuine leather — and then simply coated with polyurethane, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, or vinyl, it's not always vegan. Thus, vegan shoppers will probably want to stay away from any handbags marketed as PU leather. So stick with these labels if animal welfare is your primary concern: synthetic leather, vegan leather, and faux leather. Also, stay away from purses with silk linings, (unless it’s vegan silk) as it’s estimated that over 6,000 silkworms are boiled alive in their cocoons to produce just one kilogram of silk.
Also good to know: if your motivation for buying vegan handbags stems exclusively from animal cruelty concerns, then any vegan or faux leather handbag should work for you — but if you’re just as concerned about sustainable manufacturing as you are about animal welfare, then you might want to look for vegan handbags that are made of cork and produced without the use of harsh chemicals or plastics.
Whatever your personal style looks like, know that there are plenty of gorgeous, animal-friendly handbags to choose from these days. Check out the bags listed below — there's an option for every price point, and all of them are cruelty-free and highly rated on Amazon.
1. The Best Vegan Leather Backpack
Made entirely of ultra-soft synthetic vegan leather, the Scarleton Chic casual backpack is a cruelty-free dream. This pick boasts a 4.2-star rating and over 1,300 reviews on Amazon, and it comes with an interior cell phone pocket, exterior pockets, and adjustable shoulder straps. Plus, it has elegant hardware and is the perfect size to function as a purse alternative.
What fans are saying: “I did a lot of research to find a perfect backpack and I love this. It is very compact and has a lot of storage. I didn’t want it to be leather and this is perfect.”
- Available Colors: 13 different color options.
2. A Vegan Crossbody Bag That’s Also A Clutch Purse
The Humble Chic vegan leather small crossbody bag is made with 100 percent water-resistant vegan leather, and it can be used as a crossbody bag or a clutch. Both the shoulder and wrist straps are adjustable, and this pick boasts a 4.1-star rating with hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon.
What fans are saying: “This lovely wristlet arrived the day before my new iPhone. I'd hoped my phone would fit in it, and it did. The vegan leather is buttery soft and a lovely gold color. I am so pleased with it that I plan on ordering the silver for my son’s upcoming wedding. And maybe even more.”
- Available Colors: 22 different color options.
3. The Best Vegan Tote Bag
This synthetic vegan leather tote bag by Scarleton is reversible with magnetic closures and gold hardware touches, and it comes with a little coin purse as well. Amazon shoppers love it, giving the pick a 4.1-star rating and hundreds of positive reviews.
What fans are saying: “Great quality! I purchased this bag to travel and be able to easily access my items. Not only does it fit a lot of my junk and my family's junk, it looks and feels like real leather, like an expensive handbag. I am very pleased with my purchase. Thank you.”
- Available Colors: 11 different color options.
4. The Best Vegan Computer Bag
This vintage vegan leather laptop backpack by LYX is made completely of faux leather, and it fits 14-inch laptops with ease. This pick also features adjustable straps, metal hardware, and magnetic closures — and Amazon shoppers love it, giving the bag a 4.3-star rating.
What fans are saying: “I bought this bag for everyday work. I lug my laptop, notebooks, and file folders around so I wanted something functional and cute, and this does the job!”
- Available Colors: Brown
5. The Most Sustainable Vegan Leather Handbag
If sustainability is just as important to you as animal welfare, this Corker Cork Crossbody Purse might be the vegan handbag for you. This mid-size crossbody bag comes with adjustable straps and is made entirely of sustainable cork. Plus, it's earned a 4.5-star rating on Amazon.
What fans are saying: “This is my second Corkor purse. I love that they are sustainable and vegan, but they are also really well made and stylish. They are beautiful and most people don't realize they are made from cork. I plan to make more cork purse purchases in the future, and don't plan on buying leather again.”
- Available Colors: three different neutral color options
6. The Best Large Vegan Crossbody Bag
This double compartment, large, flapover crossbody bag by Alyssa is made of 100 percent vegan leather, and it features pretty, gold-tone hardware as well. This pick utilizes a zipper closure with a magnetic snap for the flap, and it boasts a 4.4-star rating and more than 1,000 reviews on Amazon.
What fans are saying: “I love this bag. It has so much room to fit all my things I need while commuting to work (phone, earphones, keys, wallet, kindle paperwhite, chapstick). It is the perfect size for a crossbody and does not look bulky or huge.”
- Available Colors: 18 different color options.
7. The Best Vegan Purse Set
When it comes to combining value and style, the Elimpaul purse set is difficult to beat. This purse set includes a tote, satchel, clutch, and wallet — and all four pieces feature synthetic leather fabric and polyester lining with durable gold hardware. Plus, this pick has earned a 4.3-star rating and hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon.
What fans are saying: “Stunning. The look is chic, elegant, and the quality for the price is amazing. Highly recommend.”
- Available Colors: 16 different color options.
8. The Best Vegan Satchel
The Scarleton vegan satchel handbag is made of 100 percent ultra-soft synthetic vegan leather, and it features beautiful silver hardware as well. This pick utilizes a top zipper closure, boasts plenty of pockets, and includes a removable shoulder strap as well. Amazon shoppers adore this option, giving it a 4.3-star rating and more than 1,000 reviews.
What fans are saying: “Words could not explain how much I love this purse. The leather is so soft, it is roomy without being HUGE. It does come with an attachable shoulder strap, but for me, it hangs perfectly on my shoulder without it. One of my favorite features on this purse is the side pockets, which makes it perfect for easy access to your cell phone. I have nothing negative to say about this bag.”
- Available Colors: six different color options.
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.