Look the part without being the problem with our top picks for vegan leather.
There are many different reasons why people may choose to lead a plant-based lifestyle, whether it be health, the environment or avoiding animal cruelty. While the food we consume can often be at the forefront of veganism, it’s important to recognise that everything from what we use on our faces, the clothing we wear and the products we use within the home are all significant parts of living a more sustainable lifestyle.
The past couple of years have seen rapid growth in the vegan fashion space with many companies opting for animal-free alternatives, especially when it comes to vegan leather. Vegan leather can get a bad rap as plastic-based materials are often used as cheaper alternatives. In good news for all our plant-based fashionistas out there, we are seeing more designers using plants to create sustainable, biodegradable, durable vegan leathers.
If you are in the market for vegan leather products, look out for plant-based alternatives such as pineapple skins, cactus leaves, cork, kombucha scobys, vegea and the list goes on. Always be sure to do your research and check with the brand if need be!
We’ve created a guide on the best brands doing vegan leather to having you looking tres chic without impacting the environment around us.
Stella McCartney: A leader in the sustainability and luxury fashion space, Stella McCartney has a range of high-end pieces from vegan leather jackets to heels to handbags. As a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative which works to promote the rights of workers globally, the brand has actively taken steps to recirculate, restore, regenerate, or recycle all materials, so that no clothing or footwear ends up in landfills. We’re loving the Frayme Mylo™️ shoulder bag, the world's first-ever luxury bag crafted from mycelium – the root-like structures of fungi. But the range of vintage leather jackets might have us splashing out this Winter.
Deadwood: Become a rose between two thorns with the Cactus Vegan Leather Collection from Deadwood. The line consists of a range of jackets, skirts and pants and we’re loving the unisex River Cactus Jacket in green to add a splash of colour to your wardrobe. Sustainability has always been at the forefront of what they do, with many of their garments made from the offcuts of leather clothing and furniture that otherwise would’ve ended up in landfill. Check them out for groovy pieces that will stand the test of time.
Will’s Vegan Store: Starting off with humble beginnings as a vegan shoe store, Will’s Vegan Store has expanded it’s offering to include vegan accessories, clothing and lifestyle products. All products are ethically made, certified carbon neutral along with bio-based materials being used in all vegan leather products. For the ladies you can’t go past the vegan leather skirt and for all the men out there, the Shirt Collar jacket will have you channelling the perfect mix of sexy yet sustainable. To top it off, they’ve also started a return to recycle service to turn purchases at the end of their use into new WVS outsoles and uppers.
Aje: Our list wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of one of our local favourites. While not all their products are completely vegan, Aussie label Aje have launched a vegan leather collection which we are definitely eyeing off. Our favourite pieces would have to be the Rebellion Hardware Pant in coffee with matching jacket – Winter fashion keeps getting better in our eyes. While there’s always room to improve in terms of sustainability, it’s a positive step in the right direction to see more and more brands incorporating plant-based options that are ethically made and of high quality especially in the fashion industry.
Saye: Want to fight deforestation while rocking a pair of groovy kicks? Check out the vegan leather sneakers by Saye who plant two trees for every purchase. Cruelty-free and environmentally friendly are at the forefront of what they do, using bio-based, recycled materials in all shoes. We love the Modelo '89 Vegan Mango which is made by converting leftover fruit into leather-like material – super cool and innovative if you ask us!
Mat & Nat: Vegan, cruelty-free and recycled, Mat & Nat are the triple threat in footwear that you need to get your hands on. If you’re on the hunt for some vegan leather footwear, these guys have you covered. From ankle boots to heels and everything in between, you’ll definitely be able to find that new addition to your wardrobe. All linings are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and they have started to experiment with fruit skin fibres to go even further with their sustainability pledge. Our favourites include these classic black booties along with the Vegan Rain Boots which are super cute for that wet weather protection us Sydney-siders need.
Nordgreen: If you’re in need of some wrist bling then look no further than Nordgreen. They have a great range of vegan leather watches for both men and women that will never have you missing a meeting again. Whilst not all products are vegan, they are working towards a more sustainable future through sustainable packaging, production and refurbishing where possible. As an extra win, a portion of every watch sold is donated to charity and they are committed to their Giving Back Program.
Corker: Designed with durability and longevity in mind, PETA approved Corker offer a range of vegan leather accessories made from locally sourced cork. Cork is obtained by removing the outer bark of the tree, without cutting or harming it. As the bark replenishes, cork can be harvested again and again. They’ll have you covered for all your bag, belt and wallet needs. Check out the reversible belt for a wardrobe staple and they even do vegan leather coasters!
San beast: Another homegrown favourite is Sans Beast, PETA certified and leading the way in cruelty-free, vegan bags. Started by Cathryn Wills in 2017, the entire collection is made from 70% recyclable material and 4% cactus derived material, with the goal of transitioning to 100% recyclable, bio-based materials by 2023. While they have a range of vegan accessories, we can’t go past their bag collection and are loving the mini totes to add a pop of colour to every outfit. To top it off, Sans Beast donate $1 from every purchase to the animal rescue sanctuary Edgars Mission.