Where to Shop for Vegan Bags and Shoes in Toronto

Where to Shop for Vegan Bags and Shoes in Toronto


The Purist / Cruelty Free Shopping, Wardrobe /

Vegans Living in Toronto, Consider Yourself #Blessed.

The Ultimate List of Where to Find Non-Leather Handbags and Shoes in Toronto.

As someone who hails from the deep south, Toronto is a vegan haven. And it’s getting greener each year! First, there was the slow but steady march of vegan bakeries popping up in trendy neighborhoods. Then we became home to boomingly busy vegan restos like Bloomers, Apiecalypse Now and Doomies. It continued with Planta in Yorkville and Awai in the west end, which seem to pique the interest of omnivores and herbivores alike. Toronto is a plant-eater’s dream!

But today’s post is not about vegan food. It’s about vegan fashion–and where to buy it in the GTA. Years ago, it was a real pain to track down quality, non-leather fashion items. Wanted to find a chic work bag that wasn’t made of animal skin? Your shopping options were bleaker than Sherbourne Street at 4 am. Thankfully, that is 100% not the case anymore.

I love handbags. And I adore shoes. So naturally, I am frequently asked where to buy non-leather accessories. Today is the day I’m writing down my full list of go-to places to score enviable vegan/vegetarian fashion items. Let’s start with bags and end with shoes. Onward and upward!

Key To Shopping

Regardless of your budget, there is a perfect leather-alternative out there for you! I’ve included Quick Jump links for your convenience. In addition to breaking this shopping guide up by price range, I’ve also included icon references about the specific brands mentioned.

Brands with a cow (🐮) stand up for animals. No leather, fur, feathers or skin of any kind is used in their designs, ever.
Rest easy knowing a dove (🕊) means the company ensures ethical and sweat-shop-free labour. Look for a recycling icon (♻️) next to brands that utilize materials made from recycled fibers. Some even invest in worthy causes. (👼)

Quick Jump Links

Non-Leather Handbags
Vegan Boutiques in Toronto
Non-Leather Shoes

 

Legend

🐮 = Vegetarian/Vegan brand
🕊 = Responsible manufacturing
♻️ = Uses recycled material
👼 = Proceeds to charities

 



Where to Buy Non-Leather Handbags in Toronto

💸 Entry Level Handbags:

Chain Stores

These chain stores carry a wide selection of affordable and on-trend bags. Some are leather, most are not. Be sure to check the fabric label!

  • ALDO accessories – Multiple locations.
  • Ever New – Located in the Toronto Eaton Centre
  • Forever 21 – Multiple locations.
  • GUESS – Multiple locations.
  • H&M – Multiple locations.
  • LE CHÂTEAU – Multiple locations.
  • TopShop/TopMan – Multiple locations.
  • ZARA – Multiple locations.

 

Brands to Look for at Boutique Shops

These brands are cruelty-free and affordable!

  • ESPE – 🐮 🕊 Find this brand at Blue Banana in Kensington, El Pipil on the Danforth and other gift boutiques in Toronto. (Use their Store Locator to find a shop near you.)
  • Pixi Mood – 🐮 🕊 Several boutiques carry Pixie Mood: Bergstrom Originals on Queen East, Posh Boutqiue on Queen East, The Imperative*** on Queen West, Trixie on Bloor West, and VdeV on Ossington are ones that come to mind. (Use their stockist locator for a full list.)
  • Urban Expressions – 🐮 find this brand at The Imperative*** on Queen West.

 

💸💸 Mid-Range Handbags:

It may not come as a surprise to you that ethical manufacturing is more expensive. Brands in this category cost a little more, but they make great efforts to ensure their manufacturing, textile sourcing and craftsmanship are top-notch.

  • GUNAS – 🐮 🕊 ♻️ 👼 find this brand at The Imperative*** on Queen West.
  • Matt and Nat – 🐮 🕊 ♻️ It was a pleasant surprise to find this OG vegan bag line available in many stores around Toronto.
    • Boutiques that carry Matt & Nat: Capezio (several locations), Fresh Collective on Brock, Frock on Roncesvalles, GotStyle (several locations), Shopgirls on Queen West, Trixie on Bloor West, and VdeV on Ossington. (Or use their store locator to find a stockist near you.)
    • Matt & Natt Standalone Store: Located inside the Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga (Or view all store locations.)
    • Chain stores that sometimes stock Matt & Nat: Indigo, Nordstrom, Townshoes.
  • MeDusa – 🐮 🕊 find this brand at The Imperative*** on Queen West.
  • Nella Bella – 🐮 👼 Fresh Collective on Roncesvalles (I’m unable to find a manufacturing statement on their website, so I cannot say if these bags are ethically made :P).

 

💸💸💸 High-End Handbags:

At this time, Stella McCartney stands alone in this category. It is the only luxury, non-leather brand available in Toronto, as far as I know.

  • Stella McCartney – 🐮 🕊 👼 This posh no-leather, no-skin & no-fur line can be found at Nordstrom and usually Holt Renfrew. Curious how I style my Stella?

 





Vegan-Only Boutiques:

*** The Imperative is an ALL VEGAN EVERYTHING shop. I highly recommend visiting their two-story shop on Queen West in person. They carry fashion and beauty brands like MeDusa, GUNAS, Pacifica, Vaute, Urban Expressions and more. Be sure to contact them if you’re curious what they’ve stocked up on recently.

Psst: Doomie’s is right across the street, should you crave a vegan Big Mac after all the calories you burn shopping.



Where to Buy Non-Leather Shoes in Toronto

💸 Entry Level Shoes:

All the chain stores previously mentioned also carry shoes. Again, be sure to check the fabric labels! You are looking for man-made, synthetic or fabric materials.

Chain Stores

  • ALDO accessories – Multiple locations.
  • Ever New – Located in the Toronto Eaton Centre
  • Forever 21 – Multiple locations.
  • GUESS – Multiple locations.
  • H&M – Multiple locations.
  • LE CHÂTEAU – Multiple locations.
  • TopShop/TopMan – Multiple locations.
  • ZARA – Multiple locations.

 

Other Places to Look

I’ve found plenty of non-leather shoes at The Bay, SEARS, Foot Locker, Payless and the majority of major shoes retailers. Just ask a sales associate, and they should be able to assist you.

💸💸 Mid-Range Shoes:

  • Matt & Nat – Yes, they also make shoes! Sadly Matt & nat shoes can be more elusive to track down than the bags. The only boutiques, to my knowledge, that carry them are Capezio and Fresh Collective. Check out their Square One stand-alone store for a wide selection of their slick vegan shoes.

 

💸💸💸 High-End Shoes:

Stella McCartney is the only luxury non-leather shoe brand available in Toronto. Please let me know about any others! Or maybe don’t… as my bank account will probably take a big hit.

 


Top: Zara
Jeans: Buffalo by David Bitton
Shoes: Zara
Bag: Ever New

 


Closing Thoughts

Living in a city like Toronto as it’s actively moving into a kinder, more conscious future is amazing. For many people, buying a new bag or pair shoes is something to be researched and carefully considered. I’m glad that many Torontonians are including “non-leather” in their shopping criteria. Everything you spend money on is a message about what you value. And if you want to change the way companies work, speak the language they understand: money. Each purchase you make towards a cruelty-free, ethical brand is a vote for animal rights and a brighter future for the planet.

It’s always exciting to hear about new vegan discoveries. If you have a favourite brand or shop that I should check out, please let me know in the comments section below.