What to Look for When Buying a Luxury Vegan Bag.
Like most things in my closet, I do a lot of research before I buy a new luxury vegan handbag. And whenever possible, I like to see and touch the item in person to check for quality.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve definitely changed the way I shop and the way I think about the things I buy. When you make purchases, you are investing in the future. Not just for yourself, but for all of us here on earth. You can choose between leather or canvas, fair trade or not… the list goes on. For me, there’s a lot more to luxury items than simply their appearance. Since you are reading this, you may feel similarly.
Before I get into my list of must-have luxury vegan bags, I thought it might be helpful to share my thought process for shopping ethically high-end.
Some Food for Thought When Spending Your Money 💸
First of all, it’s your money, so spend it how you like girl. But, in the interest of investing smartly, I would advise you to look for pieces that are versatile and will go with lots of existing things in your wardrobe. Beyond that, here are the five other rules I won’t compromise on when buying ethical luxury:
- Usefulness. I will only buy a luxury vegan handbag if I know it will serve a purpose in my wardrobe. I don’t let any old sparkly thing into my closet (anymore) because I want to buy things that will be used frequently. AKA: I want a good return on my investment.
- Timelessness. Everyone has their own taste and preferences. But when buying luxury, I typically avoid trends. I don’t want my luxury items to look dated in 2 years. Hence why I won’t be jumping on the fanny-pack, er, “waist purse” trend. (That look died in the 80’s… let’s let that one go.) Go for well-built, classic designs. They won’t let you down!
- Ethics. I’m over buying things simply based on how they look. If another living creature is harmed in the process, it immediately loses its appeal to me. Also, I believe that the person who produced this bag should be paid a fair wage. (Why would I give a brand over $600 for something that they manufactured for $11 and paid the artisan $0.05 for?) Just like with people, beauty in fashion is much more than what meets the eye.
- Structural design. Sturdy outer fabrics, thick handle straps, and metal feet are your best bet. Avoid fabrics that could show wear easily.
- Finishing touches. Lastly, check the hardware and other small details. Are there existing scratches on the metal zippers, nameplates or rings? Check the stitching on the outside and inside of the bag, as well as any interior pockets. Flip the bag upside down and check the underside for signs of wear. If the bag is new and it already has scuffs from simply sitting on a shelf, that’s not a good sign.
The Ethical, Luxury Vegan Bag I Chose to Invest In This Summer.
From the moment I saw it, I fell 100% head-over-heels in love with the Stella McCartney Falabella golden box bag. The Falabella line has become a staple in the luxury, ethical vegan fashion circle. So it may not surprise you to know I have been swooning over several of the designs this year. However, it is this mini box design which left me weak-kneed.
Like a moth to a bright light, I visited it several times at Nordstrom’s Stella McCartney boutique. I must have pictured at least 35 different outfits that I planned to pair it with. And if you check my list of criteria above, you will see that Stella McCartney checks all of the boxes. Her vegan-leather bags are ethically made in Italy. Plus, the company has a strong focus on sustainability and changing the fashion industry’s cruel standards on luxury.
The Midas Touch
The design of this bag sets it apart from the others I was considering. From the glimmering gold chain strap to the golden woven fabric, this Falabella bag makes quite the statement. It resembles a piece of statement jewelry, and I love that about it. Perhaps it’s a bit flashy, (okay, it’s definitely flashy!) but its design and colour will ensure it stands the test of time. Gold never goes out of style, and neither do chains or box bags. The fabric is super sturdy and the metal is high quality, giving me peace of mind that it will look pristine for years to come.
Sadly, the Falabella Mini Box bag in gold is currently sold out on the Stella McCartney website. (You may be able to track one down at Nordstrom or other online shops.) But the black and silver version is still available!
More Luxury Vegan Bags that are Perfect for Summer (and year-round.)
From Angela Roi, the Grace Crossbody and Eloise Satchel are both stunning, classic designs. Both come in a range of different colours. I love the lavender option for the Grace! Though the Russet, Bourdeaux, and Light Grey options are equally lovely.
Oh, I do love how fashion-forward the Alexandra K bags are! The 0.8 in Midnight Black and the 1.5 in Vanilla Pudding are versatile enough to go with just about anything in your closet. I could easily see the 1.5 becoming my new go-to work bag.
As I mentioned above, there were several designs I was considering from Stella McCartney. In the early summer, the Large Logo Tote bag was everywhere! I can see why. It’s one of those tote bags you can toss your entire life in to. Groceries, a bikini, your makeup bag, a tablet; you’re prepared for whatever life throws at you. It’s basically a do-it-all weekender bag, much like the Neverful from Louis Vuitton. Except this one is vegan and ethically made, of course.
And let’s not forget the new star design bags. It felt like everyone in the vegan fashion community was buzzing about the Stella Star flap-over bags. And they come in so many different colour combinations! There were neons, black, silver, pastels and now bold red. Black and gold is timeless, but I think this one in pale pink and silver might be my favourite.
A newcomer to the luxury vegan bag market! But definitely, one that is taking the right steps.
I first heard about Colibri through Marta Canga, she has their Vesper bucket bag in black. I loved seeing how Marta styled this bag. It is perfect for zipping around the city hands-free but has ample room inside. The Vesper looks chic no matter which colour you choose. But I find the Black and Bordeaux colour options particularly captivating.