Vegan Leather

For ethical and environmental reasons, I try and purchase as much vegan leather as possible in place of real leather. There has not been a ton of options out there and what did exist was on disparate ends of the spectrum. Stella McCartney’s clothing and accessory line has always been free of animal products and her shoes and handbags are gorgeous, but their price tag is not. On the other end there are a plethora of cheap goods that happen to be made of faux leather, and look it. Over the past couple of years more and more viable and attractive options are sprouting up which is really exciting.

A couple  of my faves:

Matt and Nat

All of their products are vegan leather and the bag linings happen to be made of repurposed plastic bottles! Their goods are sold on their website and in stores such as Bloomingdales. They carry handbags, wallets, belts, and overnight bags for men and woman; also, stylish diaper bags, and laptop carriers. Tons of cute stuff!
I bought a crème colored vegan leather over the shoulder handbag for summer that was perfect for travel. The quality is good and the feel is nice even though it’s not as supple as real leather. I just ordered a top handled handbag for work. I have been coveting their clutches and overnighters too.

The site describes their mission: “…developing beautiful products for people who appreciate a smart, unpretentious, socially conscious brand characterized by minimalist design and utility.”

Free People
Not an exclusively vegan leather outpost but starting July 2011 Free People came out with a collection of Vegan Leather. I had been trying to find a really great vegan leather jacket for years and finally found one at Free People. The feel, weight and look really capture real leather The one I got already sold out but they have other styles including, “leather” pants and skirts. I plan to keep an eye on what other options they come out with.