3 Of The Best Vegan Leather Bag Brands

Veganism is the new vegetarianism with more and more availability when it comes to eating out, eating in and now in other areas of life and style. With cruelty-free beauty now thankfully the norm, next up is fashion, and where better to start than with a girl’s best friend – her humble handbag. Not only can vegan leather bags be good for your conscience, but your wallet too!

With many vegan leather specialists coming onto the market, the quality and prices are better than ever before. Vegan leather can be hard to track down on the high street though, and it much easier to find online with more options from across the globe available at the click of a button. We’ve put together a list of our top 3 vegan leather bag designers available in Australia and NZ, simply proving ethical bags can be luxurious with absolutely no animals harmed in the making!

1. Gunas New York Vegan Bags

Gunas is an independent fashion label committed to being 100 percent vegan. Their motto? No animals harmed in the name of fashion. What we love about this brand is their range of styles from satchels to clutches, backpacks and cross-body bags, in a range of colours and materials, but all super sophisticated and chic, high fashion designs. Our pick would be this shoulder cutie.

Gunas New York Handbag

2. Urban Originals Vegan Bags

Urban Originals is a Sydney based brand with their motto being “choose kindness” in everything you do; from sourcing materials, to ensuring their factories are ethically run. They are endorsed by PETA for their vegan credentials and we can’t get enough of their range! From cute bohemian designs for casual day wear to more chic office and evening styles, you are sure to find something you’ll love. Our pick would be this beautiful backpack.

Urban Originals Backpack

3. Canopy Verde Vegan Bags

Designed from Brooklyn, the bags are minimalist, practical and durable. They are great introduction to vegan leather and offer great quality. They brand are super eco-conscious, transparent and ethical in everything they do, with waste free operations. Chemical-free dyes, organic cotton and eco-vegan leather make them the eco-conscious shoppers’ go-to. Our pick would be this sophisticated weekender.

Canopy Verde Weekender Bag

So these are just a few of the ever increasing faux leather bags that you really wouldn’t no were false because the quality is so good! Are you a conscious fashion shopper? We’d love to hear your brand suggestions.

5 Easy Ways To Reduce Waste At Home

If you are new to eco-living, the term “Zero Waste” may sound unattainable as you look around your house, at all the packaging and plastic, unwanted clothes, magazines and leftover foods, but we all need to start somewhere in our challenge to reduce waste and there’s no better place than home! Here are some handy tips to help you reduce household waste through every day purchasing choices, and get started on the path to more eco-friendly habits:

1. Be A Mindful Foodie

First things first, you need to get into a more eco-conscious head space. By simply being mindful of what you are purchasing and throwing away each week, you can reduce food waste. Bread is one of the worst-offenders for being thrown-away the most, because it goes stale quickly and we often overestimate how much we need. Buy less, make your own, or freeze half the loaf if you think you won’t eat it all. You can also be a more eco-conscious consumer when at the supermarket by choosing foods with less packaging and, even better, where possible, support smaller, local businesses and farms by shopping at organic markets and food stalls instead. In purchasing locally grown produce, rather than imported goods which have had to travel many kilometres, you are also helping lower your carbon footprint.

2. Pass On Plastic

There are many ways to prevent the need to purchase one-use plastics – but you do need to be organised and prepared to not be forced to. For starters, use your own refillable water bottle when out and about, make coffee at home, or enjoy in a real china cup at the cafe, to prevent having to throw away a one-use coffee cup. If you really need a barista made morning coffee fix while on-the-go, take a reusable coffee cup with you. Say no to plastic straws, even if your 3 year old has a tantrum – they really are one of the worst offenders when it comes to plastic waste polluting our oceans, harming our marine life and washing up on beaches across the world! Use reusable sandwich and produce storage bags rather than cellophane ones and, most importantly of all, take your reusable canvas bags to the supermarket! There’s also no need to individually bag fruits and veggies. 

3. Forgo The Fashion Fix

Instead of following the latest trend – that you may not be able to justify the cost of anyway and so have to purchase a cheap, mass produced version of it, that will be thrown out next year (come on, we’ve all been guilty of doing this at some point!), only to add to the landfill crisis – why not forget about what’s in-vogue and instead start purchasing fewer, higher quality garments in classic, timeless styles that will not only stand the test of time but for which you will be happy to wear again and again, for years to come.

4. Save The Trees

There are a few easy ways to reduce paper consumption at home, firstly by opting for email bills and online statements rather than paper ones, secondly by reading the news / your favourite magazine online instead of buying a paper version each time, and thirdly by putting a “No Junk Mail” sign on your letterbox to prevent unwanted mail and more paper waste accumulating.

5. Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

Keep in mind the 3 R’s. Now you’ve reduced the use of some every day things, how much of your household waste can actually be reused or recycled? Food scraps can be composted for example, paper and glass recycled, unwanted clothes sent to the op shop, and reusable rather than disposable kitchen items can be purchased from now on. By re-using rather than throwing away each time, you are reducing waste, and helping others and the planet recycle.

Five Minutes With: ecoture australia

We know you love online shopping, and you know we love sharing our favourite ethical stores with you. This week we’d like to introduce you to ecoture australia, an online beauty and fashion destination created by mother and daughter duo Rebecca Dow and Caitlin Clark. After struggling to find fashion and beauty products that were not only gorgeous but also ethical, sustainable and cruelty-free, the pair took matters into their own hands and launched ecoture australia – a premium online shopping destination for people who want real style – but not at the expense of the planet and its human and animal occupants. Here ecoture australia co-founder and brand manager Caitlin Clark shares the store’s journey with THE ECO EDIT.

THE ECO EDIT: What prompted you and your mum to create an eco-focused shop?

Caitlin: I became vegan in 2015, which led to extensive research into where everything I bought came from – and it was a truly eye-opening experience. Then after I had a leather-free handbag destroyed by an exploding smoothie, it became clear that there simply weren’t enough places to buy a range of products that I was confident were both ethically produced and cruelty-free. So that’s when we decided to create a site that had covetable fashion and beauty products that we were also personally comfortable about stocking.

Caitlin, right, with mum Rebecca

Why are natural and ethical cosmetics important to you?

For me, it’s driven by the fact I’ve always had troublesome skin and so I’m very careful about the ingredients I use on it. The products are often just nicer, they feel and smell better, and introduce a bit of luxury into every day. When it comes to ethics, I can’t justify needlessly exploiting the Earth or its animal inhabitants for what is essentially my vanity.

I can’t justify needlessly exploiting the Earth or its animal inhabitants for what is essentially my vanity…

What role do you see ethical and sustainable products playing in the future of society and retail?

They’re already rapidly increasing in popularity, which is fantastic. But I’d like to think that ethical and sustainable products are more than just a trend. With so much information at our fingertips, more brands are being transparent in their operations, so I think ethical and sustainable products are the promising future of retail. I look forward to the day that they’re the norm.

Can you please describe who the ecoture australia customer is, and what they’re looking for in their products?

We like to say the ecoture customer can be anyone. Many come to our site specifically looking for ethical or organic products, however we’re increasingly seeing customers that are simply looking for quality – clothes that are made well and beauty products that work. There have also been more men buying from our site lately, which is encouraging too.

What are your fave beauty products you stock?

1) Jasmine Lotion from Earth tu Face – it smells absolutely divine. I always get so many compliments when I’m wearing it and it’s beautifully light on the skin.

2) La Crème Gommante (Natural Organic Gentle Cream Exfoliant) from Absolution – it’s a lovely, fine scrub that removes impurities but is gentle enough for even my sensitive skin. I use it twice a week, it’s an essential for me.

3) Natural Nail Colour Remover Wipes from LVX – these wipes are amazing! They have a natural, plant-based formula that removes nail colour so easily but they actually leave your nails looking healthier after use.

What’s next for ecoture australia?

We have an exciting expansion coming up but can’t give away too many details at this stage.