1- Stella McCartney Falabella clutch | $1040 at Nordstrom
2- Fair Trade woven sisal tote | $88 at Beklina
3- Freedom of Animals Boromo circle bag | $300
4- Baggu Canvas sling | $32 (LOVE!!!!)
5- Matt & Nat Shoop cork tote | $165
6- MM6 Perforated Neoprene tote bag | $210 at Forzieri (I have this and have been carrying it non-stop lately)
7- TOMS woven hobo | $118 at Nordstrom (I’m very intrigued by this, it’s so similar to a hobo bag by The Row I love)
8- Viva Creatures Valkyrie crossbody | $320
If you’ve been reading Grechen’s Closet for a while, you may or may not remember that I was once a vegan. But I still carried and wore leather = I was a “bad” vegan. I can’t help it, I love leather; the look, the feel, and its sturdiness. But the more I learn about leather production, and the more I let myself think about where leather comes from, the more I wonder if I really need to own more of it.
Some thoughts for another day, but after watching the True Cost (have you seen it yet??) and trying to find out where leather is sourced for the bags we buy (it’s REALLY REALLY HARD), I’ve been searching more and more for leather alternatives. Anyway, in the summer I always lean towards canvas or straw totes – they seem more warm weather/beach/rain friendly.
To be honest, I’ve never liked faux leather. Besides the fact that it usually looks rather cheap, it’s very stiff and without the shape and softness of real leather, obviously. And anyway, if you’re not going to buy leather, why not just try something completely different? Why try to fake the real thing?? (I didn’t like fake meat when I was a vegan either…). Also, Faux leather has traditionally been made from polyurethane, which itself, isn’t ideal for the environment. Nowadays though, there are more companies working with other, more eco-friendly materials, like recycled water bottles (Matt & Nat), and nylon microfiber (Viva Creatures). So, if you’re going to choose faux leather, choose wisely, don’t just buy a cheap “pleather” bag at Target…
Of course, I prefer eschewing faux leather altogether and choosing canvas, straw, or other fabrics. I love the James Perse canvas tote, and a good vintage straw tote is always a great summer option (Etsy has LOADS). And I have fallen HARD for the Baggu canvas sling bag which is made from recycled cotton. Of course, you could always carry a regular Baggu bag as a shoulder bag, I’ve seen it done; my MM6 tote is the same style/shape, although a little more sturdy and with an inside pocket.
Do you carry any non-leather bags? Any other resources to share? What are your favorites?
More non-leather alternatives (although many straw bags, or canvas/nylon totes include leather handles):