5 Vegan Tote Bags You Might Not Believe Isn’t Real Leather

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Eco-Friendly Natural Products | January 11, 2024

Two people walking along a dirt path wearing Vegan Tote Bags and discussing How To Find the Best Vegan Tote Bags With Zipper, the Hottest Vegan Handbags and Vegan Leather Tote Bags.

Faux leather vegan tote bags are where style meets sustainability, allowing you to be stylish, but still care about the environment.

Such materials are becoming widely popular, and for the most part, it’s hard to believe that they are not genuine leather.

If you love vegan tote bags but find the options too overwhelming to pick your favorites, this review round-up helps narrow down to a few stylish versions in different designs.

5 Best Vegan Tote Bags


Best Vegan Tote Bag for Work: AlbazaCrafts Vegan Leather Bag

Functional design that looks professionally elegant.


Best Affordable Vegan Shoulder Bag: HYLeatherStudio Travel Bag

Super functional size for an awesome price.


Best Luxury Faux Leather Bag: LaBante London Sophie Vegan Tote Bag

Classic style for uptown or downtown.


Best Minimalistic Vegan Shoulder Bag (5 Colors): Sakka Handmade Leather Purse

Simple elegant lines to coordinate with any capsule wardrobe.


Best Soft Leather Fashion Bag With Zippers: DarlingsCA Soft Leatherette Tote

Luxurious softness, plenty of compartments.

Leather bags are stylish bags you can carry for work, school, travel, or as luxury brands for events. Faux materials are available for vegan users if they want to avoid using animal products and the following brands are the most fashionable and sustainable.

Best Vegan Tote Bags That Are as Good as Leather

Here are five of the best vegan tote bags you can find in the market.

AlbazaCrafts Vegan Leather Bag

Photo that shows the characteristics of beech tree.
Brand: AlbazaCrafts
Eco-Friendly Feature: Handmade, Local Products by Village Artists
Price: $49.99
Why You Will Love It: It is the best vegan tote bag for work, school, and other daily needs.
Rating: 5 out of 5

You may mistake this vegan bag from AlbazaCrafts for authentic leather, but it is faux leather, soft to the touch, and comes large for most of your daily needs. It measures 33 x 31 x 7 cm and has a primary and side exterior zipper, making it ideal for most tasks.

The local artists in India hand make this beautiful bag and then sell it at factory price from the workshop. The seller also offsets the carbon footprint from the shipping and packaging charges, telling how much they care for the environment.

HYLeatherStudio Travel Bag

Photo that shows the characteristics of beech tree.
Brand: HYLeatherStudio
Eco-Friendly Feature: Etsy offsets emissions from packaging and shipping
Price: $38.59
Why You Will Love It: It is a large multipurpose bag suitable for various needs.
Rating: 5 out of 5

One of the best features of vegan tote bags is how versatile they are and how they serve all your daily needs, and the HYLeatherStudio design does the same job. Its massive 37 by 29 size makes it a great travel, shoulder, hobo bag that you can use for the gym, work, school, holiday, and almost every other activity.5

It is a simple design if you want a minimalist bag that is functional and elegant. The leather quality looks like the real deal to give it an aesthetic appeal while still being a cruelty-free vegan product.

LaBante London Sophie Vegan Tote Bag

Photo that shows the characteristics of beech tree.
Brand: LaBante
Eco-Friendly Feature: PETA Approved Label
Price: $256.48
Why You Will Love It: It is from a high-end luxury brand guaranteeing high quality.
Rating: 5 out of 5

This Sophie tote handbag from LaBante has an elegance all over it, from the high-quality finish and design details. It is a luxury item for you to have in your closet as it complements any outfit and is ideal for the everyday woman who wants a multipurpose bag for all her needs.

LaBante is a PETA-approved brand that has been in the market for some time, meaning that all its operations are environmentally ethical. The materials used are -guilty-free, and they aim to create synthetic, luxurious brands that look like leather but are safe for the environment.

Sakka Handmade Knot Leather Purse

Photo that shows the characteristics of beech tree.
Brand: Sakka Handmade
Eco-Friendly Feature: The brand focuses on ethical, sustainable materials.
Price: $104.24
Why You Will Love It: It is a simplistic, zipped bag in the perfect size and design for everyday use.
Rating: 5 out of 5

The knot bag from Sakka Handmade is for people who love simple, versatile and functional handbags. You wouldn’t believe it is not genuine leather from high-quality, durable material.

It is made of premium dual-layer faux leather and has a zipper closure system to carry your items discreetly. The adjustable straps come in knot designs, and it has two compartments.

You can choose from the five available colors, but the common feature is that they are water-resistant and very durable.

DarlingsCA Soft Leatherette Tote

Photo that shows the characteristics of beech tree.
Brand: DarlingsCA
Eco-Friendly Feature: Not listed
Price: $54.38
Why You Will Love It: It has a leathery-soft feel and is lightweight to carry all day.
Rating: 5 out of 5

If you love the velvety feel of leather products but only go for vegan alternatives,1 this bag from DarlingsCA is a great start. The material may be buttery soft, but it is still a durable bag for all your needs, helping you achieve a simple modern look that effortlessly stands out.

Buyers state that they love the bag’s unique design and decorative side zippers. It is also incredible that it comes with a pouch for more storage and to help you separate some items. It is ideal for work, outings, and any other occasion since it is versatile, like most vegan tote bags.

What Are Vegan Bags?

Vegan bags don’t contain animal products, which is your aim as a vegan. When you see “vegan,” you may immediately think that it means they are plant-based, but they contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or PU/ plastic.4

Some bags feature natural vegan materials, like eco-friendly shopping bags made of canvas, while others are intentionally vegan, like vegan tote bags made of faux leather. You can also find other designs made of natural materials like cotton, pineapple leaves, or jute.

Close up photo of a white vegan tote bag.

(Image: Sarah Chai10)

Vegan tote bags feature a PU coating that makes them look natural and are generally more affordable than authentic leather. The best aspect is how using them has a lower environmental impact, and they are the more sustainable option.

Why You Need Vegan Handbags

There are several available bag options if you love fashion and functionality. Depending on the occasion or location, you can carry a clutch, designer bag, or backpack for various needs, but vegan handbags will always stand out.

They resemble genuine leather, and you don’t have to compromise on your care for the environment. Vegan tote handbags are also practical, it is easy to reach into to access the items inside, and they don’t scrunch your office clothes when wearing them like backpacks do.2

Vegan handbags are also stylish for everyday use no matter where you go, to work out, swim, work, school, lunch with friends, or dinner dates. Therefore, they are multipurpose for all your needs.

Uses of Vegan Leather Tote Bags

If you have too many things to carry and keep shuffling inside to reach them, the simple and spacious vegan tote bags will help. Some also have zipped pockets on the sides to hold more items securely.

Everything fits inside a tote bag, from gym clothes, laptops, phones, snacks, extra diapers, books, and anything else you use daily. You can take it anywhere, and it will blend with your clothes, regardless of the occasion.

What Makes the Best Vegan Tote Bags

The best way to identify sustainable vegan tote bags is to look at the pleather or leaderette material.7 You can go for your preference when shopping for one because some go for shiny ones while others prefer matte designs.

Others also go for plant-based, non-plastic types or those made of purely recycled materials. Another section of consumers would instead opt for second-hand bags that are better for the environment than new ones.

Vegan Canvas Tote Bags Best Features

The best canvas bag for you, like renewable shopping bags, depends on the features you are looking for, but vegan tote bags have at least one of the features below:

  • They are spacious enough to carry most of your things
  • They are minimalistic and have simple designs
  • They have zippers on the sides for extra storage or aesthetics
  • They are lightweight, soft, and easy to clean
  • They are multipurpose for various needs

How To Find the Best Vegan Tote Bags With Zipper

Tote bags with zippers look stylish and guarantee that all your items inside are safe. Although they limit the space inside, they are excellent bags you can use to discreetly carry your precious items like your laptop for work or school.3

Retail stores have them in various designs to pick from, including zipped ones purely for aesthetics. The pictures and product description will tell you the zip’s location, whether inside, on the bag’s side, or non-functional for aesthetic reasons.

Uses of Faux Leather Tote Bag With Zipper

Zippers in handbags have particular tasks depending on the user’s needs. For instance, you can use them to store smaller items like wallets, keys, phones, money, earphones, chargers or other things that you often lose or want to keep easily accessible.

Zippers inside your leather tote bag also help you organize what you carry to avoid mixing them up with other items in one compartment. You can separate your jewelry, kid’s toys, and other things, but ultimately, the main bag’s zipper helps you keep the content safe.

Can You Use Vegan Handbags for School?

You can use natural vegan handbags for school, provided you don’t carry too many books or heavy gadgets inside, like heavy-duty laptops and other equipment you use for schoolwork.

It applies to light canvas and bags made of thin, plant-based materials that are sometimes not strong enough to carry heavy items. Similarly, vegan tote bags are not ideal for taking to school every day if you have many books and heavy gadgets.

They don’t distribute weight, and longtime use can cause wear or hurt your back, and you will be safer to carry a more durable backpack.

How To Find a Vegan Leather Tote Bag for Work

Vegan tote bags are versatile for use at work, school, or anywhere else, but there are some specific features to look out for when picking one for work.8 The key for most buyers is durability because a job bag will be in frequent use and carry many items.

If carrying documents to and from work, you can also go for one with a secure closure, preferably a zipper, not only a buckle or an open one. You can also consider other personal preferences like size, depending on your job and how many things you need to carry.

Features of a Work Tote Bag

It is best to pick a vegan tote bag for work after considering some factors. First, the nature of the items you carry for your work can help you determine the size and the type of material to choose.

While small, crossbody designs work for part-time jobs where you don’t have to carry a lot, you will need a bigger one if you keep files and other sensitive documents inside. You must also consider the closure if you bring your laptop or other gadgets and equipment.

How To Clean a Soft Vegan Leather Tote Bag

As with any other bag, it is crucial to always check the instructions before cleaning your vegan leather tote bag; otherwise, you may ruin the material or damage the bag by washing it incorrectly. Luckily, most of them are easy to handle, and you can wipe them using damp washcloths and air dry them.

Features of a Vegan Laptop Tote Bag

The best vegan tote bag for your laptop must be spacious enough to accommodate it, depending on the device’s size. You may also want one that leaves room to carry more laptop accessories.

Photo of black and brown vegan laptop bags.

(Image: Fauzan Fathullah11)

Cushioning inside the bag will also act as a shock absorber in case of bumping or collisions, and you need one with zippers to guarantee security. Your best bet should also be of durable material because carrying a laptop can be too straining on the bag.

Are There Luxury Vegan Handbags in the Market?

Leather is a symbol of high-quality designer bags and shoes. Thanks to eco-friendly natural products becoming more popular, luxury brands are also starting to make vegan faux leather products for clients.

Luxury brands like Matt & Nat and Stella McCartney have joined the eco-friendly leather trend, making sustainable clothes, shoes, and bags. Other big names are also creating luxury vegan brands, and it is common to find your favorite high-fashion models strutting in them.

Can You Find Vegan Luxury Bags?

Although they are not as common as ordinary bags, luxury brands are available in the market targeting eco-conscious buyers. Since they are designers, you can expect them to be pretty expensive based on their fashion house.

You can check the websites of your favorite designer labels9 to find out whether they stock them but remember that some luxury brands still use animal hides for their materials.1

Features of Luxury Vegan Tote Bags

Luxury brands making vegan tote bags have to use plant-based and other materials besides leather from animals. Given that they are careful designs, it can be challenging to differentiate vegan bags from those made of genuine leather.

The best way is to confirm that the bag is vegan and check the materials used first before buying. The quality will be synonymous with the brand name, and your vegan tote bag will always stand out.

Are There Affordable Vegan Handbags?

Vegan tote bags come in various designs at excellent prices, from high-end luxury brands to affordable versions from local and international shops. Therefore, depending on the source, you can always find one within your budget.

Alternatively, if on a tight budget, you can always go for secondhand vegan bags on sites like eBay or retail shops near you. It is a more sustainable option if you are concerned about your carbon footprint.

What Are the Best Vegan Bags Brands?

Various brands are famous for their lines of vegan bags, and the following are a few names.

  • Watson & Wolfe
  • Doshi
  • Matt & Natt
  • LaBante
  • JW Pei
  • Angela Roi
  • Stella McCartney
  • Svala
  • Pixie Mood

Advantages of Using Sustainable Vegan Handbags

  1. Vegan leather handbags are cruelty-free, avoiding the use of animal skins and instead involving PVC materials.
  2. They are guilt-free and perfect for vegan consumers.
  3. Quality vegan leather bags look like leather, and it can be tricky to tell the two apart.
  4. They are environmentally friendlier and made of recyclable materials.
  5. Most of them are cheaper since vegan bags are easier to manufacture.
  6. They come in various designs for versatile use, given how simple it is to mold the materials.

If you love fashion but want to adhere to cruelty-free principles, you will be excited to know that you can wear vegan leather handbags. The exciting aspect is that they look like the real deal but contain 0% animal products.

You can maintain your style while caring for the environment by buying natural or intentional vegan handbags from various international or local stores. Some brands even have approval from environmental bodies and guarantee purely eco-friendly materials on their products.

There are luxury and affordable versions that fit your budget, and they come in various elegant designs for every consumer. Vegan tote bags are perfect if you want versatile, classy handbags that accommodate all your daily needs and are still kind to the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vegan Tote Bags

Are There Vegan Handbags Made in USA?

The USA is home to various pure and hybrid vegan fashion houses dedicated to creating eco-friendly products. They have the tech and skills to create faux leather and use plant-based raw materials, making them elegant and functional for their consumers.

Can I Find a Vegan Crossbody Bag?

Crossbody bags are the ultimate everyday fashion piece if you are going for a casual look. You can buy a faux version that looks like leather, with various designs, colors, and sizes, made of eco-friendly materials.

Can You Use Vegan Tote Bags for Work?

Most vegan tote bags are for all your everyday tasks. You can carry yours to work, school, on holiday, dates, church and almost anywhere else. However, handbags for work should be made of durable materials and come in the right size to fit things you carry for work.

Can You Find a Chanel Vegan Bag?

The famous fashion line Chanel currently doesn’t make or stock vegan bags. All their leather materials are animal-based, and other bags made of different materials have leather details on them.

Is There a YSL Vegan Bag?

YSL previously made vegan handbags, but it is challenging to find them in stores today. For instance, the Kate Bag was on sale but is now out of stock unless you watch out for verified used versions on secondhand apps.

Is There a Gucci Vegan Bag?

Like most other luxury fashion brands, Gucci has yet to create a cruelty-free handbag, although it is making a few eco-friendly strides. It pledged it would never use fur and designed vegan shoes years ago, but maybe there are hopes it will also produce eco-friendly bags.

Are There Dior Vegan Bags?

Like Yves Saint Laurent, Dior also previously made vegan handbags, but it can be tasking to find one in stores. You may be lucky to find one selling in secondhand stores online, like Vestiaire Collective.

Where To Buy Angela Roi Bags?

Angela Roi is a luxury brand dedicated to creating the most fashionable vegan handbags for its clients. You can find stylish, high-end designs from their stores or ask them to ship one to your location.

Can You Find a Prada Vegan Bag?

Like most luxury fashion brands, Prada has no vegan bags in stock. The designers may use eco-friendly materials for detailing on regular bags, but there are no 100% vegan versions.

Is It True the Carbon Footprint of Vegan Diet Is Less Than Meat Eaters?

According to numerous studies, meat eaters or people on omnivore diets have higher carbon footprints than vegetarians and vegans. Eating meat has about twice the economic impact of being on a vegetarian diet and has approximately 2.5 times the emissions from vegan diets.

Are Vegan Graham Crackers Good?

Graham crackers are ideal for anyone on a vegan diet since almost all are dairy-free, and only a few contain honey to make them not entirely vegan. Generally, they have a sweet but not extreme taste and come in various delicious flavors of nuts and cinnamon.

Are McDonald's Fries Vegan?

Unfortunately, US McDonald’s fries are not vegan since they contain beef flavors from wheat and milk and fry them in animal fat. However, the fries in the UK are entirely vegan and even have approval from the Vegetarian Society.

Read More About Vegan Tote Bags


1Caitlin, G.-U. (2022, September 14). The 18 Best Vegan Designer Bags to Delight You in 2022. The Vegan Word. Retrieved November 5, 2022, from <https://theveganword.com/vegan-designer-bags/>

2Gabardi, C. (2021, August 20). THE BEST VEGAN TOTE BAGS FOR ALL SEASONS. Eluxe Magazine. Retrieved November 5, 2022, from <https://eluxemagazine.com/fashion/best-vegan-tote-bags/>

3Galer-Unti, C. (2022, September 21). The 14 Top Vegan Tote Bags You Totally Need. The Vegan Word. Retrieved November 5, 2022, from <https://theveganword.com/vegan-tote-bags/>

4Seymour, E. (2022, February 23). 10 Best Vegan Purses, Reviewed by Experts. Good Housekeeping. Retrieved November 5, 2022, from <https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/clothing/g35162520/best-vegan-leather-bags/>

5Kim, R., & Pierce, B. C. (2018, June 24). Carbon Offsets: An Overview for Scientific Societies. UPenn CIS. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from <https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/papers/carbon-offsets.pdf>

6NASA/ADS. (2021, September). Vegan leather: An eco-friendly material for sustainable fashion towards environmental awareness. NASA/ADS. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from <https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2021AIPC.2406f0019M/abstract>

7Dokras, D. U. (2020). Vegan Leather or Pleather or Leaderette | Dr. Uday Dokras. Academia.edu. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from <https://www.academia.edu/43583816/Vegan_Leather_or_Pleather_or_Leaderette>

8Dillon, N. (2015). Tote Bags. Academia.edu. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from <https://www.academia.edu/37386434/Tote_Bags>

9Wikipedia. (2022). Designer label. Wikipedia. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Designer_label>

10Sarah Chai. Pexels. Retrieved from, <https://www.pexels.com/photo/heap-of-eco-friendly-sacks-7262778/>

11Fauzan Fathullah. Unsplash. Retrieved from, <https://unsplash.com/photos/kBJ09lg4IEY>