When it comes to handbags and footwear, usually I go for leather. This is mostly for the durability factor, but also because it also ages so beautifully, and it is a byproduct that otherwise would be discarded. Also, I buy most of my stuff secondhand nowadays, so since I understand the problem of the meat industry being so terrible for our environment, this helps me feel a bit better. However, I’ve noticed the animal friendly, vegan community really making incredible strides in their manufacturing practices, with vegan leather being just about as strong, if not as strong, as the real thing. Matt & Nat has been an amazing vegan handbag brand on my radar for quite some time now, and I’ve carried a few of their products for awhile and they’ve held up quite well!
I’ve had a lot of favorite online shopping destinations throughout the years, but lately I’ve made a conscious effort to shop primarily through independent Etsy artists or sustainable brands I discover through my digging around for quality posts to share with all of you. I don’t really frequent many of the popular powerhouses, like Tobi, ASOS, H&M or Zara (I definitely stay away from fast fashion). However, it’s been nice to hear lately that H&M has actually been working towards more sustainable practices, and Zara released a sustainable collection last year. Just recently, while researching the next cool item to write about, I realized that all this time, ASOS has had their own eco-friendly collection as well, along with a fair-trade line. How on earth did I miss this?
Vegan Handbags and Footwear from Matt & Nat
I honestly kneel down to anyone who has perfected the vegan lifestyle…I am not sure I’d be able to do it. It’s tough enough to just avoid cheese, bread and meat (which I do as often as I can as an almost-vegetarian and slightly lactose/wheat intolerant) wherever I go. Applying this lifestyle to other consumables and products across the home and wardrobe, I have a ton of respect for. It’s kind of an awkward topic; it’s not like I’m trying to be vegan, but I do like to support vegan products as often as I can. I do like a supple leather handbag or shoes, usually because they tend to last longer. Over the years though, some brands like BLANKNYC, MeDusa and Matt & Nat have relaxed that belief of mine with their super high quality, attractive vegan leather products. I own a few products from each, and they all have held up just as well as my real leather pieces (and of course, leaves me feeling just a bit more animal friendly). Fauxgerty and Angela Roi are two others on my radar that I hope to try out soon! I absolutely love watching this market expand.