Rethinking Vegan Leather

4 Brands Proving You Don’t Have To Sacrifice Style While Saving Animals

By Sarah Fisher

rethinking vegan leather best vegan designer brands

It’s a TV moment that will go down in infamy: Kim Cattrall’s character, Samantha Jones, getting dosed in red paint by animal rights activists while sporting a white fur coat outside the New York Fashion Week tents.

While we aren’t about to tell you to head to Home Depot to pick up some paint, we are about bringing our readers the best of the best, and encouraging more conscious, cruelty-free choices. One area that can be particularly challenging for the style-savvy animal lover is seeking out leather alternatives.

Vegan leather sometimes gets a bad rap for its environmental impact and durability, but advancements in textile technology, including the use of cork, have presented designers with new, improved materials to achieve the leather look without using animal skins.

Four Brands We’ve Bookmarked:


Stella McCartney

A designer with a devoted celeb following including Kate Winslet, Cara Delevingne, Kate Bossworth and more, Stella McCartney does not and has not used leather, skin, fur, or feathers in any of her products. The brand has a deep commitment to animal welfare as the world’s first and only vegetarian luxury brand.

Our pick:

Matt & Nat

Work bags take an extreme beating, often doubling as our gym locker while also housing a growing list of electronic devices and their respective chargers. We love Matt & Nat (MAT(T)ERIAL and NATURE) for their wide offering of larger totes, backpacks, and weekender bags. The brand’s motto, ‘live beautifully’, shines through their gorgeous, quality products, and their commitment to social responsibility.

Our pick:

Gunas New York

Touted as ‘America’s First 100% Vegan Handbag Brand’, Gunas was founded by an industrial designer with an eye for luxury. For those who miss the textured look of ostrich skin and the high-end feel of quilted patterns, you’re in luck!

Our pick:



A staple brand for Canadian cool girls for over two decades, Vancouver-based Aritzia offers a variety of design-focused pants, skirts, and dresses in vegan faux leather and faux suede fabrics.

Our pick: