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Stories from Style

5 Bag Labels in Asia That Use Vegan Leather

by Voices Wellness 19 Jul 2021
Photo: ONE Concepts.


Elevate your style with these stylish and climate-conscious bags. By LYDIA KWON.

A beautiful leather bag not only adds a touch of luxury to our outfits, but also keeps our daily essentials safe and protected. But what most consumers don’t know about their arm candies is that they contribute to a serious ecological problem in the world today. The by-effects of leather production include water pollution, as well as overgrowth of plant life in water systems that can lead to a lack of oxygen for animals. Leather farming also necessitates the captivity and slaughter of livestock, which releases copious amounts of greenhouse gases into our environment.

Enter vegan leather, which can be defined as any material that mimics the look of leather but is crafted from artificial or plant-based products instead of animal skin. Cruelty-free and commonly made frompolyurethane and polyvinyl chloride, these come with a wrinkled texture that resembles real leather.

This begs the question: Is vegan leather more sustainable than real leather? The answer depends on many factors; for instance, leather alternatives come with its drawbacks if it’s made from plastic, as that can easily end up in the ocean or landfill. Meanwhile, leather made from more sustainable sources like mushroom, corn, and apple, may be better for the environment. While vegan leather has its own environmental concerns, it’s reasonable to say that the environmental impact of making vegan leather is lower than that of real leather.

If you’re looking to buy vegan leather bags, here are five Asian brands to consider:

Photo: The Lovely Things.

1. The Lovely Things

The Lovely Things is a Hong Kong-based, PETA-approved brand that uses only cruelty-free materials. Their creative leathers, like the Piñatex, is a natural and innovative non-woven textile made from pineapple leaf fibre. Meanwhile, the Malai is a water resistant and biocomposite material made from organic and sustainable bacterial cellulose. Their designs are simple but structured, with focus placed on the materials and colours they are crafted in.

More information here.

Photo: The Sophia Label.
  1. The Sophia Label

The Sophia Label is a homegrown brand that produces charming pouches, cardholders, and handbags crafted in quality textured vegan leather. If you’re looking for fun yet practical bags that are perfect for both adults and the little ones, check out their limited-edition Sanrio collection featuring popular characters like Hello Kitty, Little Twin Stars, and My Melody.

More information here.

Photo: Broke Mate.
  1. Broke Mate

Broke Mate is a well-loved brand among climate-conscious fashionistas. The brainchild of Indian designer Rumika Sharma, Broke Mate is a PETA-approved brand that uses only vegan leather, with each bag ethically made by fairly paid women in India. Expect classic designs in luxurious-looking synthetic skins that are crafted from polyurethane.

More information here.

Photo: ONE Concepts.
  1. ONE Concepts

Macau-based brand ONE Concepts has an interesting backstory––it initially began as a genuine leather bag brand back in 2015, but after its founders went vegan in 2019, the same commitment to animals and the planet was applied to the brand’s products. Hence, the company was reborn as a 100 percent cruelty-free brand in 2020 and currently offer six bag collections and two wallet designs.

More information here.

Photo: Quilt Avenue.
  1. Quilt Avenue

Quilt Avenue is a Mumbai brand that produces baskets, planters, and bags. While they generally use natural materials like rattan, vegan leather is also used as accents for their bags––making their bags cruelty-free. We particularly love the Sophia Mini Bag as a fashion statement that’s also climate conscious.

More information here.

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