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Is Leather Vegan? Are There Good Luxury Vegan Bags?

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When I first started becoming vegan I was worried about giving up meat and cheese, I thought it would be really hard. But something I knew would be easy to give up was leather. 

Leather is unbelievably cruel and so unnecessary with all the vegan-friendly alternatives. And without the argument of 'but it tastes good', I think giving up leather is something everyone can do very easily - vegans and non-vegans alike (which is ironic, as I've met loads of vegetarians that wear leather). 

But is it really easy to give up leather? Is leather even cruel? And if it is, are there any luxury vegan bags out there that actually look good? 

In this post I'm going to look at:
  • Is leather vegan
  • Is it easy to avoid leather
  • Can you still have luxury bags without leather
  • Gunas vegan bags review
  • Gunas handbags discount code

Is leather vegan?

The short answer is no, leather is not vegan. 

Although lots of people associate the word vegan with "a person who won't eat or drink animal products" it actually extends to "a person who won't eat, drink or use animal products" which includes wearing animal fur and, of course, their skin. 

Leather is made from the skin of an animal - mostly cows, but deer, elks, lambs, pigs, buffalos, goats, oxen, yaks, horses, kangaroos and zebras are used along with crocodiles, snakes, ostriches and even stingrays.

Cats and dogs are also used too. 


None of these animals can live without their skin, hence all leather comes from a dead animal.

But it's worse than that, most leather animals are seen as commodities and thus are treated barbarically for hours, days - sometimes even weeks - before they are finally killed. I don't want to show gross videos and photos on here, but you can look at them here, here and here

But aren't the skins going to go to waste anyway? Don't all beef cows also end up as leather cows?

Firstly, although most leather cows also become beef cows (aka reared for leather, the by-product goes to beef), it doesn't work the other way around: not all beef cows can be used as leather cows, in fact, most can't. Because when you think about it, you know beef cows are abused and maltreated, of course, their skin isn't going to be up-to-scratch for high-class leather (or even cheap leather).

Secondly though, in a world of "cows are going to die for beef, why not use the skins", how about just don't eat beef? #justsaying ๐Ÿ˜˜

Even if you don't care about cows and other animals, the leather industry is exploitative to humans too - people who work at or live near tanneries (where cow skin becomes leather) often suffer from cancers and lung damages due to working with toxic chemicals needed to make leather.

It's also an environmental issue too, said chemicals get washed away into fresh water and that's before we even talk about the fossil fuels wasted making leather. 

Is it easy to avoid leather?

It turns out leather was harder to avoid than I first expected, but, like a lot of things with veganism it's just an adjustment, know the facts and soon it becomes second nature.

Firstly, I learnt that there are things like suede which don't really look like leather but are in fact made of animal: suede is also not vegan

Then I noticed that in a lot of non-vegan bags and shoes, the majority of the bag/shoe wasn't even made of leather, it was just a tiny part of it - a bit of leather used for decoration or something - that's soooo unnecessary. 

Some vegans say that you shouldn't wear fake leather because it encourages the idea that leather looks good and makes leather desirable.

I think vegans shouldn't wear fake leather just because it makes things easier - if you avoid anything that looks like it could be leather, then there's no chance of you accidentally purchasing leather. 


Luckily (or unluckily?) sales assistants still think leather is desirable and often insist that their products are leather, not knowing that that's totally not what I'm looking for. Aka you're more likely to be told something is leather when it's not than be told something is not leather when it is - which is good news for us, I suppose. 

But, of course, the easiest way to avoid leather is to shop at stores that only carry vegan-friendly products. I don't know about you but I'd much rather support those stores anyway.

But isn't that a bit of a problem? Aren't vegans renown for being unfashionable, unattractive, losers with bad hair and skin and a protein deficiency? 


best vegan bags
If my point isn't clear, this guy is vegan and he's really attractive. 

Lol.

So is it possible to find luxury vegan bags that are both vegan and beautiful?



Luxury vegan bags

When it comes to fashion, vegans, unfortunately, have a bad rep for being unfashionable. Is that still the case?

Gunas Handbags

Gunas Handbags or Gunas The Brand (or Gunas New York, they have a lot of titles), was the first 100% vegan handbag brand in the USA.

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I tried out their Cottontail Raspberry Purse and fell head-over-heels in love with it. Firstly, there is, of course, the raspberry colour: 



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The size is absolutely perfect for me - it fits in everything I need, without giving me extra space to shove things in there that I don't really need. Great for minimalism. It's the perfect size for taking as carry-on too. 

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The other piece I tried was the Twiggy Mustard Wallet again I absolutely love the colour:

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And it's also the perfect size. I'm even able to just take this out when I don't want to take a whole bag because my phone fits snuggly in this wallet. 

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What I love the most about both pieces is they really have that balance between ethical and luxury. 

Read my full review here: Gunas Handbags discount code + Review


My first priority with my fashion is that it's ethical, and Gunas easily ticks all those boxes. They are of course vegan. But they don't stop there, they're also eco-conscious and ethical - they use eco-friendly materials and are sweatshop-free. 

This is really important, in a fashion world that's slowly (but surely) becoming more and more vegan-friendly, it could be easy to stick with other inhumane practices (like sweatshops). As veganism becomes more fashionable, you can be sure that if you slap a vegan sticker on it people will buy it, often without thinking if it's unethical in other ways. (Case in point, McDonald's bringing out a McVegan burger. We know you're still evil bastards.) That's why I'm super happy that Gunas is ethical all-round!

And when it comes to luxury, you can see how beautiful their bags are. Whilst all their materials are ethical, they're also luxurious too - example: tags are made from recycled metal hardware coated in 18K gold. They're super stylish and I feel like a superstar when I carry them. People always compliment me on them and they are my favourite luxury vegan bags. 

Gunas handbags discount code

Thanks to Travelling Weasels I can offer you a 10% Gunas handbags discount code simply use this link and WEASELS10 - note the code won't work without that link. 

Conclusions: Luxury vegan bags

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I'm thoroughly impressed with Gunas Handbags, they are some of the best vegan bags on the market and are truly luxurious. If you're looking for luxury vegan bags - look no further!


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