Vegan leather bags, totes, diaper bags, and backpacks have become wildly popular as they look and feel very similar to real leather without using any animal products. While leather bags are made from the skin of animals, vegan leather bags use faux leather alternatives like polyurethane, which is a coating put on fabric to give it a leather-like sheen.
Although faux leather is vegan, it is not necessarily “plant-based” or sustainable: It’s typically plastic-based, which has a steep environmental cost. On the other hand, real leather production involves the harsh treatment of animals and excessive greenhouse gas emissions from raising livestock. Sustainability experts agree that the negative environmental impact from livestock production is actually worse than plastic leather. That being said, there are brands working on plant-based options – like vegan leather made from apple skins and pineapple leaves – they just haven’t hit the mainstream yet.
The fiber scientists and textile sustainability experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute test leather and faux leather products to find the best faux leather bags to buy. These picks are from top tested brands, editor favorites, or new styles with innovative features. Shop the best faux leather bags of 2021:
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Best Overall Vegan Leather Bag
ABBI Tote Bag
Matt & Nat specializes in vegan leather products with tons of different faux leather bags to choose from. The Abbi tote is popular for its seven trendy shades and a roomy interior. We love the brand’s commitment to sustainability by using recycled nylon lining in all of its bags.
- Made with durable polyurethane
- Recycled nylon lining
- Brand offers tons of different styles
- Some colors are only available as final sale
Best Value Vegan Leather Bag
Faux Leather Large Hobo Purse with Tassel
This best-selling bag on Amazon is made with polyurethane leather and costs just $40. Reviewers love that the interior has six pockets for easy organization and can even fit a 13″ laptop in the large size. It comes in an impressive 28 different colors, and this slouchy boho-chic bag is sure to hold everything you’ll need while being a trendy accessory.
- Affordable bag
- Over 6,000 rave Amazon reviews
- 6 organizational pockets
- Reviewers note that the quality of the lining isn’t as nice
Best Luxury Vegan Leather Bag
For a professional work bag, look no farther than Angela ROI. The brand’s signature totes are perfect to lug everything you need to the office. With a loyal following, the brand took user feedback and added a secure magnetic closure to this popular tote. The subtle pebble texture polyurethane vegan leather is available in three neutral shades.
- Pebbled texture
- Magnetic closure
- Central zipper compartment
Best Vegan Leather Backpack
On Track Pack Vegan Leather Laptop & Tablet Backpack
Leather backpacks can cost hundreds of dollars, but this affordable style is just $58. The padded laptop pocket keeps your valuables safe while the anti-theft radio frequency identification (RFID) blocking technology helps protect your passport and credit cards. Reviewers love the padded shoulders and back strap that attaches easily to a carry-on, making this the ultimate travel backpack.
- Padded shoulder straps
- Organization zipper compartments
- RFID blocking technology
- Some reviewers note the lining tore while using
Best Vegan Leather Crossbody Bag
Leora Shoulder Bag
This trendy shoulder bag from Moenn holds just what you need for the day with a small magnetic clasp to keep it closed. It’ll fit any sized cellphone and a wallet. The polyurethane vegan leather is available in three shades: Khaki, olive, and black. With the long shoulder strap, this bag is great for everyday use.
- Long shoulder strap
- Smooth faux leather exterior
- Lining made from recycled water bottles
Best Vegan Leather Diaper Bag
Convertible Diaper Backpack
A diaper bag needs to have excellent organizational compartments to hold everything your little one needs (and what you need too!). With options to wear as a backpack or crossbody, this stylish pick doesn’t look like a traditional diaper bag. It has a front zippered pocket and two side pockets for easy access items.
- Converts into a backpack or crossbody
- Easy-access front pockets
- Stylish design
- Some reviewers had durability issues
Best Vegan Leather Laptop Bag
Briefcase Messenger Laptop Bag
This laptop bag from ECOSUSI fits up to a 15.6″ device in a padded laptop sleeve. The roomy structured interior also has multiple zippered and open pockets to keep everything organized. Many reviewers rave that this bag “exceeded all expectations” with gorgeous faux leather that stays in great shape with constant use.
- Floral front detailing
- Padded laptop sleeve
- Excellent internal organization
- Some colors are out of stock
Best Trendy Vegan Leather Bag
90s Shoulder Bag
Crocodile print has been a huge trend seen on runways worldwide. This stylish shoulder bag from JW PEI uses faux crocodile leather for a chic look. Available in 10 shades, reviewers love that this bag has “amazing quality for the price,” starting at just $34.
- Chic faux leather crocodile fabric
- 10 stylish colors
- Reviewers love the unboxing experience
Best Bold Vegan Leather Bag
Many faux leather brands only offer neutral shades, when Gunas the Brand has tons of bright, bold colors and reviewers rave that this bag is the perfect pop of color. With every shade of the rainbow available, reviewers especially love the Jane and Cottontail styles for their feminine touches.
- Bright shades available
- High shine vegan polyurethane fabric
- Dust bag included
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