Ethically Made Handbags & Purses
As consumers, we're passionate about knowing whether the people that make our clothes and accessories earn fair wages and work in safe and ethical conditions. Below we've compiled a list of our favorite brands making gorgeous and functional totes, handbags, and weekenders for everyday use, summer travels, and beyond.
Some are American-made, others are upcycled. The list includes vegan totes and artisan-made bags from companies dedicated to social and environmental justice. From travel to work to a night out on the town, these brands make it easier to fill your closet with ethical, high-quality staples for every occasion.
1. Angela Roi
Ethics | Vegan, cruelty-free, ethically made, eco-friendly practices whenever possible
Best For | Neutral totes & bucket bags
Price Range | $195–$255
Angela Roi has mastered the philosophy of timeless elegance and future-forward fashion. The brand’s vegan and leather-free bags are ethically made by artisans who are paid fair wages in clean factories. (Curious to see how the bags are made from start to finish? Learn more about the process here.) These vegan leather totes, cross bodies, and bucket bags are simple, with organized compartments, straps for ease of use, and a pebbled texture finish that’s both modern and minimalistic.
2. The Little Market
Ethics | Fair trade, artisan-made, empowers women
Best For | Fair trade beach bags
Price Range | $42–$240
The Little Market’s bags are crafted with ethics and intentions. An independent nonprofit member of the Fair Trade Federation, the brand’s goal is to make the international marketplace available to fairly paid artisans. Many of the women artisans making these bags work from home and earn a sustainable income for their families. The totes are perfect for days on-the-go, and the overnighters are perfect for an adventurous weekend away.
3. Melie Bianco
Ethics | Vegan, fair wages, a safe & healthy work environment, profit-sharing
Best For | Affordable vegan bags
Price Range | $49–$122
Featured by fashion magazines and TV shows, Melie Bianco’s bags are affordable, luxurious, and vegan. Created with love in a cruelty-free environment, Melie Bianco’s PVC-free bags are made in China by workers who get fair pay, equal opportunities, free lunches, and paid vacations, among other benefits. The brand also operates a profit-sharing model so that employees share in the company's success.
Ethics | Fair trade, artisan-made
Best For | Leather styles, classic essentials
Price Range | $80–$270
Nisolo hopes for a world where consumers know where their products were made and by whom. This brand provides international market access, fair trade wages, and safe working conditions for their entire team, who, in turn, create beautiful, timeless staples. Nisolo's collection of handmade leather totes are crafted in Peru and Mexico and are both stylish and sturdy, so you’re sure to stand out wherever you carry your bag.
Ethics | Vegan, cruelty-free, ethical manufacturing, upcycled materials
Best For | Bright, feminine handbags
Price Range | $109–$295
GUNAS has been creating high fashion, cruelty-free, and vegan handbags since 2009 with a mission of being the voice of animals in the fashion industry. The company manufactures globally in ethically run factories that are visited and checked in-person by a member of the GUNAS team. You won’t find any PVC in these stylish bags, either: GUNAS strives to use upcycled, recycled, and vintage materials when possible, and the brand is constantly experimenting with new materials.
Ethics | Ethically made in China and the USA, nylon recycling program, waste-reduction practices
Best For | Reusable market totes
Price Range | $10–$220
The original Baggu bag probably looks familiar—the design is based on the standard plastic grocery bag. Baggu hopes to reduce our dependence on single-use plastics and opt for reusable every time. We love the thoughtful attention to the materials used (read more here) and how the bags are produced. These reusable totes are cut from a continuous piece of nylon material, and then the waste is used to make handy carrying pouches. Baggu’s factories in China are audited yearly by an independent third party, ensuring safe and fair working conditions.
Ethics | Made by women in fair environments, competitive wages, sustainable practices
Best For | Leather weekenders & totes
Price Range | $45–$300
ABLE understands that when we invest in women, their families and communities can be uplifted. More than 95 percent of their team is made up of women across Kenya, Brazil, Mexico, and India, all of whom are paid fair wages. When making leather goods, the material is sourced from hides that would have been otherwise discarded, using less energy than it takes to create vegan leather. In addition to weekenders and totes, you can find crossbody purses, shoulder bags, backpacks and more, in rich colors like cognac and whiskey.
Ethics | Recycled & upcycled materials
Best For | Elegant styles, free shipping, monogramming
Price Range | $95–$395
Cuyana lives by a simple mantra: “fewer, better.” The brand believes that style is more important than fashion, and quality trumps quantity. Cuyana (which translates to “love” in Quechua) creates leather bags for the modern person, with soft neutral colors and enough space for just what you need. The brand also believes in one of our favorite concepts—the lean closet—and provides complimentary shipping label with every domestic online order so that you can fill a box with your used clothes and receive a credit. Let’s all look to be more intentional, sustainable, and live by “fewer, better.”
9. Pixie Mood
Ethics | Responsibly made, vegan, cruelty-free
Best For | On-trend vegan bags
Price Range | $55–$110 (USD)
Pixie Mood’s handbags are socially responsible, sustainable, and stylish. Since 2010, this brand has crafted functional and fun bags made from vegan leather. Based out of Canada, Pixie Mood has gained worldwide recognition for its standout products—including the stunning ombre bags. With dozens of styles and every color of the rainbow, you’ll be sporting one of these bags for years to come.
Ethics | B Corp, Leather Working Group member, nontoxic fabrics
Best For | Leather styles, everyday essentials
Price Range | $79–$449
Bellroy wants to improve the way people carry their everyday essentials. From wallets to weekenders—and everything in between, like totes, slings, and backpacks—the B Corp uses environmentally certified leather and nontoxic fabrics (like recycled industrial nylon and ripstop) to craft accessories that are strongly stitched and tightly woven. Simply put, they’re built to last—but an automatic three-year warranty covers any faults in materials and workmanship just in case.
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