This new 100% recycled vegan leather handbag is made from 11 plastic bottles

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Dubai-based accessories brand Veganologie has launched a line of vegan leather and faux suede handbags made from 100% recycled materials. The collection includes three styles of shoulder bags and two styles of wallets and cardholders in a range of colors.

Every part of the purses, wallets and card holders are made from 100% recycled materials that are GRS (Global Recycled Standard) certified, including the PU leather and faux suede lining, both made from plastic bottles recycled.

To make the materials, discarded plastic bottles are collected and cleaned, then cut into flakes and melted down. At this point, they are either pressed into PU leather or made into polyester yarn which is knitted into a suede-like fabric. According to Veganologie, using recycled suede reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 80% compared to traditional production of animal-based suede.

In total, Veganologie’s shoulder bags are made from 11 recycled plastic bottles, the wallets are made from four plastic bottles and the card holders are made from two plastic bottles. Even the hardware is made from fully recyclable zinc alloy. And each dust bag is made from 10 recycled plastic bottles. In addition, all of the company’s packaging is 100% recycled and is also fully recyclable.

From fast fashion to sustainable vegan leather

Veganologie founder and CEO Angana Maheshwari, 27, had long been uncomfortable with disposable fashion ending up in landfills and environmental issues and cruel practices in the leather industry, so the entrepreneur decided to create his own collection.

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“Veganology was born during pandemic confinements. Like everyone else, I had a lot of free time and started researching sustainable fashion online, especially handbags,” Maheshwari told VegNews. “It occurred to me that I wasn’t the only one who wanted a cruelty-free but classy bag, that’s when the entrepreneur in me took over. After many months of research, and setting up a business model, I met Sara Basar, who later joined me as Executive Director and Veganology Designer.When she brought the designs that were in my head to life, we were gone.

It was important to Maheshwari that the handbags were well made, practical and reasonably priced, in addition to being made from 100% recycled vegan materials. “For me, the main thing was that the bags were both practical and affordable, priced below $175,” Maheshwari said. “Plus, we offer free international shipping, so while we’re based in Dubai, anyone, anywhere in the world can be part of the Veganology story.”

Currently, the new brand is available exclusively through the Veganologie website with free global shipping, but Maheshwari plans to offer the handbags in select stores to help showcase the brand.

Sustainable materials are in fashion

In recent years, brands have sought to use sustainable materials and practices as consumers have become more environmentally conscious. Since 1995, longtime vegan handbag brand Matt + Nat has aimed to be cruelty-free and kind to the planet.

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Although the company has always used handbag liners from recycled plastic bottles, in 2020 the company has been working to move away from its use of PVC – which is harmful to the environment because its production results in the release of toxic chlorine-based chemicals – with the launch of a collection that uses PVB made from 100% recycled windshield glass resin. In 2021, Matt + Nat fully transitioned its Women’s Dwell collection to PVB, and most recently the brand launched its Studio 901 Apple Skin collection which is made from reclaimed waste from the apple juice industry.

Other brands are also using innovative vegan leathers made from mushrooms, pineapples and cacti to make handbags. Last year, fashion brand Fossil launched its first collection of handbags, called Kier Cactus Leather Totes, made with the award-winning Desserto material, a vegan leather developed by Mexican entrepreneurs Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez from nopal leaves (prickly pear).

Luxury brand Hermès partnered with biomaterials startup MycoWorks in 2021 to develop a new version of its Victoria handbag in Sylvania, a vegan leather made from mushrooms. And in 2020, French vegan brand Arsayo released their new collection of Exotic Cork Skin backpacks made with oak bark.

To learn more about vegan fashion, read:
Tara Reid is the latest star to embrace cactus leather with a new bag
Volvo’s leather-free car interior is now used for matching handbags
The vegan mushroom leather handbag hits the runway for the first time

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