The main difference between vegan leather and faux leather centers around how much plastic each material contains. Traditionally, as the original leather substitution, faux leather has higher quantities of polyurethane, a plastic compound championed by designers for its durable and malleable properties. But if you took Chemistry 101, you’ll know that plastic doesn’t decompose quickly (think Titanic’s Rose waiting 84 years), and this is where vegan leather comes in.
Made of cork, cactus, mushroom, and even pineapple, vegan leather is a greener alternative to its synthetic sister and one that more contemporary designers, like Telfar, are veering towards. Its organic composition means you can rest easy knowing that your old handbag won’t be contaminating the earth for years to come.
If that hasn’t sold you, we’re sure our edit will. Keep scrolling for our guide to the best luxury vegan handbags that will effortlessly take you from day to night—and everywhere in between.