We all have bucket days don’t we? However, I’m not talking about those where you just want to just stick your head under the duvet with a box set and a few bars of chocolate. I’m talking about this most versatile and chic of bag styles – the bucket bag. Mini or regular size, classic or with a twist, all look great tossed jauntily over one’s shoulder as you make your way about town. Here are my favourite five. Don’t forget to check out those in the Immaculate Vegan Shop section too.
The Bucket Bag in Tan by JW Pei (featured)
This bucket bag from JW Pei is called a mini but it’s actually pretty roomy – you can fit an ipad, purse and notebook inside so it’s great for everyday running about town. JW Pei stands out from many vegan brands in that it uses a special trademarked material called Patina for all their vegan bags, which is made of high-grade polyurethane resin combined with ultra-fine microfibre bundles, that together mimic the microscopic structure of leather (the technology has been around for a while but so far mainly used on high-end sofas, luxury car seats and shoes). They say it’s the best vegan leather ever invented, combining beauty, high quality and excellent functionality – and it’s incredibly durable. Plus, the plastic element is made up of 50% recycled bottles, and they plan on making this 100% with two years.
The Lexi Bucket Bag in Clay by Matt and Nat
This bucket bag by Matt and Nat also comes in black and navy, but I love this quite unusual rose pink colour. The vegan leather is super soft, and it has a chic push pin-strap closure. Matt & Nat are one of the most established vegan brands (they started in 1995) with dedicated stores in their native Canada, and resellers all over the world. From the start they were committed to not using leather or any other animal-based materials, but their messaging is now more explicitly calling out that they’re a vegan brand. They’re also committed to being sustainable and eco-friendly, experimenting with different recycled materials such as nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork; and since 2007, all their linings have been made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
The Tara Bucket Bag in Tan by Samara
Samara are a relatively new brand on the block, with a small capsule collection of vegan bags and clutches, made from premium micro-fibre vegan leather. This is their bucket bag style, and it’s also available in white. It’s made from high quality, cruelty-free leather and a metal top handle, and comes with an optional chain that you can attach or detach as you like.
The brand was born out of a desire to create small, minimalist purses and wallets without overt branding, that are truly eco-friendly, animal-friendly, and without luxury mark-ups but with the same quality as higher-end brands. The microfibre they use was found after months of hunting for the perfect material; and they work with a small factory (their orders are the biggest ones they’ve had) which they selected because of their commitment to using the best materials, treating their workers well and creating products of the finest quality with a great eye for detail. They have a great giving-back programme, collaborating with The Soular Backpack, a company that provides children who don’t have access to electricity with solar powered backpacks, so they can do their homework every night without having to use a kerosene lamp (which is carcinogenic and environmentally dangerous). Every purchase through Samara covers the cost of a Soular Backpack for a child in need in East Africa, so that they have access to light every night
The Minimal Two Way Bucket Bag in Nude Pink by The Lovely Things
This bucket bag by British brand The Lovely Things also comes in a soft beige and light grey. The idea of The Lovely Things started during the time when Monica, the brand’s founder, was transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. During that time she noticed how many people were unaware of the animal cruelty in animal agriculture and the fashion industry, so after doing further research she decided to combine her passion for fashion and veganism to start a business, with the intention of promoting animal-free bags and accessories and help raise awareness of animal cruelty. Hence The Lovely Things was born at the end of 2016.
I think this is one of the best value brands out there – if you’re looking for cruelty-free bags that are stylish but also highly affordable, this is the brand for you. Monica works hard to keep the costs down to make the bags as accessable to everyone as possible, which means if you set out to buy one bag, you can easily end up buying two! Don’t think this means they compromise on quality though, which is surprisingly high given the price points
The Bini Bucket Bag in Charcoal by Matt and Nat
This cylindrical bucket bag has a lovely modern shape, and also comes in five other colours. It’s my second choice from Matt and Nat’s Autumn / Winter 18-19 collection, this time from their Vintage range, and it was hard to pick just two because they have the most extensive range of vegan bags out there. For those of you in the UK, Matt and Nat have just started to be stocked in John Lewis, so you can get your fix from your favourite UK retailer. This is a great sign that vegan fashion is really going mainstream now.
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