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I want a vegan purse.

So, I'm kinda the sorta gal that crams my crap into a canvas tote that I picked up at the local library. or else I use a small zipper purse that i thought didn't look so bad at a second hand store. But lately I have been wanting to dress up my look. Like I wasn't to be pretty- or at least FEEL pretty and I feel like cont carrying around a coffee stained canvas bag might help me to want to at least dress up enough to hold my bag without looking weird.

So i went to Target, Marshals and Macy's today to look at purses. I didn't know that it was so hard to find a purse!!! I mean, maybe its my fault for not learning the technique when i was younger- I have a feeling I'm one of the first girls in history to wait until they were 23 to go purse shopping :-[ But i mean, NONE of the purses label weather they are made of leather or man made materials!!! How annoying. i kinda had the thought that the cheaper the purse, the morelikely it is made of  non-leather, but, I would want to KNOW.

so, I googled vegan purses and ---uggg.

I need a purse that:
>cost like under 30 bucks
>looks like leather (well, I'm negotiable on that one, i just don't want one that looks like a canvas library bag or a summer only bag ;) )
>Not too flashy
>cute and in style
>Big enough to hold a large wallet, a paperback book, a cell phone, a small notebook, and an old school gameboy)
>NOT animal print (leopard, zebra, cow, tiger, etc.)
>Doesn't have a separate strap to be able to put it over the shoulder, instead the handles should be long enough to put over the shoulder.

Can you guys show me some styles? suggest some stores, TELL ME HOW TO KNOW IF ITS MADE OF LEATHER OR A SYNTHETIC!!!! Please, and thank you! :)>>>

Purse shopping sucks VHZ....and it never gets any easier.  I didn't start carrying one until I was 30 and even now I'm more apt to carry a small zippered change purse because I have a tendency to leave it places.  Sorry I don't have any ideas....I've never been able to find one that I like either. 


You can sometimes tell that the bag is synthetic because 1) it feels flimsier than leather 2) it doesn't smell like leather and 3) sometimes you can find a part of the bag where the edge of the material isn't hemmed very well and you can tell that the flipside is fabric. Does that make sense? I have been looking for a bag too (I'm currently using a canvas bag with an all over strawberry print).  There were some really cool ones at TJ Maxx that I could tell were synthetic but they definitely looked like leather. I ended up not buying one because I couldn't really justify buying a new bag when I already have a few different ones. Oh, H&M has synthetic bags too. But you should definitely be able to find one at Target. If you go to their website it lists the material.


ok so first i googled how to tell the difference between pleather and leather. i learned this once years ago, but totally don't remember how to tell. now i just have to ask people whether it's fake or not. anyway, couldn't find anything substantial so i googled "pleather purse" instead of vegan purse because pleather is generally used as kind of derogatory word and is usually cheaper versions of the expensive stuff rather than upscale vegan purses.

froogle pleather puses
also some cute stuff on etsy
etsy pleather purses

you should also be able to see on a companies (like target) website what the bag material is.
and i've never shopped for a purse, either, so you are not alone!


hrm.....well if you trust eric's fashion sense, I'd say ask him to go to a street fair/China Town in NYC to get you one....OR you may get lucky and have a sconefestian find you a suitable purse. Either place has good selections of 'stylish' yet man made purses.

Out of necessity, I just finished making a purse out of the castoff's of G's cutoff short makings.... I guess I should post pictures of it now.....they will be on facebook!


oh yeah, I forgot. you could also check on ebay. Last year I got a synthetic purse for like $6 including shipping. I don't like it very much. But you could probably find a nice one for pretty cheap on ebay.


The Target in New Britain?  I have a great bag from Target.  It's non-leather; I just double-checked.  It's leather-like and it's a brighter olive green and very cute.  I love it.  I think a lot of the bags are vegan at Target!  They're too cheap to be real leather.


Haha I have a list of stuff to get in china town.. might as well as purse to the list!

How you can tell leather from synthetic:
Leather scratches, synthetic does not.
Take your fingernail and try to scratch know synthetics, wont budge.
Go ahead and scratch leather, its will marr.
Might not be best to do this in the store, but whom and I to judge?


the synthetics may not scratch, but they definitely peel and fall apart faster :(


i used a hemp woven purse for years.  they're incredibly durable, washable and come in varying sizes.

You can also try to support local artisans by buying a hemp purse as opposed to a synthetic leather one.  Many people make them and sell them, even online.

Hemp is sustainably harvested and does not do any damage to topsoil.  It is hardy, and rarely needs pesticides or other non-organic growing practices. 

I think it's a very vegan choice, and would keep your hard-earned money out of Target's hands (since when do THEY need more money?) and put it into an actual person's hands.

My first purse I got from a local bookstore in town for about $30.  They get more expensive, the larger they get, so you can find a size appropriate to your budget.  Ecolution is a popular brand name if you can't find any artisans online you'd like to buy from.

Good luck!


wow...thank you all for the very helpful replies, links and ideas!!! I think Ill be doing a bit more searching sience you all broadened my scope so...adn its good to know how to tell the difference. Hehe.  I also like the idea of buying from the little man if at all possible. Yay!

(Yes the target in New Brittan, KMK. and the Marshals was in Bishops Corner, west Hartford)


Sometimes you can check inside the purse for a tag.  I find that most of the cheap ones that I buy have said tags that read "All man made materials" inside.  Though I think occasionally the nicer ones will have the brand label with its components listed that you can check.

Target has cute in style purses.  I have a cute cotton one from there.  But honestly my current purse is from Spencers.  Its vinyl coffin shaped with Jack Skellinton on the front.  Probably not your thing tho Z!


I bought my purse at Whole Foods Body store.  I love it, and it's fair trade.  And the best part is it was only $25!!  I should post pics of it


I own a couple purses, most were cheap, free, and all made of cloth.
I hate carrying purses, so I've lately taken to just carrying my backpack everywhere haha.
this post was of no help, I know.

but honestly, most purses I've seen do list what they're made out of.
you'd think if it were leather, they'd want you to know, since it's s'pose to be the "best" and all.
shoes generally list it, that's for certain.

0 likes has some cute vegan purses...some might be in that price range? vegan purses are clearly marked!

also, what about everything is vegan and lots of cute stuff!

you can do for good deals on matt & nat purses...also, just search "vegan purse" and you'll probably find some cute stuff.

also, i know h&m and old navy have tons of vegan purses that are marked on the inside. pretty cheap. you can check but if you want h&m, you have to go to a store. they both definitely have them in your price range!

good luck!


When shopping for a purse, you can 'usually' find a label on the inside somewhere, you just have to look around. Some leather purses will have a rectangular tag on a chain made out of leather noting the brand name. Leather purses will also have a strong smell - I admit I use to love this smell until I found out what it actually was and where it came from. I only buy cruelty free and got my latest purse at Ross for like 12.99! Can't beat that.. I've also looked at TJ Maxx and Marshalls and don't find much there except a lot of leather -- it's really sad and I've also seen purses covered in REAL hair or fur. Just revolting. Hope this helps.

You can also find some leather information on my ANIMALS FOR FASHION page at

Edit: I went to TJ Maxx today 11-13 and saw several purses that were leather and accented with animal hair. If you look closely, you can see the skin (leather) of the animal. Very disturbing.

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