Let’s dive right into it:
- What is a tote bag?
- The Best eco-friendly and vegan tote bags in the UK
- Our selection of vegan PU leather tote bags
On our list of 14 vegan totes and 1 cheeky backpack (all of which ship to the UK, don’t forget) you’ll find a real mix of upcycled, natural, ethical and recycled tote bags. But what you won’t find is the ratty recycled t-shirt tote bag you fear. You know the one we mean. Instead, all 15 bags are stylish, practical and beautiful to look at. You won’t feel ashamed walking the high street with these beautiful bags.
What is a tote bag?
A tote bag is the most understated bag in your closet.
It’s the sturdy one that can handle the rice packet and chickpea cans in your food shopping.
It’s the impenetrable canvas bag you take to the beach even though it’s forecast rain.
It’s the work one you can fit your laptop, wallet and phone in with enough space spare for a baby elephant.
And now, it’s your favourite bag because finally this fashion staple is being made with vegan and eco-friendly ideals in mind.
The best eco-friendly and vegan totes in the UK
Maravillas Ethical Handbags UK
Have you heard about how much we love Pinatex, the material made from pineapple leaf fibres? Besides being a great material for these vegan shoes, it’s also perfect for making eco friendly tote bags.
We love it because: these non leather handbags are made in a small studio in Palma de Mallorca, reducing emissions compared to factory-made bags and supporting local workers!
LaBante Recycled Handbags for Vegans
Made with vegan leather (from recycled materials), this cute tote bag is perfect for any outfit thanks to the classic tan leather colour. It’s made with durable, sustainable materials and a recycled polyester inner lining.
We love it because: all LaBante’s vegan tote bags are packaged in recycled dust protective storage bags, so not only is the packaging eco-friendly but you can reuse it easily too.
Way Better Than A Recycled Plastic Grocery Tote Bag!
These cute printed tote bags are made from natural calico cotton, undyed, that’s strong enough to handle all your groceries from the farmers market. It folds up super small so you can keep it handy in your handbag.
We love it because: it’s hand printed in the UK with unique imperfections by Georgia and has free shipping to any UK address!
Get Your Bounce on With Recycled Leather Bags UK
This recycled tote bag is better than leather. It’s more durable, more colourful and will last a lifetime. Wyatt and Jack upcycle old bouncy castles to create beautiful totes!
We love it because: the heavy-duty rubber plastic bouncy castle material makes these bags super durable and waterproof. Perfect for trips to the beach or carrying the heaviest of your groceries.
Cute Printed Woodland Animal Bags to Keep Nature Close
Samantha, a British textile designer, honours nature with this cute, nature-themed tote bag! It’s designed and sewn in the UK and has free delivery to UK addresses.
We love it because: not only is it made with 100% cotton, it’s also dyed with water-based dyes and treated with natural processes.
Touchably Gorgeous Vegan Tote Bags by Conysan
Made with 100% cotton and dyed with eco-friendly dyes, we adore this corduroy tote! It’s already 10x better than the mass-produced New Look tote bags.
We love it because: even though it’s not perfect and it won’t hold super heavy loads, it is still adorable. As the material is hand measured, each bag will be a tiny bit unique.
Completely Natural Vegan Bags UK for Shopping
These basic, plain cotton tote bags are just what you need for no-nonsense shopping. Or why not customise them yourself with eco fabric paints? They’re non-bleached and completely chemical-free for easy composting when they finally wear out.
We love it because: you can buy packs of 10 nude colour bags, to save shipping on individual orders and have enough to carry your entire weekly food shop in one!
Eco Womens Bag for the Fashionable History Geek
The British Museum is working wonders by combining the beautiful William De’Morgan earthenware tile designs of the past with modern tote bag materials. It’s extremely well-made and utterly biodegradable.
We love it because: ditching the polyester lining, this canvas tote bag is only made with natural, biodegradable materials: cotton, linen and silk.
Recycled Handbags by Vaho Barcelona, Baby
Sun, sangria and… recycled fabric tote bags? Hell yes! This is our favourite Vaho upcycled off the shoulder bag, made with repurposed canvas advertising fabric and old car seat belts as straps. Seriously, you won’t find stronger tote bag straps anywhere else.
We love it because: we’ve been huge fans of Vaho for a long while, writing a detailed review of all the reasons the company is as epic as we say they are (check it out).
The Best Non Leather Bags for Sustainable Shopping Trips
With vegan principles and ethical sourcing at the heart of Willow Earth Bags, you’ll adore the Eridge tote. Available in 3 colours (our favourite is burnt orange) these bags are made without plastic at any stage of production.
We love it because: the straps are reinforced with cork where they are attached to the bag! It’s one of the most inventive and eco-friendly ways we’ve seen of reinforcing fabric straps to extend the life of a bag.
Cork Faux Leather Backpack (For When Your Shoulder Aches)
Okay, so technically this one isn’t a recycled tote bag, but it is a vegan backpack! When your shoulder aches from carrying your things lopsided in your tote, just switch to this cork and natural raffia backpack.
We love it because: the faux leather bag is handmade in Portugal with PETA-approved materials and a chemical-free production process.
Some vegan faux leather tote bags, for the leather feeling…
Vegan PU leather is complicated and we hesitated to include that material in our list. We still went for it, as faux leather tote bags are clearly more eco-friendly than regular plastic bags.
Plus, all the options on our list are made of PU leather, a more sustainable alternative to PVC leather. Also, the listed brands are all working ethically and do their best to use recycled materials whenever possible.
So yes, PU leather isn’t very eco-friendly, but it gives a very durable and solid alternative to disposable bags.
Distressed (But Still Vegan) Blue Leather Tote Bags
Red Maus is an independent Turkish store selling handmade vegan leather bags, including this blue beauty. We love the spacious size which is ideal for your laptop.
We love it because: it delivers to the UK for free with a super speedy service, so you can enjoy those handmade vibes without waiting ages for it to be handmade.
Matt & Nat’s Large Tote Bags for Fashion Gurus
Bet you didn’t expect vegan handbags to look this chic! Matt & Nat create designer tote bags and more using entirely vegan materials and often upcycled/recycled materials too.
We love it because: not only is the outer material vegan, the inner lining is 100% recycled nylon material, made from recycled plastic bottles.
Minimalist Vegan Bags by GoodMoodMoon
These handmade colour-block tote bags for work are so beautiful! Made using vegan, PU leather, these are very long-lasting, durable bags.
We love it because: GoodMoodMoon donate 5% of profits from every order straight to homeless pets care organisations.
Ombre Vegan Handbags UK by Pixie Mood
Named Rachel, this gorgeous large tote bag is made with PU vegan leather and is sent to you in 100% biodegradable corn-based packaging! Both ombre and plain styles are available with matching purses.
We love it because: Pixie Mood’s tote bags and matching vegan purses from the SS20 collection helped turn 100,000 plastic bottles into recycled bag liners.
So that sums up our vegan tote bag list! If you haven’t selected your favourite already, scroll back up right now. All our eco tote bags ship to the UK, so you won’t miss out. And if you’re hungry for more eco fashion, why not browse our top ethical swimwear list?