Ever since Sex and the City dedicated a whole episode to main character Samantha’s somewhat unconventional attempts to get her hands on a Birkin bag, I’ve been somewhat fascinated by them. The price, the waitlist, the celebrities… I can’t help it, but there’s something about that bag. So I set out to find the best vegan alternatives (Virkins!). They’re better for both the animals and your wallet. I think I found some worthy contenders, that have the look without the cruelty!
The Best Vegan Birkin Bag Alternatives
So you’re looking for a Birkin-esque vegan bag? You’ve come to the right place. Below are my top picks for vegan bags, that have that special something. Let me know in the comments, which one is your favorite!
1. Save My Bag Miss 3/4
If there is one vegan bag that screams Birkin, it’s the Miss 3/4 by Save My Bag. The Italian brand makes its Birkin-style vegan bags from an innovative Neoprene material, which makes them lightweight and waterproof. The bag features inner pocket and a zipper closure. The basic bow and interchangeable strap makes the bag customizable with contrasting colors. Neoprene Birkin style handbag
2. LaBante London ‘Windsor’ Bag
As avid readers of this blog, you probably know that we’re huge LaBante London fans. LaBante London’s Windsor Bag is just as sophisticated as it’s royal name would suggest. It’s a perfect tote for every day, that even has enough space for your computer. The black bag features pink interior lining, two detachable zippered wallets and a hook & loop top closure as well as gold hardware details. Linings and hangtags are made of recycled materials. If you’re after an elegant, yet practical vegan bag, this one’s for you!
3. LOVE Moschino Women’s Tote
LOVE Moschino’s Women’s Tote is a playful take on the Birkin look. It’s the perfect bag for those of you looking to stand out from the crowd. Its bright red color and dangling heart shaped charms are eye catchers! This tote is made from vegan leather has a hidden magnetic snap closure and a flat base to provide a Birkin-like upright structure. It comes with a practical, adjustable shoulder strap.
4. Gloria Dwell Satchel by MATT & NAT
MATT & NAT is known for it’s classic and chic bags. The Gloria Dwell Satchel made this list, as its shape gives it a simplistic Birkin look. Pictured above is the black version, but many colors are available. Look up “pomelo” (yellow-ish)! Really pretty! The bag comes with a strap, that can turn it into a crossbody bag. There’s a large pocket along the front with a hidden magnetic closure. The inside features a zipper pocket and a smartphone pocket.
5. ALEE Handbag with Scarf by RW Collections
RW Collection’s ALEE Handbag is the perfect bag, if you’re looking for a little fun and playfulness in your life and purse. The scarf-like handle and gold-tone hardware definitely catch your eye! The bag comes with an adjustable, detachable strap and a zippered pocket on the inside.
6. Declan by Urban Expressions
Urban Expression’s Declan Bag has a classic look and feel and is perfect, if you’re looking for a purse to dress up any outfit. Its timeless chic makes this bag a must-have. Pictures is the bag in the color mauve, but it is also available in navy, black and taupe (beige). The purse is made from pebbled vegan leather, features two side compartments on the exterior, two slip pockets and one zip pocket on the inside. It also comes with a detachable, adjustable strap.
7. Crossbody Bag by Charles & Keith
This Vegan Crossbody Bag by Charles & Keith has a sturdy look & feel. It’s spacious and features one zipper pocket and two mobile phone pockets on the inside. I’d describe the look and “vibe” of the bag as grown up and sophisticated. It’s maroon color is versatile and perfect, if you’re like muted colors.
8. Matt & Nat Clarke Dwell Shoulder Bag
Admittedly MATT & NAT’s Clarke Dwell is a lot more minimalistic, than the original Birkin, but knowing our readers, we thought you’d appreciated the addition of a simple, minimalist bag with clean lines. The bag is available in many different colors (pictured above is the color azure). This vegan shoulder bag has a top flap closure as well as hidden magnetic closures. It comes with two interior compartments, a zipper pocket and a smartphone pocket.
9. Bowler Handbag by Sonnet + Rose
The Bowler Handbag by Sonnet + Rose is a timeless classic and will go with jeans and heals alike. It features a top zipper closure, a detachable strap and gold-toned brass hardware. It has additional zip pockets on the front, back and interior. Sonnet + Rose is a social enterprise and will donate a backpack to a child in a rural community in India for every backpack sold.
10. Cleo by Urban Expressions
Urban Expression’s Cleo is a sophisticated, yet somewhat edgy bag, that is versatile and definitly a great addition to any purse collection. The bag is made from smooth vegan leather and comes with a detachable, adjustable shoulder strap. On the inside it features two slip pockets and one zip pocket. The black material and golden studs make for a great contrast. What a cool bag!
11. Miss 3/4 Handbag by SAVE MY BAG
So sophisticated! SAVE MY BAG’s Miss 3/4 Handbag is fun and young, yet classic and timeless, a combination, that is hard to achieve. The Italian bag comes with a quirky bow detail on the front, two handles and an obvious Birkin-esque vibe. What’s not to love?!
12. Tote by DELUXITY
DELUXITY’s Tote has a very classic look. It is simple and sophisticated. The bag comes in a number of different colors. The bag is made from eco-friendly vegan PU leather. It’s the perfect everyday bag, as it’s spacious and can easily be combined with all kinds of outfits. Features include one zipper pocket on the back, two slip pockets and an additional zippered pocket on the inside. This bag can easily fit a laptop.
A Little History of the Birkin Bag by Hermès
You’ve seen the bags and hopefully you’ve found one you like and that would make a worth addition to your bag collection. And if you still don’t quite understand, what all the fuss about the Birkin bag is about, here’s a little bit of history!
The Birkin bag by Hermès is traditionally made from leather and named after singer and actress Jane Birkin. Jean-Louis Dumas, Hermès CEO at the time, sat next to Jane Birkin on a flight from Paris to London in 1983 and started a conversation with her after he’d seen her place her straw travelling bag in the overhead compartment. Birkin told Dumas how she’d been struggling to find a leather weekender bag she liked, which inspired the executive to create a black leather bag for her in 1984. In July 2015, Birkin asked Hermès to no longer use her name for the crocodile version due to ethical concerns.
To some, the Birkin has become the ultimate status symbol. This is due to its high price (US$ 11,900 to US$ 300,000) and popularity among celebrities. Birkin bags are also popular among handbag collectors. Hermès distributes bags to its boutiques randomly and in limited quantities, which creates exclusivity and artificial scarcity.
Birkin Bag Design and Craftsmanship
Birkin bags come in different sizes, materials (all non-vegan unfortunately), colors and with different hardware fixtures. Most bags are made to order. Diamond detailing is anohter popular option among wealthy buyers. Each bag has a lock and keys. Hermès also offers a “spa treatment” for heavily used bags. All bags are hand-sewn, buffed, painted, and polished in France.
According to estimates Hermès produced 70,000 Birkin bags in 2014. The bag was said to have a waiting list of up to six years. This scarcity had increased the bag’s popularity among collectors and Birkin bags have a very high resale value. In 2010 Hermès announced that the waiting list would no longer exist. (Source)
Cover Image by SAVE MY BAG via Instagram