12.21.2012

Holiday Shopping FOR Vegans: Day 4 - Small Accessories: Wallets & Make-up Bags

I promise that this isn't a hint that I want people to buy me holiday presents -- I thought I'd offer a cheat sheet on how to approach holiday gifts for the vegans in your life. I've certainly had several confused friends and relatives when it comes to what I do and don't use as a vegan and I've had people shopping for other vegans ask me what to avoid so I figured a little overview might be helpful for those non-vegans (aka "civilians") who are shopping for my people (aka "vegans"). Don't worry, Civilians, I've also included some recommendations so you don't have to do a ton of extra work. 

This will be a 5-day series and on Friday a post with links to all will be posted! 

Questions? Suggestions? Comment away.


Small Accessories - Wallets, Make-up Bags and Whatnot: 

Like winter accessories, these are usually pretty utilitarian and versatile gifts (make-up bags can be good small travel bags for chargers, office supplies, craft supplies and other flotsam).  And wallets, well, they're wallets and everyone needs one (mostly).

Materials to avoid while shopping: 
- leather, suede, real croc in full product or trim
-  if fabric/tweed/felt, confirm there is no wool, ramie-wool blend, merino (wool), angora or other animal hair and no fur or feather trim

You can often find this information on the materials tag located inside the product or stamped somewhere in the interior. Additionally, some products have a sticker that indicates where leather or synthetics are used (the leather symbol being shaped like a laid out cow hide and the synthetics symbol being a diamond). "All man made" is good news and appropriate to buy for vegans!

I know it's past the point where any of these can ship, but I'm providing some ethical company examples to feature.

Wallets

Viva Zapata - all vegan brand; made in Buenos Aires by people the designer has a direct relationship with; materials is scraps of Buenos Aires bus interior upholstery (most of the line is being sold currently at the NYC Union Square holiday market and a more limited number of Viva Zapata products are sold at the Brooklyn Museum Gift Shop)

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Shiraleah - all vegan brand (link is via Herbivore, a great online vegan superstore), some of Shiraleah's stuff is also at Mooshoes in NYC if you're local (local to me, anyway)

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XS Project - (XS Project wallets are also sold via Herbivore, where I learned of them)
This line is made out of mostly plastic packaging or vinyl ad materials (they are not noted as exclusively vegan); work with trashpickers in Indonesia to pay higher wages than others who would purchase this raw material and work with Indonesian residents to sort/clean and construct the products (supporting an Indonesian education charity is part of their mission)

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Out and about:  

There are a lot of fairly sturdy vinyl/PU wallets out there (although the issues of how green they are and labor conditions are often more tricky) that make a great vegan gift.  If you're lucky and your vegan is into eco stuff, there are also a lot of recycled materials (bike tubes, truck inner tubes, Freitag-style recycled ads) wallets that aren't specifically advertised as vegan but often are.

Make-up Bags 

LeSportSac - not exclusively vegan but have a lot of fabric-only options and are often carried locally in department or boutique stores

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Pansy Maiden - exclusively vegan company, made in the US and as green as they can be...I've written about Pansy Maiden before (yes, they're expensive but if you read their mission, you'll kind of get why)


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Also of note is Buy Her Bag (NHB) - not exclusively vegan but a majority of the bags I've seen are made from recycled plastics or packaging and they label materials.  Buy Her Bag (Not Her Body) is the retail leg of the Nomi Network which seeks to reduce the poverty level of women in Cambodia and India to reduce the chances they will end up as victims of sex trafficking.  Right now a lot of what's on their site is recycled materials - rice bag totes and candy-wrapper type small bags but they do have some other less "recycled" lines.  (Currently at the NYC Union Square holiday market)

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Previous "Holiday Shopping FOR Vegans" posts:

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