Everyone needs to update or add to their bag collection at some point. If you’re looking for an Aussie branded bag, we’ve done the hard yards for you, to search what’s available. In this curated list of our top Australian designer bags, we’ve focussed on those independent bag labels that are sustainable, ethical, vegan, or all three. We’ve done the research. All you have to do is choose from the list according to your values and style.
Stylish and cruelty free, these little beauties are made out of cactus. A_C Official bags are a circular fashion label, focussed on minimising their footprint and ensuring they are kind to people, animals and the planet. They are a PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) award winning label! Striving for ethical production and transparency they are also rated Good by Good on You. For every bag sold, A_C Official plants a Mangrove. Mangroves draw out 5-10 times more CO2 out of the atmosphere per hectare than tropical rainforests. With recyclable, environmentally friendly minimalist packaging, A_C Collective also has buy back, repair and resale programmes! Huge!
Luxury vegan bags made in Noosa out of cork and cactus. So flexible that you can create your own handbag, and mix and match with different straps. Made in Noosa, they come in backpacks, shoulder bags and totes, cross-body bags and clutches. There’s even a design-your-own option where you can create your own unique colour and pattern combinations.
Feeling like you need a little inspiration from the magical Greek Islands? Onar bags might just be the pick-me-up you need. Made from sustainably produced raffia, each handmade piece is made with signature weaves and braid techniques so there are no visible knots or joins. Pick up a stylish raffia sun hat while you’re there!
With bags that look like snakeskin but have zero animal ingredients, Sans Beast offers a versatile range of styles that can take you from the park to the office and out on the town. Made from PU leather and cactus, this is a brand that is mindfully giving back, by donating to Animals Australia, Edgars Mission, The Orangutan Project, Sea Shepherd, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, Pay the Rent, Environment Victoria and One Tree Planted. With a selection of straps to mix and match, the same piece can be worn cross-body, over the shoulder, as a handbag or bum bag. Stylish, eye-catching and very practical. Find out more about the designer behind these fab branded bags, Cathryn Wills in our Q&A.
Any fashion label that promotes themselves with the mantra “Our Bags Are Trash” are not mucking around when it comes to sustainability. Discarded textiles from music festivals and schools are recycled into drawstring, tote and bucket bags.While you’ll never feel the same way about Splendour in the Grass, these are the perfect accessories to carry to your next music festival.
For those who are deadly serious about saving the planet, look no further. Using discarded outdoor material like canvas, tents and tarp, Use Daily is on a mission to prevent all these items going unnecessarily to landfill. Designs that are “inherently stylish in their reclaimed and imperfect nature” are the essence of this circular accessories label. One per cent of proceeds go to Pay the Rent.
Fans of award winning leather bag designer Katya Komarova will be excited to see she’s now launched a range of bags in felt in some of her most popular ranges. Known for innovative and edgy styles you just don’t see anywhere else, these bags can take on a completely different look simply by swapping eye-catching handles and straps. Environmentally conscious, see more about Katya Komarova here.
A conscious and ethical fashion accessories label, Simetrie uses sustainably sourced kangaroo leather, hemp, linen and canvas to make a range of bags “with values”. You can buy, rent or have yours custom made. The kangaroo leather is sourced from “necessary wildlife management – as opposed to farm bred animals”. Complete the picture knowing that all elements used are natural and water based. Designed and made in Melbourne, they were featured by the Australian Fashion Council in their Melbourne Pop-Up store at the Emporium in 2020.
X NIHILO luxury leather bags are listed as acceptable by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Angora wool and fur free list. All leathers used are the by-products of the meat industry. If you choose leather, but can’t stand to have a label plastered all over your bag, then X NIHOLO is the brand you’re looking for. They were featured in the Australian Fashion Council’s pop-up store last year.
Classical, minimalist and high quality, Lenny Ivers is committed to slow fashion and minimal waste. Their leather is ethically sourced as a by-product of the meat industry and is environmentally approved by REACH. Hand made in Melbourne in a range of styles from totes to shoulder bags and purses.
Made in Sydney in small runs by a master craftsman, each bag is first designed and hand crafted by Milan-trained bag maker Jessica Keevil. Using vegetable dyed high quality leather that is sourced as by-products from the meat-industry, each collection is made in small batches as they work towards producing made-to-order and one-off pieces that use only cut-offs.
Lanamara offers artisan handcrafted bags and baskets made in India in leather, linen and raffia. Their range of bags have always been small capsule collections. Animalia, their latest range, is made in Australia by a husband and wife atelier team. Each new style is sold out before they start on a new one. Monogrammed personalisation is also available.
For more Australian branded bags go to: Top 10 Australian Bags Trends for Summer