The best places to buy faux leather bags
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- Faux leather continues to get sophisticated, thanks to innovative materials and smart design elements.
- Nordstrom is our top pick for where to shop, thanks to a wide selection from some of the top imitation leather handbag brands.
- Net-a-Porter, Amazon, and Matt & Nat are other great options.
The phrase faux leather used to conjure up images of stiff plastic that is uncomfortable to wear and ugly to look at. While imitation leather bags are still made with plastic, specifically polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), they've come a long way in terms of look and feel, thanks to the incorporation of new non-animal materials (like waxed cotton) and construction methods.When shopping for imitation leather bags, you'll encounter the term "vegan leather," which has become a catch-all for leather that doesn't contain any animal products. A vegan bag can contain PU and other non-animal materials, but not all PU bags can be called vegan. For example, a bag maker might use PU to coat real leather (known as bicast bonded leather), a process that The Spruce describes as leather that has been "laminated and strengthened with a polyethylene top layer." In this instance, it's decidedly not vegan, as animal skins are still used in the production.
If avoiding animal product altogether is your top concern, look for products and companies that specifically advertise themselves as "vegan" and are transparent about the materials they employ. For example, popular brand Matt & Nat has an ethics page that declares, "M&N is a vegan brand, therefore, there are no animal products used in production."
Some brands are so skilled in the art of imitation leather that most people would be hard-pressed to tell the difference, at least from a distance. I received a bag from Matt & Nat for Christmas (the Laverne in the color Rio, to be exact), and it's just as beautiful as any of the real leather bags I considered putting on my list.
As the quality of imitation leather has improved, the pricing has increased to match. A Stella McCartney luxury handbag can cost more than $1,000. You can spend less, but cheaper synthetic ones won't come as close to resembling the real thing as higher-end labels. That's not always the case: Matt & Nat bags fall between $100 to $200, and they look just as luxurious.
Here, you'll find the retailers with the best selection of imitation leather bags, whether high-end or affordable.
The best places to buy faux leather bags in 2019:
- Best place to buy faux leather bags overall: Nordstrom
- Best place to buy luxury faux leather bags: Net-a-Porter
- Best place to buy affordable faux leather bags: Amazon
- Best place to buy faux leather bags for work: Matt & Nat
- Best place to buy trendy faux leather bags: Pixie Mood
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
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