Leather is the most commonly used material for belts, especially those of high quality that won’t break on you in a year or two. But, animal leather is not your only option; you also have vegan belts.
In fact, many good vegan leather belts match the quality of real leather without the additional cost of animal lives and environmental damage.
It isn’t just the animals either. The tanning process is resource-intensive as well as environmentally destructive.
We curated some of the best brands available for vegan belts using various substances—not just faux leather. All the brands featured are fully vegan and do not use any animal-derived components.
Bleed - Germany
Founded in 2008 by a skateboarder, Bleed is a vegan and sustainable clothing and accessories company. Aside from sustainability, much of their collection is inspired by one other thing: sport.
They are driven by helping people live a green way of life without pointing fingers or blaming one another.
About the belt
Straying away from the usual, this featured product isn’t a vegan leather belt. Instead, it’s made of woven hemp! Organic, vegan, and fairly produced.
Hemp is a very sustainable plant that has plenty of uses across many industries. Also, since this is a cloth belt, it’s very comfortable and easy to wear.
ECO19 Hemp Belt has a beige, off-white color with a rectangular nickel and chrome-free buckle. It’s perfect for casual wearing.
It comes in 110 and 120 cm variations.
Bleed also has a belt made from faux leather out of latex and paper. Check it out here.
The belt itself is made from 100% hemp and sourced from China to obtain the highest quality of the material. We understand that sourcing from China may raise a few red flags, but as per the brand, the best hemp is sourced from Asia.
Hemp used to be very popular before cotton and is slowly becoming a more recognized fiber again. In addition, the plant does not require a lot of water to produce, unlike cotton.
It is also a very sturdy and breathable fabric, making it very comfortable and easy to wear. Hemp is also pretty durable and resilient. It will last you a considerable amount of time with the proper care.
And when it comes to the end of its life, you can bring it back to the earth.
Bleed has an impressive set of brand values, and they are truly committed to its mission. We especially love that they advocate for change without pointing fingers or blaming others.
It’s already clear that the brand focuses on sustainability as its main mission. They make vegan products that are fair and ecological.
More importantly, they campaign for a sustainable economy. It’s no secret that our overall consumption habits are getting way out of hand, and something needs to give if we’re to have a positive future.
Overall, bleed is an excellent company. They’re one of the best vegan clothing brands when it comes to their ethos. So if you’re in the region, we highly recommend buying from them.
If you’ve been in the vegan scene for some time and you’re in the market for vegan alternatives to leather, you’ve probably heard of Corkor.
A vegan brand exclusively using cork as their material; they’re one of the best vegan sustainable and ethical brands for leather alternatives.
About the belt
Corkor has belts for both men and women in classic colors.
Their Cork Belt for men is available and black and brown and in 30mm and 35mm variations. So it’s perfect for professional work ensembles and settings.
It comes with silver/brass hardware. The belt itself feels sturdy and comfortable. And while it is made of cork, it holds up really well and is low maintenance, and easy to clean.
On the other hand, their belts for women come in 25mm and 40mm variations. You can purchase it in light brown, brown, or black. It also has silver/brass hardware.
Of course, the main component of these vegan belts is cork! A sustainably sourced material from the bark of the oak tree.
Cork is a light, natural fiber that is water and abrasion-resistant. In addition, the cork used to make Corkor products is certified for sustainable harvesting. They take the cork without harming the tree at all.
A cork fabric will age, but the aging adds another layer of personality to your belt.
However, cork does have a distinct pattern. The belt does not come out in an even color. You can still see the pattern of the cork, especially in lighter colors. But, the cork material still comes out smooth.
If you prefer a shiny, even color, we suggest the other brands on this list.
Corkor values sustainability and being environmentally friendly. They sell PETA-certified vegan items using certified cork.
They reduce their carbon emissions by buying in bulk and sourcing and manufacturing locally in their Portugal workshops. Their products are all handmade in small batches.
In addition, they use non-toxic water-based inks and cut back on their packaging by keeping it simple. You can read more about their practices on their site here.
NAE - Portugal
NAE, which stands for No Animal Exploitation, is a Portuguese vegan footwear and accessories brand. They are vegan, ethical, and ecological.
They started in 2008 with a collection of vegan shoes, and they’ve now become one of the best-known vegan brands in the market.
About the belt
NAE has a substantial collection of vegan belts in various colors and styles. In addition, they have women’s and men’s vegan belts, so there’s plenty of variation.
For women, we recommend Blanes Camel Vegan Belt. It features a nickel-free circular buckle and is a pretty light brown color. It’s 2cm (less than an inch) wide and 2mm thick.
NAE also has vegan belts for men, like their Prat Braided Camel Vegan Belt. It has nickel-free hardware and is 3.5 cm wide and 3mm thick.
These belts are great for wearing in a work environment or just anytime you want to dress up a little.
Both belts are ethically hand-made in Spain under fair working environments.
These belts are made from ecological microfiber. Its faux leather is a mixture of microfiber and cotton, polyester, and nylon. Where applicable, the brand uses recycled fabrics as much as possible.
Vegan leather from polymers isn’t the most sustainable material, but they are still much better than real leather belts.
Plus, NAE is also conscious of the chemicals used in the production process of microfiber.
The company’s values focus on three main aspects. The planet, people, and animals. All products and business operations follow their ethical code.
NAE only produces vegan products. Their entire collection is free from animals or any material derived from animals. They are fully committed to staying a vegan brand.
They also use different types of textiles with varying levels of sustainability. These include organic cotton, piñatex, cork, recycled PET, among others.
Moreover, their factories follow strict ethical and professional guidelines. They have four factories in Portugal and two in Spain.
Brave Gentleman - U.S.
Brave Gentleman is one of the most notable brands in the vegan fashion industry. They entered the market with vegan and cruelty-free clothes, shoes, and accessories geared towards the masculine aesthetic.
Launched in 2010 as a footwear brand, the award-winning company offers high-quality products to its customer base.
About The Belt
The timelessness of vegan belts like this one is a good thing. It means you don’t have to keep buying different designs to keep up with whatever is in style. After all, a major aspect of sustainability is keeping an item beyond just a season.
This vegan belt is made by artisans in New York’s garment industry, ensuring high-quality craftsmanship and work.
It is 1.25″ wide. But if you want a thinner belt, it is also available in 1″ variations in camel and tan colors.
This vegan belt is made from EU Ecolabel-certified Italian PU microfiber, a distinct type of quality vegan leather. The brand refers to this as “Future Leather.”
Their PU is made with strict conditions that release the smallest amount (just a few grams per ton) of chemicals released into the environment. The result is a chemically inert polymer.
Though PU is not exactly the best or most sustainable available, it comes at a reasonable price and is still much better than animal leather. You can read more about the different types of vegan leather in a separate article here.
Brave Gentleman firmly believes that the aesthetic value should also reflect an equally attractive production process.
For that reason, they chose to go against the grain and adapt a slow-fashion production model. Instead, they invest in sustainable and vegan materials, ethical labor, and classic, timeless styles.
The company highly values ethical fashion and makes it their mission to produce items that reflect such values.
Doshi - USA
Intentionally vegan design with intentionally vegan materials and manufacturing, Doshi offers high-quality vegan bags and accessories.
They are based in California, but they make it a mission to become a part of lives anywhere people share their ideas for a better world—everywhere.
About the belt
Doshi only has vegan belts for men or in the menswear range. Our pick from their collection is the Doshi Professional 1 Crossgrain belt.
It comes with a cross-grain texture with a gently flared rectangular buckle. Unfortunately, their latest inventory of this belt is now nickel-free; you have to indicate your preference.
It is available in brown and black colors. The 1.25″ width makes it perfect for professional wear and will sit comfortably on your waist, whether it’s jeans or dress pants that need holding up. It’s faux leather without feeling too much like plastic.
A belt of this timeless quality will easily last you years; sustainability in durability.
The belt is made from microfiber PU. This type of vegan leather is mainly a microfiber backing with a polyurethane coating on top.
We firmly believe that the best vegan belts are those that are plant-based and durable. While this isn’t a plant-based material, the durability of the textile makes up for it.
Doshi believes that microfiber PU is one of the only viable alternatives that can imitate the feel of real leather. However, it is their ultimate goal to move away from petroleum-based products and create fully biodegradable items.
They’ve started experimenting with kraft paper fabric and cork. They are also in the process of integrating pineapple leather into their collection.
Doshi stands by the idea that they should make beautiful products that last. When fashion turnover is high, items that last hold value and one of the most sustainable options.
They regularly visit their factories and are pushing for each of them to become BSCI audited. Doshi strongly believes that fashion should be cruelty-free.
With products that are always prototyped and tested for durability and constantly remodeled to find the best, strongest possible outcome, they’re a brand you can trust for your wardrobe needs.
What's The Best Vegan Leather For Belts?
For us, the best vegan belts will always be those that are plant-based and are strong and durable. However, much of the belt market, especially for professional wear, has the look of leather.
There are many types of plant-based leathers available today with variations in sustainability and biodegradability. But not all of them evoke the feel of real animal leather—a quality that many might look for in a vegan belt.
As you may have observed, many of the belts in this list are made of microfiber. Again, it’s because the material can closely imitate the quality and feel of real leather.
But is it the most sustainable option? Definitely not.
As a polymer, it does not biodegrade and requires petroleum and other chemicals to create. We’re really not fans of plastics here. In fact, we’d rather avoid it as much as possible.
For sure, cruelty-free vegan leathers are much better than real leathers with all the chrome tanning and dangerous gases emitted in the process. Not to mention the animal lives spent.
But, we should also factor in how long a belt will last if we truly want to be sustainable. Buying a plant-based belt only for it to be low quality and easily damaged makes little sense if you want to buy sustainably.
We have to look at the holistic picture and account for more than just the material used. After all, the production of some plant-based textiles can be hazardous as well—case in point, cotton.
In summary, if you can find a biodegradable option that suits your needs, then that option is the way to go! Care for it properly and make it last.
But if you can’t, choose a company that manufactures ethically and doles out the least environmental impact. And if you take care of it, it could be a companion for the many years ahead.
We selected these brands because they are some of the best vegan accessories brands out there. We hope they helped with your search for a great belt.
However, as we say in some of our other articles, we know that there’s no perfect brand. We chose our list based on their values and practices, but they don’t always tick all our boxes.
If you didn’t find anything that’s more your style here, remember to choose ethically and sustainably. Conscious consumption goes farther than you may think.