The Best Vegan Wallet Brands Currently in Production

Something as small as your wallet could make a big impact. Traditional wallets, usually made out of leather, come at a heavy price.

The main reason why people stick with leather wallets is that they last years without breaking and remain in good condition.

Today, there are now many alternatives to genuine leather wallets. Alternatives that are just as durable and as sleek as leather wallets.

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite vegan wallet brands.

Gunas NY
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Gunas NY
  • Mulbtex material for men's wallet
  • textured eco PU for women's wallet
  • Animal welfare groups donations
Doshi NY
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Doshi NY
  • Cork leather wallets
  • Donation program
  • Multiple designs
Oliver Co. UK
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Oliver Co. UK
  • Apple leather
  • 100% recycled polyester
  • Climate neutral certification

Gunas - New York

Gunas is a New York-based brand that started back in 2009 by industrial designer Sugandh G. Agrawal.

At its core, Gunas promotes veganism as a lifestyle. Not only as a means to protect animals, but the people and the planet as well. In their manifesto, they claim to be against all levels and kinds of exploitation.

About the Product

Gunas offers several wallet designs for both men and women. There’s a variation in their products if you have a particular design in mind.

In the women’s category, they have a full-sized wallet with internal slip pockets serving as bill compartments. These wallets can hold up to 12 cards.

Their wallet for men is slim and lightweight while also featuring a zipper pocket for coins and an ID card window or extra card slot. It can hold up to eight cards, and it’s a great option for those who want to carry a light wallet.

Of course, these vegan wallets are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. No part of the production process involves the harm of animals.

Materials

Their wallet for men is made from Mulbtex, which is a vegan alternative that’s completely plastic-free. It is made from mulberry leaves, which makes it a plant-based material. It’s also waterproof, and Gunas claims that it ages like real leather.

On the other hand, their women’s wallet is made from textured eco PU, with a lining made from recycled plastic bottles. The PU in their wallet makes them not plastic-free.

Ethics and Sustainability

The main focus of Gunas is cultivating a vegan lifestyle. They are completely against animal cruelty.

Gunas is still not plastic-free and many of their items are made from plastic-based materials. The brand recognizes that this is not a 100% eco friendly solution and they are continuously working towards more innovative answers.

All of Gunas’ products are made in Korea. This allows them to support small artisan studios in Seoul. They pay their workers an above-average wage, and they visit these studios annually to ensure ethical working conditions are in place.

They also donate to many animal welfare groups.

Doshi- United States

Doshi is a California-based fashion company. With a mindset for sustainability and functionality, Doshi is an excellent brand to get your vegan wallet from.

Launched in 2017, Doshi creates PETA-approved vegan, cruelty-free, and ethical bags and accessories with a focus on making these items accessible to the general public.

About the Product

Doshi has a lot of options under available. They have plenty of styles with several designs for each! Whatever type or design you’re looking for, you’ll probably find it on their website.

They have accordion wallets, trifold wallets, and even slim wallets for those looking for compact ways to carry cash and cards.

Their best-selling item is the Doshi Accordion Wallet, which has eight card slots and a detachable wristlet. This wallet is great for those who love full bill compartments. It also has a pocket for coins.

Materials

As of the publishing of this article, the majority of Doshi’s products are made from microfiber PU. This is not the best option, but Doshi is currently working on making leaps towards improvement in this aspect.

Since Doshi believes that accessibility is crucial, the price point is definitely one of the most important things when it comes to materials. Since plant-based materials tend to be more expensive, the brand has admitted to difficulty in transitioning due to cost.

When asked why they didn’t use plant-based leather such as mushroom leather, they explained that the cost of mushroom leather is 20-100 times more than what they are currently paying for microfibre PU.

If one of the business goals is to make ethical vegan products affordable, the high cost of plant-based materials is definitely a cause for concern.

Doshi is currently working on making goods from Pinatex (pineapple) and will be in-store sometime in 2021. They have also incorporated cork leather into their wallets.

You can buy many of their wallets in cork leather if you don’t want to use PU.

Unfortunately, Doshi is a little unclear about their PVC use. They state on their website that they almost never use PVC, which leads us to the conclusion that PVC is still part of their process.

As PVC is one of the most toxic plastics available, this is something definitely worth pointing out.

Ethics and Sustainability

Doshi ensures that their factories have the necessary certifications for good working conditions. On top of that, they are currently working towards getting each of their factories BSCI-audited.

The goal of the company is to further transition into materials that aren’t petroleum-based.

Ultimately, they wish to get to the point where the ultimate destination of their product is the earth.

Doshi has a program called “First Five For The World,” which has the goal of donating 5% of net sales to select nonprofits and fundraisers of their choosing.

Oliver Co. - U.K.

With a focus on cultivating aesthetics without sacrificing sustainability, Oliver Co. is one of the best brands for vegan wallets. All of their designs are made for men and women, so they are perfect for anyone.

About the Product

Their compact wallet is available in black, coastal blue, and brown. If you are looking for a sleek design and the perfect size to carry around in your back pocket, this is one of the best options available.

The wallet can hold up to 12 cards without feeling too bulky. Nevertheless, the brand recommends using a fewer number of cards for the first week to let the apple leather soften.

True to its name, the wallet is small and thin. Buyer reviews are phenomenal, and most say the product is high quality.

Additionally, their compact wallet is designed to hold receipts and folded notes in addition to holding cards.

Materials

Made primarily from apple leather, this wallet is completely vegan and is cruelty-free. The stitching is made from recycled polyester, and the edges are handpainted.

Apple leather is made from leftover waste in the juice industry. Since the excess has a high cellulose content, it’s ideal for upcycling into fabrics.

The polyester used in the stitching is 100% recycled. The yarn itself is sourced from Repreve, which has the necessary certifications for ensuring it uses recycled polyester.

A general focus of the brand is to use bio-materials, as these promote a circular economy, completely different from the buy, use, and throw away system we are so used to.

Ethics and Sustainability

Oliver Co. deserves 5 stars on how transparent they are about their entire process. From the factories they work with to the total cost of making their wallet, no detail is left out.

If you are picky about the supply chain and the overall effect of the product on the environment, you won’t do better than this brand.

Their website lists two factories they work with. One is based in Istanbul, and one in Bucharest. As expected, Oliver Co. has close relationships with these factories and their owners.

Oliver Co. is also in the process of being Climate Neutral Certified, aiming to finish their certification process by spring of 2021.

Luxtra - London

Luxtra London vegan wallet
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image by luxtralondon.com

With a mission of making a positive change in the fashion industry, Luxtra is at the forefront of creating accessories that aren’t just token eco friendly.

They believe that it isn’t enough for them to make sustainable choices simply when possible. They must go the extra mile and ground their business in a philosophy of sustainability.

Though their mission sounds ambitious, they also have the certifications and documentation for customers to see that they’re serious about what they want to achieve.

About the Product

Luxtra offers two general designs. Their billfold wallet and their continental wallet.

The billfold wallet has eight card slots and two bill sleeves. The wallet is also waterproof. This option is best for those looking for a small wallet. Their continental wallet also has eight card slots but features larger bill compartments and a zippered pocket.

Both of these general styles come in different designs and colors.

However, the wallets themselves may not look the best for everyone. Their style isn’t the most attractive, which is part of the reason they didn’t rank as high as the others on this list.

Materials

Luxtra chooses its materials based on the color of the wallet. Their darker colors are made of apple leather, and other colors(like silver) are made from pineapple leather.

This brand is completely transparent about how and where they source their materials.

Their apple leather is made up of 20-30% leather; the rest is undisclosed and labeled trade secrets of their supplier, which is understandable. Usually, though, making apple leather involves some form of PU.

The pineapple leather they use is Pinatex, which still isn’t fully biodegradable either but it’s on its way there. Pinatex uses pineapple leaves from the Philippines, giving local farmers extra income.

Ethics and Sustainability

Luxtra’s commitment to the ethics and sustainability of its business is one of its biggest selling points. They tackle nearly every single aspect that you would want to know as an eco-conscious consumer.

All of their products are manufactured in Italy, but their raw materials are source all over the world.

It’s worth pointing out that Luxtra is making conscious choices to reduce its carbon footprint. Their decision to use apple leather was partly influenced by the fact that the manufacturer is only 6 km from where the brand manufactures its products.

Luxtura is looking at a future with a fully circular economy for its products. Hopefully, they will be able to manifest this in their products soon.

You can check out the details of their manufacturing and supply chain in their manifesto.

Luxtra London black vegan wallet
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image by Luxtralondon.com

Canussa - Spain

Canussa vegan wallets
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image by Canussa.com

Made in Spain, Canussa is a vegan accessory and footwear brand that advocates for ethics in fashion.

They are PETA-approved vegan and have a mindset of respecting the planet and all that is in it.

About the Product

Canussa only has a single style available for their wallets but in different colors. They also have cardholders available. If you are in the market for a slim, back pocket wallet, this one is a pretty good choice.

The design itself is sleek and minimal. A timeless wallet that you can use no matter what your personal style is. It’s also the perfect size to carry around.

The wallet itself has six card slots. Of course, there is a compartment for notes or bills.

Materials

The wallet is made of microfiber that the company says is free from any toxic substances and is completely safe for your health.

However, they don’t elaborate further than that. Microfiber is usually made up of polyester or nylon. And yes, it is a petroleum-based product.

There are also other wallets on this list that are petroleum-derived, but research indicates that microfibers pose a very serious plastic pollution issue. These microplastics get into the insides of fish and birds in a way that other plastics don’t [1].

Understandably, there are limited options when it comes to making a vegan wallet. Still, it would have been nice if they explained further how they source this material.

The bigger issue is that the brand seems focused on using this material. We could not find info on how they are looking for more sustainable solutions. Let’s remember that not all vegan options are sustainable, especially those that indirectly harm.

Overall, Canussa could do better in terms of material. If not the materials themselves, then just maybe minor shifts of mindset into sustainable plant-based materials.

Ethics and Sustainability

Canussa indicates that they are working towards circular fashion, which shows in their use of recycled polyester for some of their products.

However, they don’t indicate if they use virgin materials for their vegan leather or if they use recycled ones. Hopefully, they can tackle this information gap to provide more concrete proof that they are intent on the delivery of their goal of circular fashion.

A plus for this brand is that any wallet they make comes from the hands of Spanish artisans. In doing so, Canussa contributes to the local job market and helps small companies as well.

They also ensure that their workers are paid fairly with proper holidays and leaves.

Since they source locally, it is also easier for them to take back any excess waste in the process—a solid indication of their commitment to a circular economy. They aim to make their production process as zero waste as possible.

Of course, the closer the manufacturers are to them, the lesser their carbon footprint will be! It’s great that they consider the effects of logistics in their process.

Overall, Canussa is still a good brand to get a vegan wallet. If you are in Spain, then they’re one of the best options. Remember that sourcing locally is so much better than buying from an international supplier.

Canussa vegan wallet
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image by Canussa.com

PaperWallet - United States

Paperwallet vegan wallet
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image by paperwallet.com

Inspired by the art of origami, Paperwallet provides artists with an opportunity to turn their art into something functional.

About the Product

Paperwallet offers several wallet styles. They have coin purses, clutches, slim and flat wallet types, and even a micro wallet.

Paperwallet stands out from the rest of the products listed because they focus on art as the canvas for style.

Most of their products feature art by the artists in their affiliate program. From graphic designs to abstract work, you’ll probably find a collection you like. They also collab often with other artists like Ai Weiwei, a well-known Chinese activist.

We find their microwallets really interesting. It is just 0.3 mm thicker than a regular credit card when brand new, which is pretty impressive. It will fit perfectly in your pocket.

Any given wallet in their collections is gender-neutral.

With their numerous options, Paperwallet is great for those who want to get creative with their wallet choices. Their designs might not be as timeless as others, but they sure are captivating.

Materials

All of Paperwallet’s products are made from Tyvek paper. Tyvek is difficult to tear, is waterproof, and incredibly durable.

However, do note that Tyvek is synthetic, so it won’t biodegrade like plant-based options. But, it is recyclable, and most municipal curbside recycling programs will accept it.

Paperwallet’s use of Tyvek is part of their brand. While it is synthetic, it’s good that Tyvek is partly made of recycled materials.

Many of their wallet designs also have RFID blocking technology. The purpose of RFID blocking is essentially used to protect your card information from fraudulent activities.

Not all people think RFID blocking is useful, and we encourage you to do your own research about RFID.

Ethics and Sustainability

This part is where Paperwallet falters most. They are a socially conscious brand, which is a good thing. They think that their products can be innovative while also being eco friendly.

That said, there’s not much info available on how they further their eco friendly narrative. The fact that Tyvek is recyclable seems like a minor attempt at becoming an eco-conscious brand. The positive thing about it is that making Tyvek takes only a few steps.

There’s also limited information available on their supply chain and the factory conditions of where they make these wallets.

Overall, Paperwallet is great since it supports artists worldwide. However, they still have significant drawbacks.

women's paperwallet
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image by paperwallet.com

Brave Gentleman

bravegentleman hand cut wallet
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image by bravegentleman.com

Brave Gentleman is one of the most recognized vegan clothing brands. Aside from vegan shoes and bags, they also offer vegan wallets.

About the Product

As of writing this, Brave Gentleman only has a couple of wallets available. With one in billfold style and the rest being cardholders.

Their billfold wallet looks like a traditional wallet for men, but of course, women can use them as well! Namely, masculine aesthetics isn’t limited to men.

The purpose of the gentleman aesthetic is to provide a masculine aesthetic in the world of ethics and sustainability.

Their hand-cut wallet has six card slots, and three other slots for receipts, bills, or additional card slots.

Materials

Brave Gentleman uses Italian future leather for their vegan wallets. They are committed to using absolutely no animals in their products. They are PETA-approved vegan.

Instead, they use vegan leather made from PU microfiber. PU is nowhere near perfect, but it’s a good start. Plus, the PU they use is EU-Ecolabel certified.

The brand is also actively looking for more sustainable materials to use in its products.

Ethics and Sustainability

Brave Gentleman believes in ethical fashion. Their wallets are made with a mind for sustainability and respect for everyone involved.

Their vegan wallets are made by artisans in New York’s historical garment industry, and they are committed to providing their workers with fair wages and good working conditions.

They think of their buyers as investors who invest in positive systems involving sustainable innovation, ethical labor, and the use of vegan materials.

brave gentleman closed wallet
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image by bravegentleman.com

Why Use Vegan Wallets?

wallet with money
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First, of course, is the fact that genuine leather is made from animal skin.

It’s not just the death of the animal itself, but all of the cruel practices that these animals have to endure, such as terrible living conditions and substandard treatment.

Second, the animal farming industry is one of the world’s largest polluters.

We may not realize it since we are far removed from the process, but animal farming releases huge amounts of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.

Plus, the animal industry needs a lot of space. For example, forests in South America are getting cut down and burnt to make space for the industry.

The industrial production of meat is the single biggest contributor to global deforestation [2].

But that’s not all. The actual process of making skin into leather takes up a lot of resources and involves the use of dangerous chemicals.

Tanning is the process that skin has to go through to become the final product.

Many tanneries all over the world (usually in developing countries) use chrome-tanning as the preferred treatment.

Unfortunately, the use of chrome in tanning makes it a very toxic process, polluting water systems and the nearby community.

And in any case, it isn’t you who is paying the full price. Most developed countries managed to lessen their solid waste over the years because of outsourcing from other, presumably developing, countries [3].

There, the effect of the leather industry on communities is worst.

The Problem With Plastic Vegan Items

Plastic packaging
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The most common alternative to animal leather is pleather. It is very unfortunate that this is the case. Most people wanting to use vegan leather are dubious because it is usually made up of plastic.

Now, wallets made from plastic are vegan; there’s no doubt about that. But making plastic comes with another set of issues that won’t benefit you or the environment.

Many vegan leather alternatives are composed of PU or PVC, which are both plastics.

PVC is something you should avoid as much as possible since it off-gasses toxic chemicals all throughout its lifecycle.

PU is a ‘friendlier’ plastic vegan option, but it is still plastic made up of chemicals that you probably don’t want to be using as the wallet you carry around every day. Many vegan brands use PU in their collections, but we are still wary of this material.

It’s not that you’ll fall ill all of a sudden just from using pleather. However, the long-term effects of toxic substances, like those used in plastic, are largely unknown.

Therefore, as much as possible, choose wallet options that are not made from these two materials. If you find yourself stuck between choosing PVC and PU, always choose PU.

Even if PU isn’t the best eco friendly option available, it is still much better than using leather or any other animal-based accessory.

In reality, many people won’t be able to afford many plant-based vegan options, especially with something like a wallet. Pleather is much easier to source than its plant counterparts.

Vegan sustainability as we see it today still has a long way to go to make great vegan choices more accessible and affordable.

How to Pick The Right Vegan Wallet (What to Look For)

wallet by keyboard
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There are so many options for vegan wallets available. But not all of them are good and sustainable. Let’s take a look at what factors make a vegan wallet a good choice.

Note that every person’s needs differ. One person may look for something different in a wallet compared to another. We’ll keep this list focused on the possible aspects of a wallet that’s applicable to most.

Material

First up is the material of the wallet. While it shouldn’t be your only consideration, the right materials used definitely rank high on the list of what to look out for.

We’ve already covered plastic options and how they’re not the best choices available. But what materials should you be looking out for?

As previously mentioned, traditional options for a wallet usually involve leather. While it isn’t just limited to it, it is one of the most common options.

The most common vegan alternative as of the moment is PU. In itself, it’s not the best choice.

The best kinds of materials for your vegan wallet will always be those made from plants such as cork or pineapple. Today, there are so many plant-based leathers, and developers are always looking for better ways to make them.

However, even if plant-based leather comes from plants, these fabrics are not perfect. Many of them still involve synthetic materials and are not fully biodegradable.

Regardless, materials made from plants remain the best materials for vegan wallets.

Durability

Aside from being animal-free, vegan options should ideally be sustainable. A huge part of sustainability is choosing to use items that are durable and last a long time.

In choosing a vegan wallet, always choose one that will last you a considerable amount of time.

This is another reason why many people see plastic vegan alternatives as counterintuitive. Pleather usually doesn’t last as long as the real thing.

But the idea that vegan wallets can’t be durable is a total misconception. As you’ve seen from the round-up above, there are so many brands that offer sustainable, high-quality wallets.

You don’t have to sacrifice durability for ethics.

Most durable objects will cost you more upfront, which may be an issue for people on a budget. But in the long run, it will represent less of a cost.

Plus, if you choose the right brand, you are safe in the knowledge that your money is funding ethical work conditions and fair trade.

Final Thoughts

Too many of us will choose a wallet that we think looks good or is aesthetically pleasing only to realize we don’t actually want to use them.

It is crucial to pick out a vegan wallet that you know fits your needs and you’ll actually use. You have to decide if you are prioritizing size, how many card slots you want in your wallet, among other things.

While our initial interpretation of veganism is the respect for animals, and at its core, that is a huge part of what veganism is; it isn’t all about going against animal cruelty.

Being vegan means respecting all forms of life. Consequently, that means respecting our environment and becoming good stewards of the only planet we have.

There is no perfect vegan, and your choices are all up to you. But a true commitment to life means being mindful about what we use and not contributing to more waste.

References:

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/09/great-lakes-plastic-microfibre-pollution-us
  2. https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/why-meat-is-bad-for-the-environment
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339146894_Leather_Waste_Management_Scenario_in_Developed_and_Developing_Nations
Canussa vegan wallet
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