Jill Danyelle

SUSTAINABLE STYLE SUNDAY: Matt & Nat Vegan Bags

by , 02/18/07

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We received quite a lively response from our Stella McCartney post on vegan accessories a few months back, so we thought it was time to bring you some more vegan goodness. While out shopping for a soy-based candle earlier today, I came across a great looking bag. I was seriously enamored. I investigated, tried it on and poked around on the inside. It had a subtle hint of social responsibility, but I thought… okay, nylon interior, probably not organic or recycled… and is this leather? The brand name, matt & nat, rang a bell, so I asked the store owner and she confirmed that they were in fact a vegan company based in Montreal who make stylish faux leather bags.


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Matt & Nat was started by Montreal-based designer Inder Bedi in 1997. With offices now in England and Canada, and a new line of vegan footwear, Matt & Nat is growing rapidly in the world of future-forward vegan fashion.

I am not interested in fanning the flames of another heated environmentalist debate on the pleather vs. leather argument. Despite the fact that pleather isn’t particularily environmentally friendly, I understand all about the energy intensive practice of raising animals. I also understand leather can be viewed as a by-product. Additionally, from a cruelty-free perspective there is no argument. I respect anyone’s right to stand wherever they may on the issue. I will side with style… and these bags have plenty!

Not only are they well designed, but they are a little easier on the pleather wallet than the aforementioned Stella McCartney bags. I knew our resident vegetarian editor-in-chief would be pleased, so I am sure there are many other vegans out there that will also be happy with these stylish bags. However, we do not live our lives in neat categories of vegan or environmentalist, so I guess my only comment would be, why make the debate about leather vs. pleather? I think matt & nat could make perfectly beautiful bags without either leather or the polyvinylchloride and polyurethane that they currently use. Why not hemp, linen or organic twills lined with recycled nylon or cotton? I suppose the non-eco vegan is their target audience. That is a shame, because that bag had me at hello, but the only thing that came home with me was my lovely, soy candle.

+ matt & nat

Available online and at vegan haven Mooshoes in NYC.

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7 Comments

  1. green goddess May 15, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    I’m surprised that nobody has yet mentioned that these bags are made in China. They would be a perfect fit in any Walmart except for the price. I think that the vegan angle is just a convenience – they can market their bags towards people who want to make a difference, while at the same time using cheaper materials. At least at Walmart the price is low too.

  2. Lillian Wylie November 19, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    Oh David – REALLY! Walmart?!??!! Has your head been buried in the sand? Walmart is part of the Evil Empire of corporate greed – as if any self respecting Vegan/Environmentalist/Humanity First person would step foot in the place!

  3. David February 18, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    What’s the big deal, Walmart and Kmart are full of stylish PVC for those afflicted with whatever gene Vegan’s carry.

  4. Cindy February 18, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    I truly love the beige bag. Many vegans try to keep sustainability to mind when buying clothing, but being vegan is definitely the number one requirement. If we can’t find a completely sustainable vegan version of something, than we go with vegan first. Unfortunately, a lot of sustainable clothing is still not appropriate for professional women who need to present a professional face to the world. Though times, they are a changing and soon we will be able to to have it all, vegan and sustainable. That is almost the true definition of utopia. Add Fair Trade and I don’t think you can really ask for much more.

  5. Jill Danyelle Jill Danyelle February 18, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    You make a good point Ann. I am a firm believer that durability and quality are also factors we need to consider when evaluating sustainability.

  6. Ann February 18, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    I have had the double-zippered front featured bag for 1-1/2 years and love it. Despite it’s good looks it’s quite functional as well. The pleather material offers long wear and cleanability especially nice for those using the less than clean public transportation in Chicago. Pleather/pvc also offers a weather proof feature that is unbeatable even by leather, fabric bags can’t do that. Cotton and hemp bags are good for fair weather minimal useage but the pleather has longevity thus making it just as sustainible by comparision and low maintainence.

  7. Nedra February 18, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Despite the conflict, they are pretty nice looking aren’t they? I like the second last one.

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