Sometimes when people become vegan, they’re at a loss about their fashion choices. So many shoes and bags are made of leather. I recently wrote about leather shoe alternatives and leather-free purses. But I have to call out one amazing company: Crystalyn Kae.
I met the woman behind the name when I was at Urban Craft Uprising, an alternative craft bazaar, a couple of years ago. I loved that the bags are handmade of sustainable materials. Crystalyn even has an all-vegan collection on her website. These bags are made of wool-free tweed, glazed fabric, and non-leather microsuede. Some of the other bags are made with reclaimed leather and vintage wools. That’s why the entire brand isn’t vegan; none of the leather is sourced new though.
I’m most impressed with the glazed fabric. It’s a leather-look material created by painting rubberized glaze onto fabric. I’ve had my bags for a while now and they show no signs of wear. The glaze doesn’t crack or fade. The black Matinee shoulder bag is my daily purse, and after two years of throwing it around, it’s still photo-worthy! The green Troubadour tote is strong enough for me to lug around my heavy, ancient laptop, and roomy enough for my gym clothes. The clutches are great for evening but are practical too. They easily hold my cell phone, lipstick, keys and wallet. And the wrist strap makes it easy to hold–even when I’m dancing!
Remember that all the bags are designed by Crystalyn and handmade by her in Seattle and New York (Crystalyn recently relocated to NYC). You can buy them on her website or from over 40 boutiques across the country, including one of my favorite vegan stores, Moo Shoes.