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5 Handbags For All Occasions, That Are Also Better For The Planet

by: Rosie Dalton | 3 years ago | Features

Ethical handbags can be notoriously difficult to find. This is because most bags are still made out of leather and those that aren’t just sometimes don’t feel quite so special. Enter Matt and Nat, a Los Angeles based label that cares about both fashion and the planet. Crafting beautiful handbags that feel just as special as your regular leather styles, the brand also has vegan principles at its core. In fact, the very name Matt and Nat stands for materials and nature, meaning that all their products are 100% vegan and their lining is even made from recycled plastic bottles.

This is important for a number of reasons. The first being that, according to PETA, more than one billion animals are killed every year for their hide alone. Second of all, plastics production has increased twentyfold since 1964, reaching 311m tonnes in 2014, which means that there’s lots of plastic waste currently clogging up our environment and water streams. So the fact that no animals are harmed in the process of making a Matt and Nat bag and that they are helping to recycle a dangerous product at the same time is pretty damn awesome if you ask us. Which is why we don’t feel the least bit bad about investing in one of their singular designs — especially not considering how versatile and long lasting they are. The five below are some of our faves, so we thought we’d share them with you.

1) The backpack

Image: Ashley Olsen streetstyle. Image source.

The modern backpack has had a major upgrade from the playground over recent years and Matt and Nat’s streamlined styles are some of the most enticing on the market. Sleek but also incredibly good for your posture, these styles are basically the multitasker of the handbag market. And being multitaskers ourselves, that works just fine for us. So queue the dress-with-backpack, jeans-with-backpack and skirt-with-backpack combinations aplenty.     


2) The tote bag

Image: Jane Birkin literally toting her tote bag. Image source

A tote bag is for those days when you’ve got a million meetings and need to carry everything with you right throughout. This is the kind of bag that you can stuff your laptop into, while still seeming chic, à la Jane Birkin. If you, like me, generally tend to favour a more muted colour palette in the wardrobe department, then a colourful style of tote bag can also offer a great way to inject some fun into your outfits.

3) The clutch

Image: fashion week streetstyle. Image source.

The clutch is obviously essential for evening events, weddings and other such fancy lady affairs. But I also happen to think a clutch can be incredibly versatile for many other kinds of occasions, because it’s basically helpful for anytime that you want to free up your hands. Like when you’re wearing a big woolen cardigan for example — because you will most likely want to let the handcrafted style shine to its maximum effect here.

4) The satchel

Image: Caroline de Maigret. Image source.

A satchel is the epitome of a Parisian handbag — the perfect confluence of both effortless elegance and essential practicality. With roots in the university setting, this relaxed style always works a charm when paired with blue jeans and a biker style jacket. Plus it’s big enough to carry a little more than your clutch, for instance, but not so big that it will weigh you down during the day.


5) The lady bag

Image: Françoise Hardy. Image source.

Every once in a while you need to step things up a little with a fancy lady bag. An elegant, short-handled alternative to the traditional shoulder bag, this style is for anyone that tends to fill roomier bags with all of their earthly possessions. I, for one, find a more compact handbag helps you carry only the essentials. And this bag’s ladylike form means it will work just as well with black jeans and a blazer during the day, as it will with a pair of heels for post-work events.

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