Person is shown from behind with red backpack over one shoulder. They are sitting down and wearing a yellow top and black trousers.

The 14 Best Vegan Backpack Brands for Work, School & Fun

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Vegan backpacks are versatile, practical and fashionable, to boot. From vegan leather backpacks to cork and canvas backpacks, there are a range of styles to suit you, whether you’re looking for a backpack for work, school or everyday use.

Some of the vegan backpack brands I’ll cover include:

 

Whether you’re looking for vegan backpacks for school or work, here are the best vegan backpacks:

Person shown from behind wearing peach backpack vegan leather from Matt and Nat

Matt & Nat vegan backpack

100% vegan company

My top pick: Alex vegan leather laptop backpack & Matt and Nat Brave backpack

Matt and Natt has been making vegan bags and backpacks since 1995 and is one of the best-known vegan bag brands. They have a huge range of vegan backpacks for women and men of all sizes and styles.

My top pick of Matt and Nat backpack is the Alex backpack, Matt & Nat’s vegan laptop backpack. The Matt and Nat laptop backpack has a padded 13 inch laptop compartment in the main space, making it the perfect vegan work backpack.

My other top pick is the best-selling Matt and Nat Brave and Matt and Nat Brave mini backpack. This Matt and Nat mini backpack has a zip top closure and a front zippered pocket. The vegan back pack also has a slip pocket for your phone inside.

Other popular Matt and Nat backpacks include: 

Matt and Nat Fabi backpack

Matt and Nat July backpack

Matt and Nat Mumbai backpack

Matt and Nat Olly backpack

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Person shown from behind wearing brown backpack from best vegan leather backpacks brand Labante

Labante vegan backpacks

100% vegan brand

My pick: Camberwell black vegan leather backpack

Labante is an all-vegan ethical bag brand based from London, and their mission is about making beautiful and sustainable vegan bags, made without sweatshops.

They have a wide range of backpacks, from a regular vegan rucksack to a mini backpack and a vegan convertible backpack.

I own a Labante convertible bag, which can be used as either a backpack or a crossbody bag, and it's really durable and seems very well-made. I don't find it the most comfortable as a backpack though and prefer a dedicated backpack with wider straps, so I'd suggest instead going for a dedicated backpack like the Camberwell.

My top Labante backpack pick is the Camberwell. This quilted black vegan backpack is very stylish and would go with any outfit. It's also practical, with interior compartments to organise you things and an exterior pocket to keep anything you need easy access to. Even the straps are stylish, with chain detailing.

Like all Labante bags, the interior is lined with recycled plastic bottles.

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Black and white vegan leather backpack from GUNAS

GUNAS vegan leather backpack

100% vegan brand

My pick: Cougar vegan leather backpack

GUNAS is an award-winning vegan bag brand that's been making cruelty free bags since 2009, making it one of the earliest vegan bag brands. 

My top pick is the Cougar vegan leather backpack purse. This faux leather backpack is big enough to fit all your essentials for a day out on the town or a day trip out of town - it will easily hold your phone, ipad, wallet, camera, and reusable water bottle. It has an internal zipper pocket and divider to keep you organised. It also has adjustable shoulder straps made of fabric to keep you comfortable.

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Brown cork backpack from Corkor

Corkor

100% vegan brand

Corkor is a Portuguese bag brand that's super sustainable, thanks to the material they use - cork! Cork is an incredibly environmentally-friendly material, thanks to the fact that cork trees can be harvested without being cut down. They also require little water or fertiliser, making them an eco-friendly tree to grow and maintain. Cork is also a naturally water resistant material.

They only make one model of Corkor vegan backpack, but it's well-designed so that's all you need. It has adjustable shoulder straps, one interior zipper pocket and a keyring holder, and it's the right size to hold your phone, wallet and a few other small essentials. Cork is very lightweight and also resistant to scratches. All products are made in Portugal. 

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Pink faux leather backpack from Pixie Mood

Pixie Mood faux leather backpack

100% vegan company

My top pick: Mini Kim backpack 

Pixie Mood is a vegan bag company that offers free climate neutral shipping on orders over $99. They're working with Terrapass on offsetting all their shipping and becoming carbon neutral.

My top pick of vegan backpack purse is the Kim vegan mini backpack. This vegan leather mini backpack is perfect for carrying your essentials. The small vegan backpack can be worn as a shoulder bag with a pull on the top handle. This vegan leather convertible  backpack has an exterior zippered pocket and an interior zippered pocket, plus two interior slip pockets. 

They also have a wide range of full-sized backpacks too, in a range of colours beyond the standard black and brown.

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Melie Bianco

100% vegan company

My top pick: Melie Bianco Maxine backpack

Melie Bianco is a vegan and sweatshop-free backpack maker. I love their use of colour and own a mustard yellow Melie Bianco handbag myself.

If you're looking for a faux leather backpack Amazon has to offer, you can find their products on Amazon. My top pick is this Melie Bianco backpack, which as a 'day bacykpack' is a small enough size to be easy to carry. With a budget friendly price, this non leather backpack has a divided interior with two compartments, a zippered interior pocket and slip pockets and an exterior zippered pocket on the back.

 

Black fabric and vegan leather backpack

Doshi

100% vegan company

My top pick: Doshi Pro Sport+ Travel backpack

Doshi is a vegan bag manufacturer that makes a range of durable bags, including workwear and other special bags.

Looking for a vegan travel backpack? Doshi has a vegan travel backpack! The Pro Sport travel backpack fits a laptop up to 15.5 inches and has multiple interior and exterior pockets to organise your things. It features a hidden back pocket and it also has a padded and ventilated back and a removable chest strap. The bag stands up by itself and will fit under an airline seat. 

I'm holding the red vegan leather backpack from Doshi on the beach in front of the sea

Doshi kindly sent me the Debut slim backpack, which I found to be the perfect size for carrying around essentials like my wallet, phone, keys and a water bottle, with room for a book, too.

One feature I really liked was the zippered pocket on the inside part of the bag (the part of the backpack that rests against your back when you're walking). 

The zippered pocket fit my phone and cards and was perfect for making sure my bag was safe from pickpockets. I like backpacks but often don't use one in the city because I worry about pickpockets, but this bag means I can wear it around Barcelona without worry!

The first thing I noticed about this bag was how soft the vegan leather was, and how different it felt to most vegan leathers used for bags. I later discovered this is because Doshi uses microfiber leather, rather than PU leather, which is a cheaper vegan leather used by many companies.

Microfiber leather is much more durable and longer-lasting than PU leather, which tends to crack and peel over time. So I look forward to using this backpack for a long time!

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Cream and gold confetti print and brown vegan leather backpack from Lee Coren

Lee Coren

100% vegan 

My top pick: Metropolitan backpack

Lee Coren is a vegan bag maker based in Israel. Her bags are handcrafted and she tries to use locally sourced materials (apart from the vegan leather, which comes from Italy).

Lee Coren has a range of vegan backpacks, from a vegan tote backpack, a rolltop backpack or a classic vegan black backpack.

My top pick is the Metropolitan vegan leather rucksack. Ideal for both toting your laptop to work or for weekend excursions, it has plenty of room. It fits up to a 15.5" laptop, features an inner zippered pocket and slip pocket plus has a hidden pocket on the back for your valuables. It also has two side pockets you can use for your reusable water bottles! It's made of a premium, soft cotton-backed PU vegan leather and is very lightweight (just 450 grams).

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Backpack made from vegan apple leather

Luxtra

100% vegan company

My top pick: Farrell Appleskin leather backpack

Luxtra makes ethical vegan backpacks and handbags from innovative, sustainable materials like apple leather or pineapple leather, made of waste products from the food industry. They're a certified B corp (which balances profit and purpose) and part of their purpose is to drive forward vegan leather innovation (their latest range is even made of a new material, vegan mango leather!).

My top pick is the Farrell Appleskin leather backpack, made from the skin and cores of apples recovered from waste of the food industry. It will fit your 13 inch laptop, phone, A4 documents, reusable water bottle and other daily essentials. It has an interior with compartments for your laptop and phone, plus a clip for your keys, zippered pockets in the interior and exterior and silver tone hardware. You can choose from burgundy or black vegan apple leather.

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Two people shown, one wearing brown backpack and other holding a black backpack

Ashoka Paris

100% vegan company

My top pick: Raphael vegan backpack

Ashoka Paris is a luxury vegan French bag and accessory brand. They are PETA approved vegan. They use Eco-Nappa, a more eco-friendly form of vegan polyurethane leather, and apple leather, plus line their bags with a material made from 100% recycled nylon made from plastic bottles. They won three PETA awards, one in 2018 and two in 2019.

My pick is the Raphael backpack, which comes in camel or black. It's great for work or fun, and comes with a Moroccan style vegan leather finish. The bag features two interior compartments and two outer pockets, and the Neoprene interior pocket can accommodate a laptop up to 13 inches. It also has a safety pouch on the back of the bag.

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Black vegan leather backpack with red trim

Canussa

100% vegan company

My top pick: Black/red vegan waterproof backpack

Canussa is a Spanish vegan bag company that has been featured in Vogue and InStyle. They aim to make bags that are both ethical and durable. 

My pick is the laptop backpack, and I love the black version red trim. The bag is made with waterproof vegan leather that's also washable and highly resistant. The waterproof vegan backpack perfect for your daily commute and can fit a laptop up to 15 inches. It has interior pockets to organise your belongings and an easy-to-reach front pocket to keep whatever you need easily accessible.

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Black canvas backpack with brown vegan leather trim from Wills Vegan Store

Will's Vegan Shoes

100% vegan company

Unsurprisingly given the name, everything at Will's Vegan Shoes is vegan - though not everything is shoes these days. They started life specialising in men's vegan shoes, but now Will's makes women's shoes, bags and accessories as well. 

Will's has three backpacks, from this vegan canvas backpack with vegan leather trim to this backpack satchel. (I also have a guide to vegan satchels, which you can check out here.)

They have stores for the US, Germany, EU and UK - change country/stores with the menu in the upper lefthand corner.

My pick is the large backpack made with heavyweight cotton canvas with a vegan leather trim. It fits a laptop up to 15 inches and A4 papers/notebooks, plus it's got space for your glasses, keys and phone. It's got an interior zippered compartment to keep it all organised, too.

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Beige vegan leather backpack with drawstring and top falp with buckles

Alexandra K

100% vegan company

My top pick: Grape leather vegan backpack

Alexandra K is a vegan bag brand based in Poland. They've won several awards from PETA for their vegan bags and also their vegan leather jacket. 

They have a few backpacks in their range, including this taupe grape leather backpack, my pick. It has wide, comfortable straps and one open pocket inside. It also has a front zippered pocket and a drawstring, plus magnetic flap, to close. The hardware is gold and it's made with a vegan polyurethane leather in beige.

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Black cork backpack with gold colour hardware

Laflore Paris

100% vegan company

Laflore has the most unique bag on this list, the Bobobark convertible backpack purse. Using convertible straps, it can be worn as a backpack, tote bag or a briefcase, and can hold a surprising amount of stuff in its roomy and well-organised interior. 

The clamshell clasp allows it to open 180 degrees, so you can see inside much more easily than the average handbag. There's a zippered pocket in the middle to divide the bag and make organisation easier, a padded laptop compartment (which you can access from inside or outside the bag) and a phone pocket with a USB charging port so you can keep your cables organised and charge up your phone while away from home.

They also have a mini version, which can be worn as a backpack, shoulder bag or clutch.

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Studded black skull backpack from Scarleton

Scarleton

100% vegan company

My top pick: Studded skull bag

Scarleton is an all-vegan bag company that makes affordable vegan bags. They have a wide range of backpacks.

My pick is the studded skull bag. This is the best vegan leather backpack if you're looking for a punkish vibe. Inside, you can fit a tablet, umbrella, hand sanitiser, wallet and phone.

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Black backpack purse vegan from Svala

Svala

100% vegan company

My top pick: Black snakeskin faux leather backpack purse

Svala makes their bags in LA using European fabrics. Their bags are made in an LA factory where all workers are treated fairly.

My pick is the vegan purse backpack, which converts between a handbag and a backpack, giving you two looks with just one bag.

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Black vegan backpack made of Econyl from 457 Anew

457 Anew men's vegan rucksacks

100% vegan company

My top pick: Wright Econyl vegan backpack (mens)

457 Anew is a vegan and eco-friendly bag brand founded by the founder of Matt & Nat, one of the oldest vegan bag brands (it started in 1995).

My pick is the Wright men's vegan rucksack made from Econyl, an innovative and sustainable material made from waste like fishing nets and carpet fibers that uses no new resources and is infinitely recyclable. The material is water repellent and the webbing on the bag is made from upcycled material from the car and aviation industry in Canada. 

The large vegan backpack is handmade in Canada, and has an interior laptop compartment, interior and exterior zippered pockets and adjustable straps.

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Brown vegan leather backpack from Noah's Italian Vegan Shoes

Noah's Italian Vegan Shoes vegan men's backpacks

100% vegan company

My top pick: Arezzo large vegan leather backpack

Noah's Italian Vegan Shoes specialise in vegan shoes, of course, but they also make vegan bags and accessories.

The Arezzo backpack is made from vegan waterproof microsuede and micronappa. It has a padded laptop compartment, an interior zippered security pocket, and a tablet pocket.

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Backpack made of handwoven Atta grass from Stelar

Stelar

Vegan friendly company

My top pick: Celebes handwoven Atta backpack

Stelar is a bag brand that works with artisans in Bali to craft beautiful bags. 

I love the Celebes backpack, made with handwoven Balinese atta grass. The grass is dried in the sun to make it durable and showerproof. The unique bag is made in a basket shape and finished with jacquard straps.

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Burgundy small faux leather backpack from Sans Beast

Sans Beast

100% vegan company

My top pick: Long Lunch midi vegan leather backpack (womens)

Sans Beast is a vegan bag company. Their Long Lunch backpack is a take on their popular Long Lunch tote bag. This small faux leather backpack is made with recycled eco PU, an extended zipper for easy access, the brand's signature top handle, an interior zippered pocket and phone pocket, a pocket on the front exterior and a zippered pocket on the back exterior.

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Black backpack featuring logos from Stella McCartney/Adidas

Stella McCartney

Best for: luxury vegan backpack

100% vegetarian company, vegan bags

My top pick: Stella McCartney logo backpack

Like all of Stella McCartney's range, her bags are entirely leather-free (as a lifelong vegetarian, her whole brand is leather-free). In the range, you'll find women's backpacks and vegan kids' backpacks.

The women's black logo backpack is a Stella McCartney/Adidas collab made with polyamide and recycled polyester. This vegan designer backpack features a top flap with zippered pocket, extendable side zippered pockets for those extra bits and pieces and an inside zippered pocket. It even has straps on the bottom for a jacket or mat (handy!). (If you are in need of a vegan jacket, check out my guide to vegan coats and jackets here.)

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More vegan backpack brands:

Samara

Votch

Soybean Bags

 

Person, viewed from behind, wearing black backpack, sitting on a rocky outcrop overlooking a city

FAQ

What is a vegan backpack? 

Simply put, a vegan backpack is a bag that doesn't contain any animal products such as leather or wool. 

 

What are vegan backpacks made out of?

Vegan backpacks can be made from a wide range of materials (essentially anything that isn't animal-based). That could be cotton/canvas, hemp, cork or vegan leathers such as polyurethane or some of the more eco-friendly alternatives such as apple leather, pineapple leather or Kraft paper.

 

What is apple leather or pineapple leather?

There are number of new, innovative, sustainable leathers that have been invented in the last few years that use waste products from the food industry to make vegan leathers. These include Piñatex (pineapple leather), apple leather, grape leather, corn leather, mango leather and more. Piñatex, for example, is made with the leaves of pineapple plants, which are usually discarded (in the region of 40,000 tons per year!). 

 

Are vegan backpacks eco-friendly? 

One charge often levelled against vegan leather is that it's not as eco-friendly as leather, but that's simply untrue. It is true that vegan leather, even sustainable vegan leathers like pineapple leather, aren't biodegradable; however, they are still far more sustainable than leather, as evidenced by the Higgs index, which ranks vegan polyurethane leather and pineapple leather as far more eco-friendly than cow or pig leather. That's because of the huge environmental destruction wrought by raising animals, including greenhouse gas emission and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Not to mention the cruelty inherent to the industry, both to animals and people, since the chemicals such as chromium used in the leather tanning industry is extremely detrimental to the health of workers, some of whom are children.

 

Are Herschel backpacks vegan?

No. According to what I could find online, it seems the 'leather' detailing in Herschel bags used to be made of faux leather, but since 2015, the company says they are "unable to guarantee any of their bags are vegan."

 

Person wearing grey laptop in a forest

 

Are Fjallraven backpacks vegan?

Many Fjallraven bags are made of ripstop, durable nylon - just be sure you get one with a stitched-on, rather than leather, logo. I found their website didn't specify, so you're best off looking in store.

 

Are Jansport backpacks vegan?

Jansport makes some vegan backpacks, and even marks their vegan bags on Amazon, such as this one!

 

What is Kraft Paper and doesn't it dissolve in the rain?

Kraft Paper is the paper used for most paper bags - yes, those paper bags that you get in store when shopping! It's made using the same process as other paper, but is stronger. Some bag makers now make backpacks out of Kraft paper. Kraft paper is 60 to 90% biodegradable, making it an eco friendly option for making bags. You might be wondering, but wouldn't it just dissolve in the rain? No! They coat the paper so it doesn't breakdown when wet and then line the bag with Tyvek, which is soft to the touch and water resistant. Tyvek is a synthetic material developed in the 1950s that is similar to paper and often used in envelopes as it is water resistant. 

 

Where to buy vegan backpacks?

If you're looking for a canvas bag, you can go to the nearest store to you that has bags to find one. Just watch out for leather trim or zipper pulls.

If you're after a vegan leather backpack, it can get a bit trickier, as stores don't necessarily stock them (or their might, but employees don't always know what's faux leather, as I found out during countless trips to department stores as a teenager trying to find leather-free shoes). To nab a vegan backpack, unless you happen to be very lucky and live in a city that has a vegan shoe and bag store, your best bet is online. See the list above for my picks of best vegan leather and cork backpacks.

 

 

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Pinterest image showing a person sitting down wearing a red and yellow backpack

 

Looking for more vegan bags? Check out my guide to vegan handbags here, vegan crossbody bags here, vegan bucket bags here, vegan shoulder bags here and vegan tote bags here.

Want something upscale? Find my guide to vegan designer bags here.

Searching for more vegan leather goods? See my guide to vegan belts here and vegan watches here.

Need a non-leather wallet? Click here to see my guide to vegan wallets.

Are you looking specifically for a vegan laptop backpack? Check out my guide to vegan laptop bags here. I also have a guide to messenger bags, including those with laptop compartments, here.

If you need luggage for your next trip, I have a guide to travel backpacks and suitcases here.

See all my vegan Beauty & Fashion guides here.

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