High Fashion, Zero Cruelty: Gunas Vegan Bags
This post has been long due on Style on Vega: I’ve been lusting over Gunas vegan bags for over a year now and last week I finally got myself one.
What is this brand with this strange sounding name? First and foremost, guna is a Sanskrit word that translates to virtue or quality. There is no exact translation for the word, but I think that the concept is appropriate for Gunas.
Founded in 2009 by Sugandh G. Agrawal, Gunas has always been a 100% cruelty-free brand. The story of this brand is nothing short of pure passion: Sugandh left her 7-year corporate job as an industrial designer to pursue her dream of being an advocate for animals and conscious consumerism.
This brand is the answer to the dreaded question “Where do I find quality gorgeous cruelty-free handbags?”. Gunas vegan bags are a very good answer to this question: I am experiencing the quality first hand. I think their bags are no less than their real leather equivalent in quality and style: on the contrary, research for better materials and styles is strong in the vegan field. And so is the desire to stop the exploitation of workers in sweatshop factories.
Ethics and sustainability are Gunas core founding principles: I don’t think a brand can claim to be 100% cruelty-free if it’s cruel to the environment and to the people.
Despite starting as a Made in NYC brand, today Gunas has gone global to source and manufacture bags and shoes using artisan and small-scale ethical manufacturers from countries such as India, South Korea, Mexico, Brazil and Hong Kong.
Their bags are 100% free of animal derived materials and are made using sustainable fabrics like coated canvas, polyurethane, ultraleather, ultrasuede and recycled polyester (read more about eco-friendly alternatives to real leather).
They also use upcycled upholstery that would have been discarded into landfills otherwise. For metal parts, they use a mix of recycled metals (lead and nickel free).
Enough with the chit-chat, let’s get to my purchase now! Among all the super neat and classy bags, I chose the one with the softest and most casual look. I needed a bag for everyday errands and my everyday looks are not exactly preppy or grown-up. But you might already know this, right?
I tend to wear black and gray a lot, and I love minimal looks. So I went for a Naomi shopper. And boy, do I love her (yes, she’s definitely a she, my new bff!)
The Naomi bag is super spacious, I mean… I could fit a 13″ Macbook, a notepad, an umbrella, my keys, my phone, a bottle of water, my Luca Chiara wallet, my pencil case and my beauty case in it.
I could have thrown more stuff in there but it was getting pretty heavy and I had to do quite a lot of walking on that day. How awesome is that?
I didn’t expect the bag to be so roomy but it definitely is and I’m super glad. You can even use it as a weekender if you’re not a “3-pair-of-shoes-a-day” kind of girl.
It has three different compartments on the inside; you can close the middle one with a zip so you can use that one for valuables like your keys or wallet. You also have two pockets and one zip pocket on the inside and one extra zip pocket on the outside.
Beware, I’m not singing the praises of this bag because I got it for free: I bought it and I even paid half its price in custom fees (I live in Italy and those fees are pretty expensive here) but I would do it again anytime.
PS: I matched the Naomi bag with Wills London heeled buckle boots. They deserve a whole post on their own: the more I buy from ethical cruelty-free companies, the more I love the quality of those products!
What is your favorite bag by Gunas? Have a look at this post to see more from their collection (and find out about more designer vegan handbags)!
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About the Author
Hey, it's Elisa, founder of styleonvega.com. I'm a social media strategist & consultant by day and blogger by night (honing my multitasking skills since 2006 ;). I'm an atypical Italian, freedom lifestyle advocate and modern spirituality enthusiast. Feel like we could get along? Join me just above this box or get in touch with me on Facebook or Twitter.