Looking for a new wallet? Let me help you with my guide to the best vegan wallets. Rather than plastic-based faux leather, I’ve hunted down wallets made from recycled materials so that your wallet can both look and do good.
The interest in vegan products, such as vegan wallets, is growing. However, this growing interest means a rise in greenwashing from unscrupulous manufacturers looking to cash in on this growing market.
Most vegan wallets available are made from vegan leather. Vegan leather sounds superior. However, all vegan leather is made from non-renewable fossil fuel-based plastics. These contribute to an increase in greenhouse gases which accelerate climate change.
Meanwhile, PVC – a common vegan leather – is regarded as the most toxic of all plastics. As well as being a carcinogen, it’s known to cause diabetes, as well as damage immune systems, disrupt hormones, and cause birth defects. PVC’s ill effects are wide-ranging. Workers, soil and water supplies, and nearby communities can all be at risk from this toxic substance.
Vegan leather made from plant-based materials such as pineapple skin, mushrooms and cactus is having a moment. However, even vegan leathers made from natural products have to be blended with plastic – as much as 50% plastic. This means they still use non-renewable fossil fuels and are not recyclable, compostable or biodegradable at the end of their life.
The Best Vegan Wallets Made From Recycled Materials
However, there are ways to be more sustainable whilst sticking to your vegan principles. When it comes to shopping for vegan products you can opt for items made from recycled materials, rather than opting for vegan leather. To help you out, I’ve got my top vegan wallet recommendations, all of which have been recycled or repurposed from items that would otherwise have gone to waste.
Elvis & Kresse Vegan Wallet
Elvis & Kresse’s vegan wallets are made from genuine decommissioned fire hoses. Previously deployed in active duty for up to 25 years, fighting fires around the UK, the decommissioned hoses would otherwise end up in landfill.
Instead, Elvis & Kresse cleverly repurposes the hose by hand into luxury accessories. Hoses make for a great vegan-friendly material because the hose softens with use but never loses its strength. And as you would expect from a hose, they are naturally water-resistant and extremely durable.
When it comes to recycling, Elvis and Kresse haven’t stopped there. Its wallets are even lined with reclaimed military-grade parachute silk. You can even have your wallet personalised.
What’s more, as well as looking after your money, your wallet helps look after others. This is because Elvis & Kresse donate 50% of their profits to charity. Specifically, the Fire Fighters Charity, which helps support serving and retired firefighters across the UK.
Shop Elvis & Kresse at Not On The High St, for £78.50.
Cycle of Good Wallet
Cycle of Good takes waste from the cycling industry and recycles waste that would otherwise end up in landfill into clever accessories, loved by cycling enthusiasts and non-cyclists alike.
Their range of vegan wallets is made from recycled innertubes by fairly paid tailors in Malawi. This classic style wallet has four handy credit card slots, and a large note section, lined with an eye-catching fabric called Chitenge. Chitenge are colourful pieces of fabric that contain a variety of patterns and designs. This particular Chitenge is 100% cotton and has been wax-printed, and then bound with cotton binding.
For a fun touch, some of their recycled inner tubes have manufacturers writing on them, or the odd puncture repair patch. This means that no two wallets will ever be identical.
Buy from Cycle of Good at Ethical Superstore, for £16.95.
Inflatable Amnesty Wallet
These particular wallets aren’t made from paddling pools. Instead, they are made from offcuts of ex-bouncy castles, generated during the processes of Inflatable Amnesty’s bag making. This means they are made from the waste materials of waste material that would otherwise end up in landfill! That’s a whole lot of recycling packed into one (vegan) wallet!
Shop directly from Inflatable Amnesty on Etsy, from £29.
Boating enthusiasts might be interested in Mouse Sails. This Wales-based upcycling operation takes old boat sails destined for landfill and upcycles them into a range of clever accessories, including tote bags, pouches and wallets.
Their range of vegan wallets is a great way to keep all your cards and cash in one place. With one large compartment for cash and/or receipts and two card storage wallets, with space behind them for more cards, these roomy wallets store your essentials without being bulky.
The recycled sailcloth – which comes in a variety of different colours and patterns – is stitched together with hard-wearing thread – ready to sail with you into the sunset once again.
Buy from the Mouse Sails Etsy shop, for £24.
Lotus Direct Fairtrade Vegan Wallets
Lotus Direct’s range of vegan wallets are ethically handcrafted by Cambodian artisans, who are paid fair wages and work in their own homes.
Made using reinforced recycled fish feed and cement bags, this makes each wallet durable, compact, lightweight and wipeable. These Fairtrade-certified wallets feature a pocket for notes, a zipped pocket for holding coins, and multiple slip pockets to hold your bank cards. This means there’s ample space for all of your essentials.
Buy from Lotus Direct, for £22.
Hopefully, you’ve been able to find an ethical and sustainable wallet that meets your needs! And if you found this post useful, then do check out my guide to recycled vegan belts.
Main image used c/o Cycle of Good.