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What Is a Vegan Wallet?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 17, 2024
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A vegan wallet is simply a type of wallet that does not include any animal products - leather, for instance. For people who are especially concerned about the presence of animal products in their lives, purchasing a vegan wallet can be a great way to ensure their actions match their beliefs. A wallet that does not contain any leather may be made of cotton or other types of cloth; some are even made from hemp or bamboo. Any wallet that is free of leather will generally be labeled as such. Though it can be somewhat difficult to find vegan wallets in stores, they are easy to find online, in many different colors and varying styles.

Of course, it is possible to get a vegan wallet made of synthetic leather, also sometimes referred to as "pleather." However, some people who follow a vegan lifestyle do not want to encourage the use of leather products, and as such will not use products that look as if they are made from leather. The wide range of materials, such as cotton, nylon, or hemp, among others, offer many other vegan wallet options that are clearly not made from any type of animal products.

There are many different styles and varying sizes of vegan wallets available. Bi-fold wallets, which fold in half and often close with a clasp or other type of closure, are especially common. Tri-fold wallets are another common option for men. Longer, checkbook style wallets are another option that may be a bit more stylish and able to accommodate more items. For a simple solution, a change purse or even a small clutch can be used as a wallet or an everyday purse if the individual does not have a lot of items to carry. Shopping around in stores and online can be a good way to locate different styles.

It is possible to get a vegan wallet to match a vegan bag as well. These may be made of similar or even identical materials to the wallet, and may be purchased separately or in a set. In addition, shoes, which frequently include leather as part of their makeup, are also available in vegan versions that are free of leather, and could possibly be coordinated with the wallet and bag. All of these items may take a little additional effort to find, but for people who are very committed to their vegan lifestyles, they can be worth the extra time and energy.

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Discussion Comments
By geekish — On Sep 25, 2011

@tolleranza - I haven't heard the words "vegan" used all the time with Stella McCartney clothes, but she most definitely is animal friendly and does *not* use leather or fur, which is nice because high fashion seems to think of fur as a must-have.

I hate to write on a vegan wallet article that I have never thought about never buying leather items.

But in reading this I have to say it will be hard not to see an animal versus a pretty leather boots the next time I go shopping. I may just have to go for vegan shoes as a start...(my wallet is already vegan - I had just never thought of it that way - it is an awesome patterned cloth clutch).

By tolleranza — On Sep 25, 2011

I find people who do this lifestyle very disciplined. There are many foods that are not a part of their life and now knowing that they have to pay close attention to their clothing tags as well, just furthers that opinion!

I had heard that the designer Stella McCartney is very animal friendly with her clothing, but I am not sure if it is actually vegan clothing. But if it is - I would check out her items, she has an incredible eye for beautiful clothes.

By SZapper — On Sep 24, 2011

@Monika - That sounds like a nice idea. My boyfriend has a vegan wallet too, although he isn't a vegan.

He got this thing he calls a "graffiti wallet." It basically looks like it sounds. It's a wallet made of really, really strong paper that has graffiti art all over it. It looks really cool, and it's held up really well. I think this would be a good alternative for a vegan who doesn't want a wallet that looks like leather!

By Monika — On Sep 23, 2011

I think one great way to have a vegan wallet would be to make one yourself! Of course, I'm a knitter, so I'm all about making things instead of buying them.

I actually made myself a large change purse type thing that I use as a wallet. It's big enough to hold money (if it's folded up) and all my various cards.

I didn't meant for the wallet to be vegan, but I did want something handmade that I didn't have to buy from a store. I guess I killed two birds with one stone on that one though!

By discographer — On Sep 23, 2011

@popcorn-- I know, there are many choices! I bought the cutest vegan purse and matching wallet the other day! It's made from cotton and the handles of the purse are from wood. It looks really nice, designer-like and great for summer-time.

I'm so happy that there are more and more choices for vegan purses and wallets. It costs the same as all other purses too, so clearly this market is growing and it can only be cheaper in the future.

By turquoise — On Sep 22, 2011

My wallet is made from synthetic leather so I guess technically, I have a vegan wallet. It had never occurred to me that it promotes the use of leather though because it looks that way.

The one concern I have about using a vegan wallet made of cotton or hemp is how sturdy and long-lasting it would be. I think leather has been the preferred material for wallets over the years because leather is really strong and lasts for a long time.

I doubt that a cotton or hemp wallet would be as long lasting and from what I know vegan products are not cheap either as there are not many vegan producers and not as much competition.

I do care about animals and want to support the vegan movement, but I also need to think about cost. Can anyone who uses a vegan wallet tell me about the quality and if it's worth the cost?

By ysmina — On Sep 21, 2011

@ElizaBennett-- I agree with you, I also made the change to vegan and organic products recently. But I already have many non-vegan products and belongings at home. I don't think that becoming vegan means throwing out everything you have and getting all vegan ones. I don't think that's in the spirit of being vegan at all.

I think it's about choosing vegan products when you need something and the time comes to buy. I do think that vegan products as gifts can be a great way to make a statement and to pursue someone to start using them as well. I'm thinking about gifting a vegan wallet to my uncle. I'm hoping that he likes it enough to realize that all good products don't require harming animals and it's time to prefer ones that don't. I hope it works!

By ElizaBennett — On Sep 20, 2011

Of course, if you have a leather wallet that is still holding together, the best thing for the environment is to keep using it and not replace it just because you have decided against using animal products.

My husband has a leather men's wallet that he was given as a high school graduation gift thirteen years ago! It has been through a lot but it's still doing its job.

He would not buy another leather wallet, but it seems wasteful to disgard this one just because it no longer makes the right statement. Buying a vegetarian wallet at this point would be a waste of the chemicals, water, land, etc. that go into the hemp and cotton!

By lonelygod — On Sep 20, 2011

@popcorn - It is great to hear that you are also supporting the vegan products movement. I just picked up a vegan wallet a few days ago and was doing a bit of reading about how it was made. Mine is hemp, and feels quite solid. I am hoping it will last me at least a few years.

Men's wallets seem to be one of those products that are usually made out of leather, so it is good to choose to replace an often used product with something better for the environment. I actually managed to find some credit card wallets made of hemp which really made my day. I am always struggling with so many cards.

By popcorn — On Sep 20, 2011

I had a lot of trouble finding vegan wallets for men in my hometown so I ended up ordering from a small shop I found online. My friend's birthday is coming up and he is very big into animal welfare and only wanted a non-leather wallet for his birthday.

I think that the movement towards vegan products is fantastic, as far too many animals are harmed making leather goods. I am actually considering buying some vegan dress shoes later this month to support the movement, as I have a wedding coming up. I didn't know there were so many choices out there for those who wanted to avoid animal products.

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