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Photo: GUNAS New York

These days, “vegan” has become the object of many people’s desire, rather than ire, when it comes to fashion and accessories. GUNAS New York takes the frustration of people seeking an ethical option while shopping for luxury bags, and turns it into something practical, beautiful, and sustainable.

Each GUNAS New York bag is made from “a variety of fabrics including coated canvases, nylons, eco-polyurethane, ultra-leather, ultra-suede and up-cycled polyester for linings.” Practically everything you can think of on each bag, even the custom logo hardware, is recycled. GUNAS New York makes a ton of options for basically any type of bag you could need, from a large, multi-pocketed tote bag to a studded wallet/clutch hybrid.

Photo: GUNAS New York

I’ve been using my Rotunda bag for the past week and I can tell you, it’s probably the coolest bag I own. The round shape and bold green color (it comes in other options as well) makes it stand out amongst the sea of neutrals in my wardrobe. The zipper is also, weirdly, the smoothest zipper I’ve used on a bag. I’m not sure if it was truly intentional, but it’s a very nice feature. When I get bored on the subway platform, I zip and unzip the bag like it’s a fidget spinner. The hardware on each zipper also has a really nice weight to it.

Founder Sugandh G. Agrawal ran with “the notion that we can look and feel good without harming other living beings” by creating GUNAS New York as a way to look past vegan alternatives as an Other. She believed that changing the way you approach luxury bags from a material standpoint shouldn’t impact the simplicity and beauty of the bags themselves. And she succeeded.

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