A few years ago I ordered my first vegan shoulder bag, and I still have it. The material is made of good, lasting quality. Sure, it has a few scratches, but that’s because of the use I (and occasionally some of my kitties) have given it. It’s still in excellent shape, though, and I carry it nearly every day. So, I was thinking of checking out several vegan brands, and today I would like to start with Jules Kae’s lovely bags, and look at material, pros, cons, and prices.
I do not own anything by Jules Kae, but I am giving an overview of their products, because they are cruelty-free and I am interested in purchasing perhaps either a jacket or a belt from them (they offer more than handbags, which I will show you further down in this article).
Jules Kae is a handbag and accessory line, based in New York and founded in 2016, by the designer, Jules Kae. With a lively and feminine play on classic shapes, current trends, and romantic touches, each new collection comes with new and attractive developments.
The materials they use are premier cruelty-free and PETA-approved vegan leather for belts, bags, and small vegan leather products. Jules Kae is also owned by women who strive to make sleek and easy bags for the on-the-go girl in today’s busy world.
PETA-approved or certified means that this company does not use any ingredients, formulations, or finished products that were tested on animals and that they have no intention to do so in the future. If a company is validated by PETA, you can be assured that they are 100% cruelty-free.
Their prices are between $32 and $150 US, which are normal prices for a good quality hand bag, nothing exorbitant. On top of that, Jules Kae offers some amazing discounts on selected items.
One customer described the Skyla bag as “a unique piece” in her collection. In her 5-star review she wrote: “It’s a good size, my phone, mirror, wallet, lipstick and some extra goodies fit in the bag comfortably. And it’s a nice pop of color. Gorgeous bag! Love it.”
Besides a large range of handbags, Jules Kae also offers a stunning selection of belts, face masks and face mask holders, jackets, coats, and collars.
The face masks have a three-layer construction and decorative fronts. Their scrunched elastic ear loops allow comfortable wear and they are also offered with elegant face mask holders: beautiful chains that connect to the ear loops.
One customer gave it a 5 star review and commented:
“This is the best mask I’ve tried!! It’s so breathable and soft. The chain is really cute and its so nice to just slip the mask on and off around your neck. One thing: do not machine wash the mask, it will shrink!!! It still fits but is a little too snug.”
The website states that these face masks can be machine washed in the delicate cycle, so I’m not sure what cycle this person was using, since it’s not mentioned. When in doubt, hand wash is probably safer 😉
The belts look lovely and show different styles, all very fashionable and feminine.
The jackets display a larger variety. There are coats; motto, bomber, and denim jackets.
Vegan leather – also known as faux leather or pleather – is a material that doesn’t require the killing of an animal. There are two products that are most commonly used to make vegan leather:
Polyvinyl chloride: also known as PVC. It’s either rigid or flexible and it’s often used for food packaging, bank cards, and pipes.
Polyurethane: also known as PU, is flexible, durable, and more environmentally friendly than traditional leather. It’s also used to make skateboard wheels, hoses, and synthetic fibers.
Both materials can be used in different styles and colors.
Besides these two commonly known ones there are also other natural vegan leather alternatives such as banana leather, cork, and mushrooms. In 2019, nopal leather was also introduced (see article “El Universal: Mexicans create first vegan leather using nopal“). Nopal is an edible cactus that grows in Mexico. It has a chewy texture inside that I can imagine will work well to produce vegan leather.
It’s exciting to learn that all these natural alternatives to make cruelty-free leather are now available and many companies are now beginning to use them.
The most frequent concern I hear about PVC and PU is plastic and the effects on the environment, but if you stop and think about it, the production of natural leather made of animal skin is much more damaging to the environment, and to people (the workers) as well.
Although plastic is being used, opting for vegan leather is still a more ethical choice, for people and animals.
Why is it dangerous for the workers?
In order to make natural leather, you have to make skin durable. Skin is an organ that will decompose like all organs naturally do after a living being is killed. In order to stop the skin’s decomposition the animal skin is doused in a series of highly toxic liquids. Workers expose themselves to the poisonous fumes of these liquids which may cause health problems. Much of that toxicity is also spilled in the environment.
Why is it cruel?
Contrary to popular belief, natural leather is not a by-product from the meat industry. Animals are brutally killed for leather, and as you will see in an upcoming article I’m preparing, the leather industry isn’t any less cruel than the fur industry. The journey from the cow (or any other animal) to a leather clothing item is in fact heartbreaking.
The biggest pro is that everything is cruelty-free! Like I mentioned before, Jules Kae is PETA certified. If you want to shop cruelty-free products and you’re not sure which company tests on animals and/or uses ingredients that either come from animals or are tested on them, the PETA list is accurate and it is frequently updated. When in doubt, check their list. That’s what I do.
I couldn’t find any cons, except for the prices for jackets and coats, but I don’t consider that a big negative, since good quality jackets and coats usually have a higher price. In the end, you’re paying for quality and endurance, My vegan bag is around 5 years old and it is still in great condition, even if it’s from a different company.
Cheaper items tend not to last that long and having to replace them constantly can easily accumulate into a big expense as well.
Customers also seem very happy with their products, many are raving over their handbags.
Faux is Fair – Final Thoughts
Faux leather is a more ethical option if you still want to use a crocodile skin belt for example without having the crocodile killed for it. Vegan ostrich leather or any other type is available in handbags and accessories; and ostriches, cows, crocodiles, and other animals that are frequently targeted for their skin can now – with the rise of more vegan leather products – breathe a little more at ease.
On top of that, Jules Kae offers unique and beautiful designs, which are feminine and practical.