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March 26, 2020 2 min read

Fashion lovers who follow the ethical path are keen to find the best vegan leather bags, and washable paper bags definitely fit this brief. In fact washable paper is a better option that traditional “vegan leather”. Unlike synthetic leather, Washable Paper, also known as Paper Leather, is natural and sustainable, coming from a plant-based natural leather. Washable paper will not wear out or degrade like synthetic leather and also can withstand difficult weather conditions

Washable Paper Bags have featured in my ethical gift and accessories store www.templesandmarkets.com.au for 2 years now, since I launched a collection of Tote Bags, Backpacks and Laptop Cases from Saigon based designers Pretty Simple Bags.

Washable paper bags

Washable paper bags are made from 100% paper (cellulose fibres) combined with organic latex that is lightweight and greatly resistant to tears. The cellulose comes from specially farmed trees. This process has been approved by the FSC. After the combination of the cellulose strands and the latex, the product is tanned, with a procedure analogous to that involved in the tanning of leather. This tanning is what gives the washable paper its weathered leathery appearance. The bags are washable (up to 40 °C).

Pre Xmas 2020 I introduced into my store a new brand of washable paper bags –Kaban – that have a luxury designer edge. Kaban bags are designed by Australian designer Selene Alcock, and crafted in her small Saigon workshop.

Kaban, Japanese for bag, is a unique designer bag brand for the 21st century, fashion-oriented, yet globally conscious consumer. The Kaban collection encompasses day and active bags, as well as luxury evening handbags. Both natural and metallic colours enhance the designs. I particularly love the style of the two-tone washable paper metallic and natural canvas styles e.g the Phaedra – perfect for beach days or as a work carry all.

Kaban Bags are made from a combination of reusable shopping and rPETcanvas (recycled PET bottles) bags and washable paper.

Kaban sources high-quality FSC certified paper from Germany and the USA that is free of Pentachlorophenol, PVC or BPA, so that the products in this collection are completely safe for people and the environment.

As a small manufacturer, Kaban stays close to their workers and suppliers. Designer Selene runs a small ethical workshop in Ho Chi Minh City. She provides a fair, ethical and toxic-free work environment for her artisan makers.

In short, why do I love Washable Paper Bags and think they are the best choice for vegan leather bag shoppers? Because they are crafted from material that:

  • is lightweight and durable
  • can be washed, which means all marks and stains that impinge on it can be removed
  • is biodegradable and natural 

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