Finding vegan alternatives to every single clothing and accessory in our wardrobe is not an easy task. However, some are easier than others.
Even though a “belt” might be the last thing you think of, it’s one of the quickest adjustments you can make in your wardrobe. And frankly, we don’t need that many belts.
Plus, they’re by far the most affordable accessory out of the existing ones.
In this blog post, I’ve compiled a list of belts for men and women. Both functional and fashionable, and certainly ones that leave animals out of the equation.
This being said, I want to say I don’t consider these to be “100% vegan” options. Why? Some of the suggestions I make include nylon and faux leather belts — which are not sustainable options. And the only reason I’m mentioning them is that they’re still better than promoting the slaughter and skinning of animals.
Here are the best vegan-friendly options I’ve found:
Belts Made From Cork.
Corkor is a Portuguese brand that sells 100% vegan accessories.
They have a diverse collection of bags, wallets, belts and even keychains — all made from cork. The cork itself is sustainably harvested in Portugal, where the products also happen to be produced by a team of local, Portuguese artisans.
The reason I love this brand is that they fully represent the scope of principles any vegan attempts to implement in his/her life when making buying decisions.
No animal cruelty, it’s sustainable and 100% ethical.
Cork Belt 25MM (Suitable For Women)
This Women’s Cork Belt is crafted from smooth brown cork harvested from sustainable cork oak in the countryside Portugal.
The belt itself is clean, slim and versatile; and it comes with a silver-tone Italian buckle that gives you an accentuated look that fits perfectly with any casual and classic apparel.
Pair that with the FSC® certified cork and you have a belt that will last you years without cracking or crumbling.
Cork Belt 30MM (Suitable For Men)
The Men’s Cork Belt is another cork-made masterpiece by Corker.
It’s available in both black and brown colored cork, which allows you to choose what fits better with your wardrobe. Or you can pick both and use them interchangeably with darker and lighter clothes.
This belt blends well with casual, classic or formal looks. The Italian silvertone buckle adds a pinch of elegance to this belt — while keeping it within the realms of perfect business attire.
It’s clean, sober… an overall great choice for men who love to keep things simple.
Belts Made From Faux Leather
Faux leather is not as sustainable as cork, but it’s a strong alternative.
The reason I’m still okay with promoting it even though it’s not sustainable is that it keeps leather products from receiving attention.
And while faux leather is not an optimal option, there’s still a way to ensure you’re picking the right type of faux leather.
There are two main types of faux leather construction: polyurethane (PU), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PU is less toxic to produce than PVC, because the latter is produced with highly toxic chlorine, and releases harmful dioxins.
This being said, you need to be cautious about the type of PU you’re buying.
There’s 100% PU synthetic leather, that is vegan. And then you may have bi-cast leather, which contains leather, but also has PU coating on top of it.
Therefore, always ensure the product is 100% PU synthetic leather before buying.
SlideBelts’ Black Belt (Suitable For Men)
SlideBelts is a brand that specializes in creating belts. Not only vegan belts.
The Black Belt, in particular, is clean, stylish, and customizable. What you see on the image is just one version of the 12-13 buckle versions you can choose on their website.
You can choose either a standard or a square buckle, and depending on your choice, you’re given a set number of patterns.
You’re even able to engrave your name in the buckle for fifteen more bucks.
With its unique dual-ratchet buckle, you can precisely adjust it to a point where you’re comfortable. This characteristic also helps it last longer than regular belts, given how the holes in regular belts get stretched out and worn down over time.
All in all, the belts provided by SlideBelts are sleek, functional and durable. I’d recommend you try them out if you don’t mind faux leather.
Earnda Faux Leather Belt (Suitable For Women)
By far the most affordable option, this Faux Leather belt is made from high-quality PU leather, that is accentuated by the vintage gold double O-Ring buckle.
A vintage gold buckle that doesn’t take away from the design, by having it loop through the O-Ring buckle. As you can see from the image, the display is seamless and fits perfectly over a t-shirt or dress.
The most exciting aspect of this belt (aside from its fashionable look), is how affordable it is despite being animal-friendly. It comes in three different colors; black, chocolate brown and yellow; along with five different sizes to match.
This is definitely the easiest choice if you wanna quickly swap from normal leather to a more animal-friendly alternative.
Belts Made From Nylon
Nylon is a manmade fabric just like polyester. And just like polyester, it is far from being the most sustainable fabric in the market.
This being said, nylon has a softer feel than polyester but is also stronger and stretchier.
Most affordable nylon belts use Nylon 6, while high-priced nylon belts use Nylon 66. The difference between both lies in their melting point — with Nylon 66 having a higher temperature application.
This also means Nylon 66 has higher tensile strength, making it more durable.
GRIP6 Web Belt (Suitable For Men & Women)
Grip 6 is a belt company with a really special product in their hands. Why?
Because the technological efforts they put into creating their belts is rather unique.
Now you might say… “I just need a vegan belt”… you’re correct. But if you’re planning on getting a faux leather belt, might as well get one that will last you ages.
The Grip6 belts were created with high-end functionality and design in mind. And frankly, it’s difficult to find a company that does it better.
The Grip6 belts are functional in the sense that a buckle has a purpose beyond appearance. It is meant to keep your belt locked in place. And the Grip6 belt does that with a friction hold that can hold over 250 lbs of outward pressure. Furthermore, the buckles are manufactured with certified 6061 T6 aluminum which increases durability significantly.
Now… the strap itself has something going for it. It’s built from Nylon 6,6 — a more rigid material with higher tensile strength and superior abrasion resistance. It’s essentially a material build for long-performance, unlike most belts in the market.
This probably the best belt out of the ones I have mentioned — but it’s not as affordable.
And before I forget, the belts serve both men and women.
Nylon Ratchet Belt (Suitable For Men)
This Nylon Ratchet Belt was created by Mission Belt — a Shark Tank company.
The innovative characteristic of this belt is its buckle. This is a belt with no holes because it relies on its lever-equipped buckle and undercarriage to quickly tighten or relieve the strap.
From what I understand, the technology in the buckle allows you to smoothly put on or remove the belt in just a couple of seconds. It’s probably the type of belt you’d love to have each time you’re getting through security at the airport.
It comes with 45 belt variations, with different buckle & strap patterns — and the company apparently donates one dollar to institutions fighting global hunger.
In any case, the belt is a stylish addition to anyone looking for an animal-friendly alternative to leather belts, without going overboard on the cost.
Belts Made From Other Materials
Jacroki Black Belt (Suitable For Men)
It looks and feels like leather, but it’s far from it. The Jacroki Black Belt was crafted using a combination of recovered paper and latex.
The product itself is ethically manufactured in Portugal, and it’s a clean, sleek alternative to leather-made belts. Unlike most belts mentioned in this article, this one is quite sustainable as the ratio of recovered paper vs later is 80/20.
Another interesting aspect is how Bleed Clothing; the company behind the belt, makes an effort to make the planet cleaner. They have completely erased plastic from their packaging, and they rely on DHL Go Green for more ecological shipping.
This is a clean, simple belt; unlike the high-tech belts I’ve mentioned — but it’s perfect for the person seeking a more classic vibe.
Definitely one of the most vegan-friendly options on the market right now.
Jacroki Chocolate Belt (Suitable For Women)
The Jacroki Chocolate Belt is crafted using a combination of recovered paper and latex.
This one, in particular, was designed with a thin strap, blending well with the current trend where pants are worn over a shirt, which draws more attention to the belt.
As such, it was Bleed Clothing’s mission to create a clean, fashionable belt that would look good with almost every classical, and casual clothing. This design was specifically made to cater to women, and although it resembles leather, it’s potentially the most sustainable alternative next to a cork belt.
Kaine Cognac Belt (Suitable For Men & Women)
This belt is brought to you by Alltrueist but is actually put together by Noani, a brand that creates handmade fashion products in Italy.
This belt is a good sustainable option, as it’s made from eucalyptus fibers and recycled polyester. Being handcrafted by local artisans in Italy means ethical manufacturing comes into play for this piece… which also means it’s not the most affordable belt there is.
The contrast of the antique silver pin buckle against the soft matte finish of the faux suede will make the belt the highlight of any outfit you wear.
New York Belt: Camel
This New York Camel Belt is handmade in New York City’s historic garment district.
The man behind Brave Gentleman is Joshua Katcher, the person who launched the first vegan lifestyle menswear brand in the world.
Joshua Katcher is a fashion designer, author, activist and educator who has lectured internationally on sustainable and ethical fashion. This belt is one of his vegan masterpieces, a by-product of his slow-fashion production model.
Like any other product you’re able to find at Brave Gentleman, this belt stems from a will to eliminate animal cruelty and breakdown the ethical mismatches in society.
This belt is created using an Italian-milled, PU-based microfiber that is EU Ecolabel certified.
According to Brave Gentleman, their PU is made in a controlled and regulated chemical environment, in which only a few grams per ton of chemicals are consequently released.
I personally don’t think it’s the most sustainable option, but it’s still a far better alternative than PVC. And Joshua Katcher is effectively making an effort by also relying on other organic plant-based materials, as well.
To be honest, these options were not easy to find. Ethical and sustainable fashion is still considered very niche, and thus also quite expensive. Even if you search for ‘vegan belts’ on Google, the options that pop up are quite limited… so you need to dig a bit further to find options that are worth your while.
What you’ll also find is that the majority of the belts available still rely on a form of manmade (and somewhat pollutive) material to give the belt the necessary durability for it to last more than just a couple of months… Though, an exception I found is the cork-made belt — but not everyone is fond of the look and feel of the cork wrapped around their waist.
This being said, I hope I gave you something to think about… and although you may not agree with some of the options here, I feel like there’s a blurred line between what is actually considered to be “vegan” and what is not.
If you know of any other belt options out there (that are both high-quality and affordable), please let me know by sending me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for reading this blog post!
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