Winner of PETA Vegan Handbag Design Competition Announced

For Immediate Release:
2 June 2017

Olivia Jordan +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; [email protected]


Stylish Cruelty-Free Shoulder Bag Will Be Produced by British Brand Wilby

London – Designer Sarah Bayliss has been named the winner of PETA’s vegan handbag design competition. The contest to find the new vegan “It bag” was run in collaboration with trendy eco-friendly accessory brand Wilby. Her stylish blue vegan suede shoulder bag was chosen as the winning design by model and animal rights advocate Lucy Watson and will now be produced and sold by Wilby.

“Compassion is clearly in fashion, and many designers are moving away from animal skins and instead experimenting with sustainable, vegan materials,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “Sarah’s winning design shows that it’s chic to dress with a conscience.”

Speaking of the use of cruelly obtained animal skins, Bayliss says, “[B]eautiful and stylish fashion is possible without the use of such materials and methods.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – notes that many animals killed for leather endure castration, branding, tail-docking, and dehorning without painkillers, as shown in Stella McCartney’s shocking video exposé of the leather industry. Some are even skinned or dismembered alive. In addition, the global skins trade is notorious for harming the environment, from the methane emissions produced by cattle to the toxic tannery chemicals that pollute nearby water supplies.

Recent innovations in plant-based fabrics include grape leather, cork, waxed cotton, Piñatex (derived from pineapple leaves), and MuSkin (extracted from mushroom caps).

Most Wilby bags are made in the UK and in accordance with the company’s motto and Mahatma Gandhi’s famous saying, “There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness.”

A photo of the winning design is available here. For more information, please visit