On Sans Beast

| Fashion

On Sans Beast - Aussie-born Handbag and Accessory Brand - Ethically Sound - Vegan Good Life Magazine

An Aussie-born handbag and accessory brand, Sans Beast has created technologically- and ethically-sound pieces for the modern accessory lover. For anyone on the hunt for something that makes a bold fashion statement for the animals, we give you an inside look into the brand.

Words: Cort Cunningham
Photography: Brix & Maas
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In Melbourne, Australia, we meet Cathryn Wills. She’s the founder of Sans Beast, luxe handbag and accessory brand “for style-seeking faux hunters”. After a long chapter of working in handbag design and manufacturing, Cathryn chose to align her profession with her ethics to start a design-led brand that doesn’t exploit animals.


Sans Beast takes a noble approach to fashion by rejecting the use of animals as raw materials, and a novel approach to vegan fashion by making design integrity a top priority. The personality of the brand is evident in the collection’s bold, contemporary look. “I define the personality as slightly androgynous, with function mixed with a touch of frivolity at the core,” Cathryn shares. “Function to allow our customer to carry and store their things with ease, and frivolity in the details such as the luggage-inspired handle and the use of pattern, texture, and color.”

“Function mixed with a touch of frivolity.”

The designs are anything but shy, and neither is Cathryn’s willingness to take the “sustainable leather” trend head-on and to educate those who question whether leather is a mere by-product. “The answers are too confronting for many, and this remains at the centre of our education: Leather is not a convenient by-product. It is a profitable co-product. It is bad for the environment (and thus humans) and horrific for the animals involved.” This strong commitment to ethics is carried through all aspects of the business.



First, the environment: While sourcing environmentally-friendly materials for products that last is a constant challenge, the bags are made from eco polyurethane which means it won’t leach nasty chemicals. All online orders are packed in recycled cardboard boxes and sealed with water-activated paper tape. Cathryn states: “Being environmentally responsible is very important to us, yet I am not under any delusions that we do things perfectly, or well enough yet.”

“Environmental responsibility is very important to us. But I am not under any delusions that we do it perfectly.”

Second, the manufacturing: All Sans Beast products are designed in Melbourne and produced in a factory in Changping, Dongguan China. It’s a family-run business that Cathryn has worked with for 14 years. She continues: “The workers are paid above the regional award. Walking the factory floor is important. I visit four times a year. I see how Tony (the owner) and his brothers interact with the team there, and I believe they are respectful and ethical.”

More Sans Beast:


Discover more in Vegan Good Life 7

The best in plant based fashion, travel, lifestyle, art & design. Issue 7 of Vegan Good Life Magazine, your one-stop-destination for vegan counterculture.

  • Interview: “Earthling Ed” Winters on Activism
  • Vegan Finds - Including Organic Basics
  • Interview: Gaz Oakley - Cooking in Kreuzberg

148 pages on high quality paper from sustainable forestry. Printed in Germany.

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