Several years back when I started looking for vegan leather journals, I found fewer options than expected. Don’t get me wrong, there was a handful to choose from, and I definitely didn’t dig deep enough, but it seemed easier to find vegan leather scraps and pieces and make my own (which I did!). Nowadays, there are so many lovely non-leather journals to choose from, so that makes me happy.
I ordered the above faux leather from a seller on Etsy, and I think I must have purchased it without logging in because I don’t see the order in my history. But I will see if I can find her store and hook you guys up with the link because I absolutely LOVE the look and feel of this material. ETA: I have been doing some in-depth research on Piñatex, and I’m 99% certain that’s what this cover is made from. It’s pretty exciting because this fabric is super eco-friendly and hard to come by!
I love journaling and have been doing it since I was five years old. I currently don’t “diary” or use a writing journal so much as I do art journals. I’ve made several over the past few years with recycled paper, books, and other found objects, and they’re so much fun.
Anyway, I totally get it if you’re vegan and don’t want to use animal hide for your arts and crafts. In this article, we’ll look at the best vegan journals available today so you can find your perfect journal.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you decide to make a purchase through any of our links. Please read the full disclosure for more information. I will never recommend products I either haven’t tried myself or don’t personally believe hold any value.
What are the best vegan leather journals?
When I was a kid, keeping a diary was the cool thing to do. I think “journaling” is a more popular term for keeping a diary nowadays, at least here in the states.
It’s great for your mental health, and it’s also a way that many people, like myself, find ways to express artistic creativity. But animal leather seems to be on the rise, and if you’re vegan, you want nothing to do with it.
You’d much prefer a vegan leather bound journal.
Before sharing this list of the best vegan leather journals I want you to keep in mind that faux leather is not necessarily better for the environment than real leather.
It has its perks, like being water resistant and cruelty free, but it’s not perfect.
This is particularly true for PVC leather.
Faux PVC leather is made from plastics and utilizes a lot of chemicals and manmade materials during processing, which ultimately bleeds into the soil and water. And we all know that wreaks havoc on the environment, which I talk about in my sustainability ideas post.
PU leather is better, even though it releases some toxins while being produced. But it can be recycled in an eco-friendly way, as opposed to PVC. And if you’re vegan, you likely care about the environment, at least a little.
That said, I will still link to some of these vegan leather journals because I know some people will buy them anyway. But please consider your carbon footprint and look for some of these items (or similar ones) at a thrift store, consignment shop, or yard sale. This cuts down on the mass production of potentially harmful substances.
It is also my firm belief that purchasing quality leather from a thrift store is worlds more environmentally sustainable because it will outlast any PU or PVC product that will, at some point, wind up in a landfill, taking who knows how many years to break down and leach toxic chemicals into the soil and water supply.
Having said all that, let’s get to my list of the best vegan leather journals that also keep sustainability in mind.
(Please see the FAQs below where I delve into the nitty gritty of PVC vs PU vs real leather and its effects on the environment).
SOHOSPARK Vegan Leather Journals
PU Vegan Leather & Refillable
- soft, padded journals are 8.75″ x 6″
- 120 pages lined, acid-free paper
- has 2 pen holders
- sewn binding
- lays flat without assistance
- comes with ribbon bookmark
SOHOSPARK has been around for awhile, and they are pretty popular among journaling enthusiasts.
These SOHOSPARK options can be used for years, refillable over and over. This is a plus for journaling junkies like me because I always have anywhere from 5-7 journals that I use for various art projects.
Every SOHOSPARK vegan leather journal is packaged in a branded white box, making it ideally suited for gift giving.
If you want to refill your journal, browse their website for compatible options or make your own. Just be sure it’s 143mm x 210mm (5.63 x 8.27 inches).
Let’s take a quick second and look at the pros and cons.
Price-wise, these journals are very affordable and competitive with other vegan leather journals so they’re worth a look.
Magic of I Vegan Leather Journals
Esthetically Sustainable Journals
- Sized at 8.3″x5.8″
- Pocket journals are 5.8″x 4.1″
- Holographic gold or silver foil
- Discounts on bulk orders
- Can choose a variety of colors
- Have elastic bands and ribbon bookmarks
- All the pages come lined or unlined, making them perfect for writers and sketchbook seekers
This company was founded by an artist and designer named Kerry who truly has a passion for all living things and all things spiritual. I was so excited to find her website when looking for quality vegan leather journal.
Magic of I makes not only durable cruelty-free vegan leather journals, but they also use highly eco-friendly products, making them a top choice in my opinion.
I have reached out to them to inquire about what materials they use and have not yet heard back. But according to their website, they go above and beyond to source all of their materials from recycled wood, paper, and cardboard. They even take care only to use vegan glues and plant-based shrink wrap in their packaging, sticking with post-consumer bags or boxes for shipping.
Not only that, if one of their finished products fails a quality control check, it gets donated to a school! I can really get behind that philosophy.
Magic of i Pros
Magic of i Cons
Magic of I vegan leather journals are highly affordable and competitively priced so be sure to check them out.
Graphique Spiral Journal
Vegan leather spiral notebook
- Spiral = 8″ x 10″ OR 6″ x 8″
- Non spiral = 6″ x 8″ OR 7″ x 9.5″
- 192 pages per journal
These vegan-friendly spiral notebooks created by Graphique are ideal for the student, journaler, or anyone who wants a classic, “cute and sophisticated” book for taking notes.
They come in several sizes, with 192 pages of off-white, lined paper, and so many different quotes and pictures embellished across the front. They’re a simple but elegant design that will get the job done for anyone wanting a spiral journal to take notes in.
I asked the seller what material they use, and they responded with PU.
Graphique’s vegan leather journals are very reasonably priced, so if you’re on a budget, be sure to visit their site or their Amazon storefront.
MYO Vegan Leather Journal
Slim Travelers Journal
- USA based
- 8.27″ x 5.22″ x 0.12″
- Multiple beautiful colors
- Contain inside pockets
- Have 4 elastic bands for 4 notebooks
Okay so this is a slim binder or vegan notebook with a smooth cover that you can fill with separate notebook paper. And let me just say … finding a vegan leather travelers notebook that is 100% vegan is a real challenge, and I don’t know why. To be honest, it’s motivating me to make my own and see if anyone shows any interest in them.
Most vegan leather travelers notebook I came across either looked like synthetic covers lined with genuine leather or had these cute little dangly charms attached via leather straps, which was frustrating.
When shopping for vegan leather goods, I want the entirety of the product to be vegan, not just the outside cover, and that seems to be lost on some companies.
MochiThings makes these journals, and they also have vegan leather binders for sale.
Their “About us” page says they “assist designers in going through a sustainable manufacturing process,” but I’m not exactly sure what that means. So I’m curious to know how sustainable or eco-friendly their journals are.
The MYO traveler journals are classy and modern yet have this cool, vintage look. But let’s look at the pros and cons.
Moleskine Vegan Notebook
Van Gogh’s OG Journal
- Hard or soft cover
- Tons of colors to select
- Ivory lined pages
- PVC free covers
- FSC certified paper
- Elastic closure
- Ribbon bookmark
- Expandable inner pocket
If you’re looking for Moleskine (and no, it’s not made from moles like I once thought haha), this classic Moleskine notebook should be at the top of your list. These vegan leather journals also come with a little history, so allow me to nerd out for a moment.
I was today years old when I learned that Van Gogh, Picasso, and Hemingway himself used Moleskine journals just like these. They had a hard cover, ivory paper, an inner pocket that expands, ribbon bookmark, and an elastic for keeping the journal closed.
In ’97 they were revived by a company called Modo & Modo, and they trademarked the Moleskine name. Their intention was to market these notebooks as somewhat of a traveler’s notebook.
Initially, they did contain PVC, but they got a lot of flak about that, so they are now PVC free.
Holding true to their heritage, inside these journals are blank, unlined ivory paper as well as an elastic closure to help with privacy and to prevent spillage of any special pictures or journal keepsakes.
The cover is durable, and you can certainly check out all the colors they have and consider a hardback version of this journal. This particular one is 7.5″x9.5″ and contains 192 pages.
If you’re into journaling or hand-written recordkeeping–which is what I use my Moleskine hardback for–you’ll probably love this classic notebook. They are reasonably priced, but check out the pros and cons below.
BK Premium Classic Executive Hardcover
Bullet Journal from BK
- Lined or dot grid paper
- Thick, off-white paper
- Contain 92 pages
- Elastic closure
- Detachable pages
- Pen holder
- Back pockets to store documents
- Subject divider stickers
- Also have planners available
If your quest for the best vegan leather journals includes a hardcover bullet journal, you are in perfect luck. I found this one from Bullet Keeper for a very reasonable price.
They are slightly reminiscent of a Moleskine journal, but with a heavier focus on bullet journaling.
I don’t know what their vegan leather is made from, but according to their website they use sustainable materials. Like some others on this list, I will contact the company and see if they can let me know.
The BK Classic measures 8.3” x 5.8” x 0.75”, is soft to the touch, has rounded edges, and comes in a variety of natural earth tone colors.
Vegan Leather Journals on Etsy
ForestNine Cork Journals
- Made of highly sustainable cork
- Comes in 4 different sizes
- Includes lined or blank acid-free paper
- 180 pages
- Embossing available
Of all the vegan leather journals, I am fangirling over these from ForestNine on Etsy the most. And I appreciate that the seller uses cork, which is highly eco-friendly, and all the materials are sustainably sourced.
They have a ton of high ratings in their store, and you can get your journal personalized in various ways, including adding extra paper, a customized cover page, or a special embossing.
Vegan Leather Journals Frequently Asked Questions
What is vegan leather made from?
Vegan leather can be made from anything, as long as it doesn’t come from animals. Traditionally, a lot of companies use PVC or PU, which contain plastics and release toxins during manufacturing, which makes it hard on the environment.
Vegan leather can also be made from cork, plants such as kelp and pineapple leaves, and even paper bags with a glossy coating to give it a “leatherized” look and feel.
What’s the argument for using real leather?
I am only going to speak on cowhide leather because cows are not killed just for their leather.
But other animals are, like kangaroo, snakes, alligators, bison, lizards, ostriches, etc.
Cows are slaughtered for beef or cheese (specifically, when they can no longer produce milk, which generally happens around 6 years of age), and their hide is a byproduct used for clothes and accessories.
Does this make it okay? Well no. Many vegans avoid leather at all costs because of the violence the animals endured.
Plus, even real leather must be tanned, which is a toxic process involving the release of chemicals. So I don’t support that either.
But if you’re more concerned about the environmental implications of using PVC or PU leather, you might consider purchasing used leather goods to help cut down on toxic production and the release of environmentally harmful chemicals.
However, the same rule applies if you find used vegan leather.
Thrifting in general is better for the environment, so I would say finding used vegan or real leather is more eco-friendly than supporting chemical-based products, period.
Is PU better than PVC?
In the vegan leather industry, there is a debate over which material is better: polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
But to me, it’s clear that PU is the winner.
PVC is cheaper to produce, but it is not as durable as PU and it can release harmful chemicals during manufacturing. It also contains phthalates, which can interfere with the endocrine system.
Estimates indicate that 40% of all chlorine used in the U.S. is used for PVC manufacturing.
Lastly, PVC is KNOWN to cause cancer and all sorts of other health issues, so it’s best to avoid at all costs.
PU is more expensive, but it is more durable and breathes better than PVC (but less than real leather). And while PU leather isn’t 100% eco friendly due to the fact that it does require the use of some chemicals, it does not release harmful chemicals while being used or once discarded.