Our Story

It started with a lifelong love of fashion and a desire to do it better...

Velvet Heartbeat was created in 2017 by Suzie Eggleton, who had spent many years working in the fashion industry and in film costuming. After falling in love with leather accessories, Suzie set out to explore high quality, cruelty-free options that did not contribute to the harsh impact of the fashion industry. Unsurprisingly, this was a tricky feat. So she began crafting her own label of handbags from upcycled vegan leather and plant-based textiles. Working from the sun room of her Auckland home studio with odd ends of fabric she’d collected over time, Velvet Heartbeat was born.

At Velvet Heartbeat, we make timeless vegan handbags and accessories that don't cost animals, people or the planet. We know exactly where our materials come from and are careful to produce our stock at low levels so we don’t add to industry waste. Each bag is ethically handmade in New Zealand and thoughtfully designed to last you a lifetime, so you can carry your values and look cute too! 

Fashioned from quality, cruelty-free materials

We care deeply for our furry (and not-so-furry) friends. That’s why we only work with fabrics and components that are 100% Peta Approved Vegan. The materials we use come from 4 main sources: plant-based textiles, industry deadstock, repurposed or vintage items and brand new materials. We run a low-waste workroom and make an effort to eliminate waste as much as possible throughout our production process.

Handcrafted with love in Aotearoa

Every product is made in our tiny workroom in Auckland, New Zealand by skilled crafts-people who are paid a living wage. We firmly believe in providing fair wages and safe working conditions for our team. If and when we look outside our workroom for help with production, we seek makers who live up to these standards too.  

Velvet Heartbeat is licensed by the Buy NZ Made Campaign to use the Kiwi trademark to promote our New Zealand Made goods that meet the requirements of the Fair Trading Act for Country of Origin labelling. 

Along with our own transeasonal bags, we showcase a number of cute accessories made by brands who share our values and contribute to positive social and environmental impact. We love supporting their work and hope you will too.

We’re also proud to stand with Fashion Revolution, a global crew of makers, activists and fashion lovers who uphold industry transparency and fair working conditions. This movement holds a special place in our hearts, especially because we know how much work goes into creating fashion. We strive to be a brand that’s transparent, fair, honest and open to improvement - as we wish the whole industry to become. Stand with us and ask your favourite brands #whomademyclothes and #whomademyfabrics. Read more about how you can be part of the Fashion Revolution here