As a gigging guitarist, leather guitar straps were always the preferred choice, for comfort as well as style. When I made the leap from vegetarian to vegan, I became more aware of not only what I was putting into my body, but on it, and most nylon or cloth based straps often use leather for the ends, and backing material. Finding quality straps that were not only cruelty-free, but looked good, proved to be a bit of a task. Sure, maybe a guitar strap isn't as important as a cool shirt, but it can still be a fashionably expressive statement or just plain fun. Here a few companies that brilliantly perform the juggling act of being both environmentally conscious, free of animals products, and still manage to look really cool. Couch has been making stylishly hip, cruelty-free products from recycled material (a lot of it from vintage automobile upholstery and seat belts) out of Long Beach, California since 1999. In addition to guitar straps, they also make other cool stuff including camera straps, wallets, belts, handbags, and glasses cases.
Eli Creates is a one person operation, manufacturing handmade items out of Florence, Italy and selling them on Etsy since 2013. Utilizing a single sewing machine and using locally sourced vintage fabrics, if you're looking for something truly unique, all of her pieces are one of kind.
Island Provisions has been creating beautiful handmade guitar and camera straps in Gig Harbor, Washington since 2008. Made to order and sold through an Etsy shop, whenever possible, they try to incorporate materials that are locally purchased, used, organic, and vegan. In addition, at least 5% of each sale goes to Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Hopefully, people will be inspired by the great work these companies are doing, and help show that it is indeed possible to be stylish with a conscience.