Archive for the ‘Tips and Quips’ Category
As the demand for animal-friendly products grows, there has been an emergence of handbags claiming to be made of “vegan leather.” This seemingly paradoxical phrase usually indicates a material free of animal products but with a similar look and feel to real leather. Vegan leather is an animal-friendly leather alternative which combines Vegetan, PVC, Lorica, Birko-Flor, Birkibuc and Kydex to create a material that looks and feels very much the same as authentic leather. Most people are familiar with PVC as it is commonly used for piping and other household products. Vegetan is a microfiber designed as an animal safe leather substitute. Kydex, Birkibuc, and Birko-Flor are manufactured acrylic/PVC alloys.
But just because vegan leather is animal friendly, it’s doesn’t mean it’s environmentally friendly. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has dubbed Phthalates, an industrial chemical used in the production of PVC, as an air and water pollutant. It is believed to possibly cause several health risks and symptoms if regularly exposed. PVC also contains several other environmentally non-friendly industrial chemicals, even though it is all a common product on our everyday lives.
Depending upon the brand of eco-friendly purses, the prices of vegan leather are generally cheaper than real leather. One such brand is English Retreads, which has designer vegan leather purses for often less than half of the price of similar handbags made of genuine leather. A few high-end designers like Stella McCartney however, make handbags exclusively of non-leather products but charge prices comparable to those of leather bags. Another company whose handbags are free of animal products is Matt & Nat, who make their handbags using eco/recycled/upcycled materials. Of course, finding the best deals on animal friendly leather substitute handbags requires some price hunting. As the trend of Vegan-leather grows, so will the savings and deals. In any case, for animal lovers, animal free fashion holds a value more significant than monetary- peace of mind.
If searching for eco-friendly purses that are alternatives to vegan leather, the word to look for is Faux leather. One new handbag line from Cri de Coeur, (French for “cry from the heart”), has stepped up to make eco-friendly and ethically produced handbags. These handbags are made of a composite of polyurethane faux leather and recycled ultra suede, with an organic cotton in lining. As the use of PVC is absent in the manufacturing of these purses, they are much less harmful to the environment.
In the end, the planet’s future hangs upon the decisions of today. Luckily, there are animal-friendly and eco-friendly choices that don’t require a sacrifice of style.
Wondering if that LV bag you bought on Canal Street is a fake? Odds are good but this article from HipSwap can help you tell the difference between the real thing and a convincing knock-off.
A neat infographic from Refinery 29 telling what your it bag of choice says about you.
Here’s a nice weekend project if you’ve ever wanted an Hermes designed piece and the budget just wouldn’t allow. On their website, Hermes has posted several different patterns and instructions so you can make your own Hermes Paper Clutch. Luckily, blogger …Love Maegan already did the project and can give you some tips. Not sure how functional these clutches are but they sure look pretty. To learn more, visit here and click on the white clutch at the top right.
Now that you’ve purged your purse collection we can think about how to store your purses in a way that you can see what you have and get to it easily. Everyone’s space is different but luckily there are lots of options for purse storage. Click on any picture for more information.
If you don’t have much space, hanging bags on the back of a door is a good option. These can usually hold 8-10 bags and can handle a substantial amount of weight.
If you have some space on your clothes rack, either of these could work for you. They don’t hold larger purses but can hold several small to medium sized ones.
If you have shelf space to spare, you just need some structure to keep things together. Consider one of these small, lightweight shelving units where you can stack purses or line them up side-by-side.
If these pre-made options don’t fit your space or budget, get creative! I’ve heard of someone mounting hooks all over her bedroom wall and hanging a purse from each, which makes your purses easy to get to and also displays them as art. Or use a coat rack or wall-mounted coat hook to hang your purses. Whatever you decide, organizing and storing your purses helps to protect them so you can enjoy them for years.
Have you heard of the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama? This very interesting store located not far from my hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee buys unclaimed or lost luggage from major airlines and then sorts and sells whatever they find. Much of the store is what you’d expect: clothes, books, i-pods, cameras, and things that people normally travel with, but there are also a few surprises.
Just after Christmas I found an Alexander Wang Rocco bag at Unclaimed Baggage. This “It bag” of the last few years was new with tags. If you’re familiar with the Rocco, you know that the bottom is covered in metal studs so the empty purse weighs about 10 pounds. The Gray Velvet Rocco in question retailed for $925 and Unclaimed Baggage was selling it for $425. I thought about buying it to sell but decided it’s too hard to authenticate bags on Ebay. So I thought about buying it to keep, but was afraid I would just be buying it because it was a deal, not because I particularly loved it and would probably never carry it because of the weight. It was hard to let a deal like that pass me by. What would you have done?
If you’re interested you can contact Unclaimed Baggage to see if the Alexander Wang Rocco is still available. And if you’re ever in the Fort Payne or Chattanooga areas, it’s definitely worth the trip because you never know what you’ll find. I’d also like to offer my condolences to the poor person who bought this bag and never got it home.
A new year equals new beginnings which for me usually includes cleaning out the house. This time of year I try to clear out the unwanted or no-longer-needed stuff I’ve accumulated over the past year and I usually start in my closet. Most of us don’t have unlimited closet space and if you’re assessing your collection of purses, here are some simple guidelines to help you decide what to keep, what to sell, what to give and what to toss.
What to Keep-The bags you use most often or that are especially distinctive. Most ladies have a few everyday bags and evening bags they rotate throughout the year. Be honest about which ones you always reach for and which you haven’t used in years. If you have a bag or two you love that only comes out on special occasions, keep it, but don’t keep a purse you don’t love based solely on it’s value. If it’s a nice bag, you can probably sell it and make room for one you do love.
What to Sell-Designer or nice leather bags in good condition that you no longer use. Almost every designer bag is worth something. Especially if you have authentic Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Bottega Venetta, Fendi, Gucci and the like. Contemporary designers like Michael Kors, Rebecca Minkoff, Botkier, and leather bags from stores like J.Crew and Banana Republic also have resale value if the purse is in good condition. If you spent a couple hundred dollars or more on a purse, odds are you can sell it for something.
What to Give-Any bag you’ve decided to get rid of that may not be worth much money or the hassle of selling it. Without getting too much into my feelings about replicas (which we’ll save for another day), I put them in this category. Get rid of them-no one is fooled and it’s illegal to sell them. Offer any purses you’ve decided to give away to a friend or relative you think might like them or take them to Goodwill and get your tax deduction.
What to Toss-Anything torn, stained or unusable. I am not an advocate of waste but even Goodwill has standards. Toss anything that is gross or beyond repair.
Follow these guidelines and not only will you have the feeling of freedom that comes with de-cluttering and organizing, you’ll be making room for new purses and may make some cash!