Natural Living

Call off the search

For more than five years now I’ve been really conscious about what I buy. I rarely go shopping,  and when I do,  I try to shop secondhand as much as possible. I no longer buy something just because it’s cute or on sale,  I have to love it and how it was made.

The end result of this campaign of austerity is that I don’t own much,  but what I do own,  I love.

It also means that until I find that thing I love,  I often do without. This explains why until yesterday I was still using Olive’s diaper bag as a purse. I mean, it’s a very sexy diaper bag, but still. I’ve written about this before.

Olive is three and a half years old. She was potty trained just before her second birthday. Guys,  this means it’s taken me roughly a year and a half to find a purse. Wut.

This is totally ridiculous but nevermind, by God I’ve finally done it. Behold!

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One of the reasons I struggled so much with this purchase is because I’m a vegetarian.  In previous years I’ve always bought Matt &  Nat purses,  they’re a Canadian company that makes vegan bags   and I’ve always loved their ethos and their look. But a few years ago I had this weird moment where I realized that “vegan leather”  was just…plastic. Not particularly Eco-Friendly,  not biodegradable,  not sustainable,  and prone to cracking and wear after a few years. It really turned me off of the whole thing.

But leather,  which is natural  and biodegradable,  isn’t particularly sustainable. I’d always struggled with the hypocrisy of wearing an animal when I am morally opposed to eating one.
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Isn’t it incredible how I can turn a simple purchase into a years-long ethical quagmire? It’s a special talent of mine.

Anyway,  I finally got around this issue by deciding on secondhand leather. I’d been looking at secondhand stores for a year and a half without much success when I found LouLou’s Emporium on Etsy. This fabulous woman,  Louise,  creates gorgeous handmade bags from old leather. I messaged her and told her what I was looking for we chatted back and forth for a bit and then a few weeks later she sent me this beauty.

It’s made from an old Gap leather coat, has two interior pouches and a zippered pocket, and can be worn over the shoulders or as a cross body bag.

I’m totally in love.

I think her prices are incredibly reasonable for a handmade leather purse and this one even came with a little mini purse to use as a clutch, an additional inside pocket, or, more likely, a purse for my mini-me to tote around and fill with hedgehogs and chalk.

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Anyway, this is most decidedly not a sponsored post – you’ll always see those clearly labelled as such in the post category at the top of the page – but I was just so pleased with this (and so glad this ridiculous purse saga is over) that I thought I would share the news and shine the spotlight on Loulou’s Emporium. I love what she’s doing and I totally envy her talent.

Thank you, Louise, for putting me out of my misery. Etsy saves the day again!

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2 Comments

  • Reply Jennifer March 16, 2016 at 8:30 PM

    Um…i use my kids’ old diaper bag as a work bag/ laptop bag. I wrap the change pad around the computer as a cushion … It’s a black messenger bag so it’s not too obvious. I hate buying purses too! Lovely design that you got! I really need to treat myself as well.

  • Reply Laura March 28, 2016 at 9:42 AM

    I’ve just recently became vegetarian, I’m trying it out at least! And I do still wear leather.. Like you, I’ve thought about vegan leather and was a little put off. So…my thinking is that I wear leather shoes or a leather bag for years..whereas if I ate a steak then it would be gone that same day. It’s one of those situations where I’m embarrassed to talk to anyone about it because it sounds like I’m making up reasons to suit! But I thought you might understand 🙂

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