I wanted to open a question to you today, reader, with regards to designer-inspired accessories. Namely, relatively blatant rip-offs of beautifully crafted handbags of exquisite quality made from luxury leather. I had a conversation with a handful of my girlfriends the other day, a considered conversation around more mindful lifestyle choices and choosing a little more ethically when it is possible to. It began with a great chat about cruelty-free beauty and I threw it out in the group chat that I was beginning to feel uneasy about my consumption (however passively, as a vegetarian!) of leather.
My handbags are some of my most treasured possessions but it doesn’t pass by me that they’re a product of animals in a diluted way. As much as I adore my beautiful Chanel BOY and my beloved other bags, I think it’s about time I took a more considered approach to investing in fashion.
From looking at ethical designers including the awesome Stella McCartney to choosing canvas or woven options where I see fit, there are plenty of ways in which I know I can continue to support my favourite fashion houses and respective designers without contributing directly to cruelty towards animals. However, I’m undecided as of yet about plastic labelled ‘vegan leather’ and sold at high price points as much as I am undecided about ‘inspired by’ pieces that are, granted, made from non-animal products, but profit from heavily borrowing from designers.
A perfect gift from my boyfriend, this Lulu’s circle handbag is, of course, the retailer’s guise at remaking the dreamy Chloé Pixie bag. It’s labelled ‘vegan leather’, is of course made from PU, and is not too shabby, considering it’s my first non-luxury handbag in several years. The quality isn’t terrible although the handles are SO squeaky and I’m totally enjoying sporting the look without the guilt.
What are your thoughts on ‘inspired by’ pieces? Is there a line and are we crossing it? And what are your thoughts towards plastic marketed as vegan leather?
Shop the look:
(Short faux shearling jacket, Stradivarius;
Ruffle swing blouse in dobby spot, ASOS – white version here;
Leather-look leggings, ASOS;
Backless loafers with frill trim, River Island – similar here;
Tinley navy circle bag, Lulu’s.)