I found a bag so nice that one bag replaces about four bags I used to have before and will sell now. Quality over quantity. That’s, in my opinion, the answer to a lot of social and environmental problems that originate from the goods market. Buy one perfect thing in ten years, instead of something mediocre every year.
It’s bought from an artisan in New York who has a small brand called Art + Jill. I found it online on etsy.com after searching stores and the web for a bag like this for over a year now. A year seems like a long time to look for something, but considering I’m going to use it for ten years it’s not so bad. Shipping to Finland would have cost a fortune but my cousin happened to be in New York so she brought it for me. I had the bag for a month already but I’m still happy every time I look at it! Hope this feeling lasts until I’m 31 😀
Once you go backpack you never go back? Well you don’t have to decide that with this bag. It’s a backpack, a handbag, a tote-bag, a computer-bag at once. The same bag is appropriate for a hike in the woods and for the office.
Before deciding to buy the bag I e-mailed with Jill and asked her about the bag and its quality. It’s much nicer to buy something that’s one of a kind, and to buy it directly from the person who makes it. She wrote me this super cute note and gave me a little purse!
I didn’t have to wonder if it was made in a sweatshop (not like with the Ted Baker bag I decided not to buy after seeing the “made in China-tag” and not getting an answer to my e-mail about the company’s CSR). Jill and her partner Arthur makes the bags in New York themselves. The leather is dyed in New York and the leather is from Italy. I like knowing the whole production chain.
If you haven’t seen Cowspiracy I suggest you do it. In the light of that documentary buying leather might seem questionable. And yes, the whole animal industry is linked to many problems. However, many of the leather substitutes are really low quality and I don’t think that’s sustainable either. I have chosen to use leather but I try to buy only really good quality leather products and use them for a long time. The leather shoes you see me wearing in the picture are six years old (from 2009) and they have been repaired twice.
Everyone might not agree with me but I think it’s okay to buy a few quality leather products if you take well care of them. There is also different kinds of leather. Leather processing is also usually really bad but for example vegetable tanned leather is much more eco-friendly. Check out brands like moimoi, Väska and Lovia. Buying vintage leather products is a really good option too, because that does not put any more demand on the cattle industry. After all, the less leather we need the better.