Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Power of Replacement: Farewell Pretty, Pretty Coach Bag


Dear Coach bag,

Thank you for being my friend for the past year and half. I have loved the way you sit on my hip. We first started our friendship when I acquired you for my first anniversary at work. You were a present to myself for a year of achievements. Now, with your leather handles and trim, I’m going to have to give you up. We’ve had so many memories together – the plane trips, the traveling, the laughter, the tears. We’ve seen L.A., New York, and Boston together. We’ve gone to baby showers and business meetings and birthday parties, but I fear all of this gallivanting must end. It is time for me to purchase a vegan-friendly everyday work bag that I can use in your place. I have found a good owner for you, who is excited and happy to take you off my hands. Goodbye and good luck.

Yours truly,

Danie



The Power of Replacement. Replacing everyday items in your life may be hard. I loved my Coach bag. I really didn’t want to give it up and honestly I didn't really have to. It is a good, durable bag that will last for years to come. However, I wanted something that I could reach for every morning, walk in the office, and know that my personal belongings were now being carried by something that met my vegan ideals. 


In analyzing my thought process I am astounded how the human spirit can be attached to something so physical. Even more astounding is the concept that the more you have, the more you want. Physical things have an expiration date and the materials items we own now will not be so important at the end of our journey.

It is a physical thing, a leather bag. I am happy that I have gotten to use it for so long, but I’m OK with letting it go. The transition to a vegan lifestyle, unlike a vegan diet, is a slow process for me. And while I’ve been able to pass along my bag to another owner, there are still items that I own that include animal products. And rather than feeling guilt that I’m not a “true vegan” or should give them up immediately, I have decided to take my time. Partially because I’m on a budget and can’t disregard half my wardrobe, and partially because I’m emotionally attached to these things. 

I think about everything I have with gratitude. I’m grateful I have the free will to use these products, to own them, to the animal that was sacrificed for them. And I am more aware now than ever before of the ability of my purchasing power and how the “replacements” in my life can really make a difference. 

As I move forward I'll be able to focus on buying all vegan-friendly items, but in this transition I'll appreciate what I have. 


Thanks, 
Danie

11 comments:

  1. Transition is good... after more than 3 years of being vegan, I still have some non-vegan accessories. But also sometimes it's quite hard to find vegan replacements as well, even for new things that I have to buy. Buying online is sometimes quite expensive, so I just do my best. I keep the faith that we more demand, it will become easier to have vegan products almost everywhere... :)

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  2. Just discovered your blog via VeganButterfly... I too struggle with non-vegan purchases. I freely admit I have a vegan diet, just a diet. I don't want to be confusing since I still occasionally rock some fab leather stilletos.

    I digress... I am writing to find out what kind of vegan bag you purchased as a replacement. My husband lovingly ordered one off ebay that I was swooning for, but it was cheaply made and didn't last very long. My dream vegan bag is a cross between a sensible handmade patchwork bag and a Gucci hobo bag... but that's me, either "hippie" or fashionista.. depends on the day.

    What'd you come up with?

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  3. Hi! Thanks for reading. Yes - I understand the temptation of great heels. I think it’s the way they click or make you feel walking down the hall… Regardless of shoe choice, I think it’s great that you have a vegan diet. For me – I believe that even the small everyday efforts count (i.e. choosing a veggie burger over a meat one for lunch or remembering your cloth bags at the grocery store) towards a healthier planet. A vegan diet is more than most people can even imagine! As for the bags…

    I decided to purchase two bags from the website Susan Nichole: 1. The Love Bag in Pink and 2. Savannah in Black & Red.

    (http://susannichole.com/)

    I will admit it was a purchase initiated by their advertising, since I kept seeing it everywhere online and fell in love with the “Love Bag” (what a name). I got two for the price of one because they were having a sale.

    In regards to quality - I will say that I brought the Savannah bag on my last business trip, trudged it through security, shoved it under the seat for my carry on, threw my laptop in it and kept it on my hip for four days… and right now it still looks brand new. AND it does contain a couple of pockets that you can’t see in the picture, which I appreciated in the end.

    I also got at least 3-4 compliments on the style. My friend in Boston said something along the lines “You know, it doesn’t even look like a vegan bag… you know how sometimes you can tell…” Haha. Next, I’ve got my eye on the Ms. Betty in Cream… because I enjoy polka dots.

    I did find the company Urban Expressions out of LA. Their site links to BagHaus to buy merchandise. However, I think I’ve seen a few of their bags at some retail stores and passed them by for one reason or another…but honestly that may just mean I need to take a closer look.

    That’s what I got for now – good luck!

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  4. Thanks so much!

    I noticed an ad for Susan Nichole on the back of my new VegNews... they really are advertising! That Savannah bag is awesome. I love knowing that it's good quality too.

    Cheers.

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  5. Now that you've had your vegan bags for 3 months how are they holding up?

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  6. I know this is an old post but you sould check out moopshop.com. They are handmade bags made lovingly in pittsburgh and they are awesome quality!

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  7. Thanks Amy! I'm always looking for new things!

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  8. www.etsy.com has a very large selection of vegan handbags. And they're all handmade.

    Vegan & ethical, you can't beat that! :)

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  9. Dear Danie ,way to go , could you please inform me if I can find a designer vegan hand bag? does vegan designer bag exist at all?

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  10. hey Danie!
    NON Corporate creature here trying to look for an high end bag suitable for fancy fancy nyc meetings.
    NOT BEING SUCCESSFUL AT ALL.
    Love coach and kate spade and all those fancy crappy animal suffering beauties.
    Any advice?
    thank you!

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