Monday, February 21, 2011

Vegan Purses For the Win! ...ners

I haven't used this blog to write about my shopping habits before, but right now I feel that I have to. I've been on the hunt for purses lately, and yesterday I found myself in the Mecca of vegetarian-friendly purses in the most unlikely place: Winners.

Allow me to back up a bit. Around Christmas I went to Winners looking for a dress to wear on New Year's Eve. After being very disappointed with their dresses I browsed their purse section, and was also fairly disappointed. You see, I tend to carry a fair amount of stuff with me all the time, so I need my purses to be a certain size. If I'm not sure about buying a purse I will try to fill it with the contents of the purse I have with me at the time, and if they don't fit I must acquit! Right?

When I went to Winners I found two purses that I LOVED made by a brand called "Sparrow True." Their bags are vegan, made with a whimsically vintage leather-looking really soft material, and their tags say "Inspired by Vintage Treasures of an Undiscovered Past" -loveeeely. One of the purses looked like the picture to the left, and the other was a bucket style with a drawstring and magnetic snap closure at the top, both the same brown as in the picture. But, unfortunately, they were too small!

The urge to purse shop faded, but then came back to me with vigour last week for some reason. I went to a couple of stores, browsed Etsy for far too long when I should have been writing a paper, but didn't see anything that really jumped out at me.

During this search I was able to zero in on exactly what I was looking for. I wanted two purses: one small and one medium sized. Both purses needed adjustable straps that could be long enough to go across my body, and zipper closures at the top. The zipper is because I want to do a lot of travelling when I move overseas soon, and zipped up purses are a recommended way to thwart pick pocketing. Oh and of course they have to be not made of anyone's skin.

Though I left Winners empty handed in December I was optimistic because of the Sparrow True purses, but I had no idea Winners would be able to satisfy my purse needs so exceptionally this time! If by chance a Winners buyer is reading this: well done, and thank you!! Purse shopping is difficult for vegetarians (though not nearly as bad as the hell that is shoe shopping), but this was wonderful! My experience as a vegetarian has been that leather is thought of as a good quality material, so it is assumed that all customers want it. Thus, seeing so many items proud of their conscientiousness, labeled "vegan" or "animal friendly," was amazing! It felt like a revolution, even if just for something as trivial as a purse. Like the world is becoming more compassionate little by little, and it's about time!!

As I walked through the purse section I accumulated several bags, and probably looked a little crazy. I think I had eight by the end, and then narrowed down to three bags from three brands: Matt and Nat, Sparrow True and Rampage. The Rampage purse made it to the end because it was so cute, but it had a drawstring and snap closure, not a zipper, so it got cut. I ended up buying these two lovelies:

I felt like I might have second thoughts about the M&N purse because of the way the straps weirdly attach at the back of the purse, but after putting my stuff in it (it fits everything!!) and carrying it around a little I love it! I also found out that it is made out of recycled bottles, huzzah! As for the ST bag, I thought I might be able to fit my lap top inside but unfortunately it sticks out at the top. I have a Dakine purse that fits the laptop, but doesn't have a zipper at the top, and has short shoulder straps that strain my shoulder, so I was hoping the ST purse would replace it. I'm going to check out the other Winners (yes, Whitby has TWO Winners stores!!) sometime this week and see if I can find something slightly bigger to exchange the ST purse for. Failing that I'll probably keep the ST purse.. it's so nice! Anyone interested in the Dakine purse? (Shown above) Comment below if you are :-)

In conclusion, thank you Winners, I really needed a win this week- even if it's just a silly shopping win.

**Update: I ended up returning the Sparrow True purse. It was lovely, but I realized that what I really want in that size of purse is an attractive laptop bag, so the search continues!


  1. I have the Sparrow Ture purse, but in brown. I didn't know it was a vegan bag. I looked on the tag, but it didn't say. If you don't mind can you tell me how you found that out? P.S. I love the bag, I'm glad that I bought it. It took me forever to find a bag with the "stuff" that I wanted. It works perfectly for me, (I'm a university student) Good blog.

  2. I returned the purse so I don't remember exactly what the tag said, but it was either "new material only" or "man made materials," which means no leather or suede, and therefore vegan friendly. I looked at several of their purses and their tags were all the same, but I don't know if the company has any different items that aren't vegan friendly.

    I really liked that purse, but my laptop was just slightly too big, and I'm also a student so I take it everywhere. I'm still on the hunt for either a purse that fits my laptop, or an attractive laptop bag.

    Thanks for your comment! :)

  3. No problem. I never thought that finding a bag, or rather the perfect bag could be such a daunting and difficult task. I'm generaly not really interested in fashion or purse's or shopping for that matter. Considering that my bags have to be large but not to lage, because I live out of it. lol. It's home away from home. I don't bring my computer with me, it's way to heavey.

  4. Hi i love the brand sparrow true but i only found one purse at marshalls. does the brand have a website because i havn't been able to find one:( hope you can help i want to buy more. -karla

  5. I searched online for a Sparrow True website but didn't find one. I wish they did, I really love their styles!