Saturday, February 1, 2014

Vegan Accessories, etc.

Melie Bianco bag

I know I usually write about food, but the truth is that eating and buying food is just one small part of the daily decisions we make as consumers. I'll be the first to admit, I'm by no means perfect when it comes to buying vegan products. But I've learned (and am still learning!) some things over the last few years, and thought I'd share one of my favorite brands, and a few tips and tricks.

Above, you can see a picture of me with one of my favorite bags. I know it looks like leather, but it's actually a really gorgeous vegan handbag from Melie Bianco. I've had this bag for seven months, and it's has had very heavy (nearly daily) use, and is still in fantastic condition! And Melie Bianco prides itself on being animal and eco-friendly, and high-quality at an affordable price. What's not to like?
Melie Bianco bag
It's a gorgeous bag--I've literally never had so many compliments on an anything else I've owned--and it's also sturdy and practical.

Melie Bianco Andrea cross body tote
So, when I needed a bit more room in my bag, I upgraded to another beautiful shoulder bag made by the same company. Unfortunately, the messenger bag pictured above is no longer available, but the shoulder bag sure is. And they offer many similar messenger bags.

Both bags have the same cute polka dot lining interior, two open pockets (I use one for my cell phone and one for my in-ear headphones), and one zippered pocket.
Melie Bianco Andrea bag

I also love the shoulder straps, which are great for toting the bag around New York City, especially on the crowded subways.
Melie Bianco Andrea cross body tote
These bags aren't cheap (I have to admit, both of mine were presents from very generous gifters!), but they're not so expensive either (they run about $100). I think it's well worth it, however, considering their quality. Before I found out about this brand, I bought some vegan bags from H&M and Urban Outfitters. Of course, I spent much less on those bags, but they just didn't compare in terms of quality or durability.

Melie Bianco bagIf you're wondering about some other "vegan" shopping tips...we can take a look at what I'm wearing in these photos! In the photo at right, I'm wearing a shirt I bought at a benefit concert for Invisible Children. I love to keep my closet stocked with comfy t-shirts, so buying a shirt that benefited a cause I support seemed kind of like a no-brainer.

I also love scouring second-hand stores (which is especially fun in New York!). I bought the pants at right second-hand (from Buffalo Exchange in Santa Monica), as well as the purple top (from the same store) in the photo above. As for the "vegan leather" leggings (above), you can find them at American Apparel. My shoes in the photo at right are made from man-made materials (from Deena & Ozzy--but I wouldn't run out looking for them, I bought them about five years ago).

The shoes paired with the purple top (above) are from Madden Girl, also all man-made materials. The necklace below is vintage, I suppose, (bought in the 70s by my mother), and the metal "feather" earrings were handmade in Seattle (I wish I could remember the name of the store--I love them so much!). And, if you don't want to wear silk, there are plenty of synthetic options out there, such as the polyester zigzag shirt pictured above. American Apparel offers sweatshop free, U.S.-made shirts that are 100% polyester chiffon, which look similar to the one pictured above. The lip gloss I'm wearing is from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics.

I guess that's about it...happy vegan shopping!

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