You care about the environment. You care about the animals suffering in the name of fashion. You also care about the people who make your beautiful bags. Now you’re wondering how you can care for this beautiful purchase of yours that embodies all of your personal ethics! We get it; your bag is an extension of yourself.
We often receive emails from customers asking about how they can take better care of their lovely vegan purses so they last longer and look like they were purchased only yesterday! Worry not as we’ve prepared a cheat sheet just for gals like you. (Are you a GUNAS Girl yet?)
For most, a luxury vegan purse is a serious investment. But the fortune you spend on a luxury vegan bag doesn’t equate to the lifespan of your purchase. If you choose to carry your luxury vegan handbag on a daily basis, it will be subject to its fair share of wear and tear. Granted, the price tag ensures a certain level of quality, but the handbag will still need to be looked after to stand the test of time. As a brand that literally birthed the luxury vegan and ethical handbag industry, GUNAS has some do’s and strict don’ts when it comes to taking care of your prized possession.
1. Protect from dust.
One thing you want to avoid most is leaving your bag unprotected or stacked under other things in your drawers or cupboards. We suggest placing your bag upright on a shelf, stuffing it with an old favorite cotton t-shirt and keeping it covered securely in a dust bag or pillow cover to avoid contact with dust and prevent it from losing its original shape and form.
2. Too precious to be set on the floor.
Granted your bag may have feet but you certainly don’t want to put your investment on the floor, do you? Did you know that in Texas ladies actually consider it bad luck to put your purse on the floor? #funfact #superstition
3. Temperature fluctuation.
Temperature can affect your lovely luxury vegan purse’s surface just like it can affect your mood! Extremely hot temperatures can leave your purse to wrap, peel, fade or simply loose its luster. Cold temperatures (and we are talking brutally cold!) can also make the surface crack. That’s a good test to see if your bag is made from PVC. A good quality luxury purse that’s not made from PVC will not peel or crack. But don’t leave it in the fridge or to bake at the back seat of your car to test that out!
Yes, this also applies to your Apple leather, Pinatex, mushroom leather bags as they all contain some amount of plastic in them. Is you want a plastic free, plant-based luxury vegan bag, check out GUNAS’ Mulbtex bag. It’s made from 100% mulberry tree leaf’s silk protein.
4. When stains happen, and they will.
Of course you forgot to put that cap pen on before you slid it into your purse! Sorry, pen stains and ink stains won’t rub off easy from your luxury vegan bag. They wouldn’t on leather either. So avoid keeping anything that might stain your bag permanently. Sometimes dye from your favorite jeans or trousers can bleed onto the vegan surface as well. It’s not the fault of your bag but the coloring agent used in the clothing that rubbed off on the bag due to friction during use. Just like it would ruin other clothes in the laundry machine.
For non-permanent stains, use baby wipes or mild soap with water and a wash cloth to wipe it off. Do not put your bag in the washing machine please! (Yes, there have been recorded incidences of customers trying to do that and getting upset that their bag was ruined.)
5. Save it from Moisture.
Moisture can be your bag’s worst enemy! Remember seeing that little silica pouch in your new purse? Keep that intact as it absorbs any moisture from the close by surroundings and keeps your bag dry. Unless you drop it in a pool. Oops!
6. Hang on, but carefully.
Hang your bag on your shoulders or wrists but never on door knobs and hooks. This is especially true if it’s filled with weight, as it will put constant pressure on the straps and shorten the life of your bag when you aren’t using it. Don’t blame the stitching it it falls apart.
7. Repair! Repair! Repair!
We can’t stress enough on this point. A handbag that costs 1000’s of dollars usually has high budget marketing and repair costs built into it. This means, if your $2000 ethical bag rips, chances are the brand will be able to help repair or cover the costs of replacements if it’s within warranty. But with the new “affordable luxury” that does not costs $1000’s of dollars, smaller boutique brands don’t have that cost built in. In fact they are passing on those savings to you directly. So please choose to take your bag to a shoe repair shop and have it fixed instead. Most places can help fix lining rips or handle fastenings with ease. Please don’t ding brands that are trying to do their best in saving animals, being fair to workers and being environmentally friendly while providing handmade luxury pieces at a fraction of the cost of bigger brands.
8. Share the “pre-loved” and pass it on
Sometimes you’ll buy a bag that you want to hold onto forever. It’s timeless and purposeful. At other times you may have outgrown a style but it’s still in fabulous condition. With the rise of many pre-loved e-tailers, maintaining your beloved bags becomes even more important if you want to consider selling. It may be tempting to rip open the box of a fresh purchase, trash the packaging and lose the receipt, but it is important to keep all of these items together if you want to get the best resale value.
9. Reviews are everything, and then not.
Customer experience reviews mean so much when it comes to authenticity. So if you are truly happy with a brand, please take the time to leave reviews for them on public sites. Most brands will have moderated reviews on their own site as well as unmoderated business pages on public sites such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp. While reviews are great, be sure to form an opinion based on those that seem most authentic and reasonable.
Sometimes, competitors of brands will also leave negative reviews to sabotage their image (not cool!) or influencers who demand payment for reviews and, when refused, go out of their way to post false negative reviews for companies. Please be mindful of these tactics as you form your opinion about boutique brands. Care for your bag as well as the brands that make them.
10. Be kind.
Let’s face it, we all want to be treated kindly. Yes, the customer is always right and brands should try their best to solve problems to their satisfaction. However let’s be reasonable and compassionate. Just as you expect courtesy and a civil response from the companies you make a purchase from, they too expect a similar approach. Vegan and ethical businesses are not “emotion-free”. So when you reach out to their customer service, please remember to speak with the same tone that you’d expect to be mirrored back at you.
Let’s complete and reciprocate this circle of trust and love!
Gunas New York