Hello, how’s your weekend been? We’ve finally taken the Christmas decorations down and now the house looks just a little bare and uninteresting. Overall I had a really lovely Christmas with my family and a fun New Year’s Eve party with friends. However, there was a fly in the ointment, which was losing my much-loved Vivienne Westwood purse (wallet for my American friends) on a night out in Manchester just before Christmas *sob*.
Pete bought it for me nine years ago as a gift from him and Isobel (it was our first Christmas as a family of three). I’d looked after it so well, always being careful not to scuff it on zips or leave my keys loose in my bag next to it. So you can imagine how gutted I was to discover it had fallen out of my bag, most likely in the taxi. Yes I was a little, ahem, tipsy, but that wasn’t the only thing to blame.
I rather foolishly decided to wear shoes that I hadn’t worn before. How many times have you walked around the house in shoes and thought they were ok, only to be in agony two minutes after hitting the pavement? I really should know better by now. (Btw, I was in two minds about sharing these hastily shot photos in the less-than-desirable location of a Premier Inn hotel room. But I thought I’d exhibit the offending articles because this will be their only appearance!)
The Nine West sparkly slingbacks seemed like a good idea the day before when I was trying on my outfit, but oh how I came to regret it. I’d tightened the heel strap as much as possible, but still they slipped off with every step. Plus the glitter and silver faux leather coating on the piping just disintegrated with every touch. I bought them a few years ago, intending to wear them to a wedding but changed my mind at the last minute. I really should have left in the box in the wardrobe. My feet were killing me by the time we arrived at the work Christmas party, thanks to a combination of bunions and trying to break in new running shoes that week.
With hindsight, trying to numb the pain with rosé wine wasn’t the best idea. It just made it even harder to stand without wobbling. By the end of the night I whipped off those sparkly bunion-bashers and walked through the streets of Manchester bare foot. No f*@&ks were given by that point. The wet, cold concrete felt magnificent against my hot, throbbing feet. And so into a taxi we hopped and that was where me and my beautiful black patent leather purse parted ways.
I didn’t even realise until the following morning, when I opened my bag and found that my bad bitch fuel really had run out. Bizarrely my lipstick, lip liner and powder compact was still there, as was a giant plastic paper clip from a Christmas cracker! But no purse. Of course I checked the party venue, called a few taxi firms (we flagged one down rather than booked it) and reported it to the police. But I don’t hold out much hope of getting it back.
So the next day, feeling like I’d been dug up, I began the arduous task of cancelling all my bank, credit and store cards. The prospect of having no plastic over Christmas filled me with dread, but of course I managed. Then there’s the £20 for a new driving license and another £20 for a new car park pass for work. And then I started thinking about getting a new purse, even though I had nothing to put in it at this point.
As you probably all know, I’ve been vegan for just over a year and have stopped buying leather. I was having a crisis of conscience, wondering if I could or should buy an exact replacement (I knew the answer was no, but still entertained the thought). Indulging in some mindless procrastination I opened up Instagram and the first post I saw was from LaBante. I took it as a sign, particularly as this brand had been on my radar for some time. In fact I’d been thinking about buying a bag from them, but getting a new purse became the priority. So I pulled the trigger and bought the “Kindness wallet” in black with contrasting pink interior.
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LaBante use vegetable “leather” and polyester made from recycled single use plastic bottles for the interiors. They also use recycled fabrics for the dust bags, and recycled paper tags. No animal based dyes and glues are used in the manufacturing process. LaBante do not use sweatshops – they pay the people making their products a fair wage and regularly visit their factories to perform spot checks.
I love the design of it, especially the gold hardware. It has adequate slots for my cards (most of which I now have replacements for), as well as a zipped section for coins and two outer pockets.
The message on the inside saying “I am enough” is a lovely detail.
And so that’s the story of the new purse and why you shouldn’t wear uncomfortable shoes to a party (or anywhere for that matter). Although I only had loose change in my purse and no-one had tried to use my cards, it turned out to be an expensive night out. So let me be a cautionary tale and don’t wear silly shoes…and never attempt to treat bunion pain with rosé wine. You’ll just end up looking like bambi on ice skates! And possibly lose your purse. (BTW, those glittery monstrosities are now in the charity shop bag…good riddance!).