Wednesday, August 06, 2008

My Old Consumer Ways: Le Sport Sac & Stella

So I was walking up Damen Street in Wicker Park/Bucktown area of Chicago and peeped into the Le Sport Sac ,when the sales girl cheerfully greeted me with a, "Hello, just wanted to let you know that the Stella McCartney travel bags made of 100% Recycled Eco Polyester are sale priced at 50% off." Pause. I absorb the key words: Stella, Le Sport Sac, recycled materials, and sale, then continue to sense the danger in this situation. Yes, Warning: DANGER as Jon would say. Why? Because it is in these exact situations that I am still powerless against my old consumer ways. I would've definitely said no if it wasn't eco, like I did a few weeks ago to the Orla Keily bag I was drooling over at their new online shop. But when it is totally eco-conscious, well-made, affordable (for luxury items) and fabulous, what it one to do!? As a veteran of the fashion industry, and formerly a professional consumer, this was one of the more troubling dilemmas in the dramatic process of "greening" my lifestyle.

I recently read in the Editor's Note of the latest issue of Dwell, that Sustainability Will Save Design. It took me a little bit to understand what this really meant, but I suppose it means we can still indulge in great design, with the stipulation that it is in moderation and that the product is not harming the earth. Yes, sustainable products will save design and continue to give ourselves the opportunity to make products better.

So the bag pictured above is the large bowling bag in her signature muted aubergine. In the shop, I weighed out all the facts for about 45 minutes including the fact that my current overnight bag was over 10 years old with broken feet that had already been repaired a few times. Okay, I thought. I called my husband for reassurance, paid for the item, thanked the girl for being very helpful and traveled home in style.

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