Many girls have a thing for handbags. I have a herd of handbags, ranging in size from petite to monstrous, depending on the occasion and my mood. Those may have been the occasion and mood I bought the bags FOR, or the occasion and mood WHEN I bought them.
But I'm here to tell you about a place I've returned to twice already, and I expect I'll return to again, because I think I want to collect the entire family of bags from English Retreads. Partially because I'm a green gal. I love my planet and I try to do my part to protect it. English Retreads does, too. Its bags are made from reusable materials - tire inner tubes - and that's pretty cool. But I also run with the vegetarian crew, and I know it is darn hard to find a nice bag that's not leather. And here it is.
A FANTASTIC BAG THAT ISN'T LEATHER. I'm proud to take my English Retreads evening bag to a 5-star restaurant. And I have. To a few of them, as a matter of fact. These bags are not just great bags, they are stylish and useful bags.
I've bought two of them. The Model T Tote Luxe (lined) and the Mini Luxe. The Model T is great for commuting to work because it's got some little pockets inside and a zipper on top, and it's big enough for all the stuff I carry on the Metro. The Mini Luxe is one of my evening bags, it fits snugly under my arm when I go out at night.
I highly recommend going with the lined versions of things, because the reused tire-rubber doesn't give you much of any structure on the inside of your bag on its own.
These all have a slightly industrial look to them, a bit biker-chic, and it works for me. If it's not your thing, consider these as a unique gift. They're really fabulous! I get compliments on mine all the time. The straps are made from seatbelt-type material, we've seen that around for some time now, but the other stuff is different, and girls do love it.
Prices on their website are $45 - $209 plus shipping, which is right up there in competition with any leather handbags I've picked up in department stores. I say it's 100% worth it, especially since you can clean these bags off with ArmorAll.
PS: Customer service through the website I've found to be outstanding. I have had no problem with returns and exchanges whatsoever. (My husband ordered a wallet for me, when I clearly needed another bag.) That's what gets them from a +4 to a +5 in my book.
English Retreads is an eco-fashion company that makes handbags and accessories from recycled materials. The company is known for its products that are all low environmental impact, vegan, and handcrafted in Boulder, Colorado. English Retreads offers handbags, wallets, belts, laptop bags and key chains all made from recycled materials, primarily reclaimed rubber and recycled PETE (plastic bottle) material.