Have you heard that the Center for Environmental Health found that hundreds of non-leather handbags contain high amounts lead, including (gasp!) Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs, and Tory Burch? The gals at Cool Mom picks recently clued me into the drama and were delighted to hear us confirm: yes, our bags are lead-free purses!
Why is there lead in most faux-leather handbags, purses, wallets and bags?
Although lead is most commonly known to be found in paint in old buildings, it is also present in new materials we use every day. In fact, lead can be used as a cheap stabilizer in vinyl and PVC: which is a very common material some companies use to make their vegan bags. Although you might assume that the cheaper the handbag, the more likely it is to contain less-than-desirable chemicals. However, in the case of the brands mentioned above, this isn't always true.
How to choose lead-free bags and purses:
This is a perfect example of why we should choose to purchase from companies who value sustainability and provide transparency to it's customers. Here at Crystalyn Kae, we go one step further, by making all of our bags in the USA, where we hand-pick our materials and work closely with our local suppliers, so you don't have to worry about lead in your bags.
All Crystalyn Kae bags are:
- Lead Free / Heavy-Metal Free
- Phthalate Free (including all Phthalates listed in Cal Prop 65 & CPSIA)
- PFAS free
- BPA Free
- Tris Free
- Formaldehyde Free
- Conflict-mineral free
- Does not pose any exposure risks associated with the chemicals listed in California Prop 65
I think that this brings up a very key issue that affects my design process everyday. Although I strive to use the best available materials with the least impact – the ‘perfect’ material doesn’t exist, yet. And maybe it won’t ever. That’s why I feel that it is most important to create unique bags in small batches (in my workshop here in Brooklyn, USA!) that are dependable and will last for years.
I think the decision goes much deeper than choosing a vegan bag vs. a leather bag. To make a positive impact, we should strive to make fewer and smarter purchases, support designers who keep sustainability at the forefront of their creative process . . . .Perhaps its time to re-think what a ‘designer bag’ really means.