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Your lifestyle, your quirk
I feel a little guilty sometimes, but you can call me a bit of a snob when it comes to textiles. I favor natural fibers and textiles over synthetics. I don’t do real fur, but I just can’t give up my leather. Sometimes when I am out wandering the malls I lose myself and quote Joan Cusack in Working Girl. You know, the scene when she sees a high-priced designer dress and yells, “But it ain’t even leatha!”
(Not that I say it out loud...usually.)
Handbags are one of my favorite accessories, especially oversized ones that use bold textiles, embellishments, color and hardware. Although I prefer leather handbags, I am always intrigued when a non-leather handbag catches my eye. One brand that managed to capture my attention is Matt and Nat.
In case you’re not familiar with this brand, Matt and Nat was started in 1995 by Inder Bedi. In the Globe and Mail interview, he tells how in 1992 he was “challenged” by a friend of his father to go vegetarian for 30 days, and at the risk of sounding cliché, the rest is history. He remained a vegetarian after the 30 days, and in addition he gave up leather. Three years later, after completing a college project where he had to create a business plan and get mock loans from banks, then law student found his “true calling,” left school, and Matt and Nat was born.
Bendi says in the interview, “In spite of not getting any funding and only 77 percent on my paper, I dropped the idea of law school or an MBA and started the business. I still have no explanation for it.”
The site and the interview both point out that all of the products in this line are cruelty-free and no animal products are used. It also states that the linings are made of 100 percent recycled plastic bottles, 21 to be exact. Bendi and his company have strong convictions that run throughout the company and its product; recently, the line introduced their signature cork labels.
I don’t know if I can give up my leather, but this brand has my admiration and respect. Their handbag and wallet designs are definitely eye-catching and have a minimalist design. Their products are well-made and practical, with lots of attention paid to detail.
One thing is for sure: Whatever style of handbag you’re looking for, this line has it. Matt and Nat designs run from a sexy and sophisticated clutch to a sleek and scholarly laptop bag. These bags are functional but hardly boring; in fact, they are quite stylish and hip. Every hot trend in fashion has been worked into this line, like snakeskin, fringe, and bright color, and the styles range from wallets and small purses on straps to backpacks and oversized totes. I suggest you check this line out even if you’re a leather lover like me. Who knows, you may be inspired to make some changes.