Rating my bags with Good on You

Good on You is an app that is described as ‘Your go-to source of trusted brand ratings, articles and expertise on ethical and sustainable fashion.’.

The app contains a directory where you can search for brands to see how well they rate against the Good on You standards. Brands get an overall rating that is an average of scores given for Labour, Environment and Animal. Each rating is out of 5 stars.

I think this app is great for those that want to become more ethical and sustainable consumers. One of the good things about the app is that the directory contains such a broad range of brands which includes high-street, luxury, designer, sustainable and ethical.

The purpose of this post is to share the ratings of some of my bags from second hand to designer.

COACH

Overall **

Labour **

Environment **

Animal **

First up is the Coach Kira Crossbody that I’ve had a little over a year now. It can be worn as a crossbody, wristlet or clutch.

It was the first more expensive bag that I’ve purchased but I did manage to get it in the sale on the Coach website. In the grand scheme of designer bags, this one was fairly inexpensive however it still cost much more than my other bags. A couple months after I bought the bag, the UK went into lockdown so it wasn’t until autumn that I wore the bag out.

After being someone that loved big bags, over the years things have changed and I noow much prefer something smaller. I like that even though this bag is fairly small, it still fits all my essentials.

I wasn’t really surprised at the 2 star rating because I’ve never known Coach to be ethical or sustainable, not even in terms of greenwashing. Plus, most of their bags are made from animal leather.

Since purchasing this bag, I ended up buying a second coach bag that I’d wanted for probably close to 3 years.

MARKS & SPENCER

Overall ****

Labour ****

Environment ****

Animal ***

So, this bag was actually from a charity shop but the original store was M&S. I’ve had this bag for over 2 years now and it is a firm favourite. I remember being drawn to the shape of it as it reminded me of a crossbody bag that my mother gave to me in my teenage years.

I think I’d say this bag was what got me into wearing handbags again rather than just crossbody bags. There was a time when I felt like my style was too casual for a handbag whereas these days I’ll happily style this bag with a long wool blend coat, cashmere jumper, blue jeans and trainers.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that this bag rated 4/5 stars as M&S has become one of my favourite places to browse for footwear and outerwear. I had previously heard about M&S being more ethical/sustainable than other high street brands but it wasn’t something I had researched for myself.

As someone in their mid-twenties I know I’m not necessarily the target audience for a store like M&S but it’s somewhere I will continue to shop.

KURT GEIGER

Overall *

Labour *

Environment *

Animal (zero)

I’d wanted a bag from Kurt Geiger for quite a while and managed to buy this one on sale. I love the colour of the bag and think it goes quite well with my closet that is mostly full of black, grey and blue clothing.

A few years ago this style of bag gained popularity amongst influencers and fashion people, it was praised for being an affordable bag that looked much more expensive than it was. I was somewhat disappointed with this bag as the quality is poor and I can tell that the bag is likely to get worn out pretty easily so I don’t expect it will last long. The overall rating of 1 star comes as no surprise.

I can’t see myself buying a Kurt Geiger bag again as I don’t feel like the price is justified. I’d much rather save up and invest in something that will last.

KATE SPADE

Overall **

Labour *

Environment **

Animal **

I’ve wanted a Kate Spade bag for more than 10 years, ever since I saw the Beau bag in the Stylist magazine as a teenager. I remember ripping out the ad page and sticking it on my bedroom wall.

In terms of quality, I’m happy with this bag however I have found the zip to be a little stiff. I love the shape of the bag and that it can be worn crossbody or carried top handle. It’s a small bag but still big enough to fit the things I need like keys, cards, phone, lipbalm, mirror, mask etc.

I can definitely see myself buying a Kate Spade bag again as they have a lot of fun bags that I think work really well with the way that I dress.

PARFOIS

Overall *

Labour *

Environment *

Animal *

Last but not least is this fun bag I’ve had for a couple of years that I purchased from Zalando. It can be worn as a shoulder bag or crossbody which I think is great. I much prefer handbags at the moment so rarely wear it as a crossbody but it’s nice to have the option.

The price was very low, somewhere between £10-15. I remember t being on sale when I bought it and being drawn to colours think it cost less than £15 which

I think there are a lot of random fairly inexpensive brands that have low ratings in categories. The quality of this bag is similar to your average high street bag (something you would find in New Look or Primark) and it is made of a faux leather. I wouldn’t purchase from this brand again as when it comes to bags I’m much more focused on quality than I used to be.


Overall, it turns out the only bag that rated well according to good on you was the one I bought I second hand. It’s unfortunate that the other bags featured have low rating. The great thing about good on you is that you can search for brands in different categories and refine it by things such as country, cost and values.

This is a great way to find alternative brands to start shopping from in the future. However, it is important to make use of what you have instead of just trying to replace it with something else. As popular quote goes, the most sustainable item is the one you already own.

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