Leah Messenger - what to do?

cazzz1

O.G.
Nov 23, 2008
709
38
I've just received Leah messenger in hazelnut. It's a lovely bag but I'm really disappointed to find that it's made in China. Now I know that there's no compromise in quality etc but I do have a problem with their human rights record not to mention their treatment of animals. I am now really torn on what to do. I know that no country is squeaky clean on the treatment of animals front and I'm being hypocritical buying bags made from animals, albeit a by-product of the meat industry so should I put my conscience to one side and keep it? Any thoughts?
 

MiniMabel

O.G.
Mar 7, 2009
7,510
150
Hi Cazzz1 - would it be an idea to email Mulberry's Customer Services and ask if any Leah's are Made in England?
 

ztory

O.G.
Jan 13, 2010
223
96
Sweden
Contact Mulberry and ask them if they have any rules and laws about human rights and so on. Maybe the quality is the same, but it doesnt feel as luxury to by a bag made in china then made in england... maybe thats stupid to say, but a lot of products are made in asia so when a product is made in england it feels special.
 

cazzz1

O.G.
Nov 23, 2008
709
38
I contacted Mulberry earlier. Unfortunately, they're all made in China but I was assured that the standards are high, regular inspections are carried out etc etc.
I've sold all my Chinese Mulberries so maybe I shouldn't be keeping this either though it is really nice and the leather's great. What a dilemma!
 

IWantANewBag

Member
Jan 2, 2010
5,778
0
That is a hard one. If, at the back of your mind, there will always be a niggle over this issue then I would say you should send it back. You deserve to be totally happy for the high end price you've paid.
 

Sarah Lizzie

Member
Feb 11, 2010
1,880
0
37
I completely agree with IWANB, every time you use her/ look at her you'll be thinking China, it'll spoil your relationship with the bag which is just not on!
I totally understand where you're coming from as items made in China are a big no, no for me too:nono: Ztory's so right it does feel special to have something thats made in England:yes: xoxo
 

lola73

Member
Jan 1, 2010
5,939
2
Ireland
If you have felt strongly enough in the past to sell your Made-in-China Mulberrys, are you going to feel comfortable enough to keep this one and use it?
If you think you will end up selling it on because of discomfort, you'd be better to send it back now and not have to sell it on and potentially make a loss.
Only you will know how strongly you feel....
 

Tote Girl

Member
Nov 25, 2008
2,596
0
You should do what you feel comfortable with, it's your choice and you can't be criticized for exercising that choice.

However since thoughts are being asked for and speaking generally and not referring to the OP as I obviously don't know them, my problem with "ethical" shopping is that many people are inconsistent in their thought process.

For instance there are well documented cases of animal cruelty in several "civilised" European countries eg bullfighting and up until recently stag and fox hunting, yet people will happily ignore that and buy products made in those countries whilst quoting the same reasons for not buying a bag made in china.

It was well reported on the conditions of the crocodile farms Hermes source their leathers from, I wonder how many of those women who say I'm not having a bag made in China would still buy a made in France Hermes in exotic leather? I'm assuming Hermes is made in France having never inspected one.

People are happy to buy a bag from a company such as Mulberry that is located in a part of England where the hunting & shooting fraternity are well represented. Some people will argue that hunting is not animal abuse at all others will say the exact opposite. Is it a case of some levels of animal abuse are OK when it suits? We might suggest skinning a dog alive is evil but people in China might find bullfighting equally evil.

As far as human rights are concerned whilst we don't have the same political regime as in China some might suggest our military involvement in other countries amounts to the human rights abuses of those citizens. These are not my own views I just provide them to point out that their are often two sides to every arguement.

For what it's worth I try to take a pragmatic view on such things and if Mulberry tell me their factories are well run and the workers treated fairly in China that is good enough for me until I have evidence that suggests otherwise. I know that it would be virtually impossible to live without goods made in china, think of all the electronic components in every day household items, so what is the point of me boycotting a particular bag when I have hundreds of Chinese manufactured items already, most of which I know nothing about because they don't have an obvious black label printed with Made in China attached.

Apart from anything else the laws that some countries have on country of origin labels means they are basically worthless, a bag with a made in Italy label could for the most part be made in China.
 

cazzz1

O.G.
Nov 23, 2008
709
38
Many thanks Tote Girl, for this well balanced response. I think you're absolutely right and I'm feeling a bit daft now I think about all the stuff I have e.g tv, phone etc etc etc made in China yet I haven't considered returning these. If I did so I probably wouldn't have too much left!
 

flyvetjo

Jo
O.G.
Jan 24, 2007
9,807
9
UK
Love the response tote girl! Personally i wouldn't have an issue with a made in china genuine Mulberry. Some sort of knock off from an unregulated factory however would be a no-no.
 

Tote Girl

Member
Nov 25, 2008
2,596
0
Many thanks Tote Girl, for this well balanced response. I think you're absolutely right and I'm feeling a bit daft now I think about all the stuff I have e.g tv, phone etc etc etc made in China yet I haven't considered returning these. If I did so I probably wouldn't have too much left!
Please don't feel daft, like I said it's your choice and you don't need to answer to anyone but yourself in making that choice.
 

Emmy Lou

Member
May 14, 2008
348
2
Dublin, Ireland
Very valid questions Cazzz1. China has no animal welfare legislation whatsoever. The skinning alive of cats and dogs for fur and leather is the most vile thing on our planet.

You could check and see if Mulberry source their leather in Europe and ship it to China for bag production. Many companies do this as the labour costs are cheaper, which throws up even more ethical issues.

As consumers it is important to push governments at local and European levels to make sure our slaughtering process is humane and painless. Compassion in World Farming is a good organisation & highlight many welfare and factory farming issues.
 

lola73

Member
Jan 1, 2010
5,939
2
Ireland
Very interesting & well thought through post Totegirl. It certainly made me stop and think.

Now that you've slept on it cazzz1, how are you feeling about the Leah?
 

cazzz1

O.G.
Nov 23, 2008
709
38
To be honest I'm still a bit torn. I think it's the skinning alive of dogs and cats that is troubling me the most in that if I keep it am I colluding in such practices? Having said that I've just been reading the latest newsletter from the Donkey Sanctuary and am appalled at the things that go on in Spain. My Bayswater was made in Spain so maybe I should be sending that back?
As Tote Girl says we're hardly number 1 in the animal care stakes what with hunting, dog fighting, badger baiting and cruel farming practices etc etc so I'm probably being unfair singling out China. Sadly, animal cruelty is rife everywhere and if I took my somewhat intransigent views to their natural conclusion I wouldn't buy anything! I will, however, continue to support organisations that campaign against it. I will also contact Mulberry as suggested by Emmy Lou, to find out the source of the leather. I must say that Mulberry have been very helpful so far and offered to collect Leah so at least I don't have to pay out to return her if I decide to though it's now looking a bit more doubtful.