I love the discussion everyone. So many interesting thoughts that I missed after I went to sleep last night!

Cocolotion, the Feragamo bag in your finds is the alternate bag I considered. It is also a neutral, and it's less expensive. I already have a medium sized Cognac bag that I love so I eliminated it from my list. I don't need more than one. I have also seen the Alexander Wang bag. Very nice!

Lisa, I love the idea of having a bag made. I wish I knew someone local who did this. I could always check Etsy, and may do this. In the past there was a woman who made some beautiful cloth totes that I purchased and still enjoy. I particularly love the idea of supporting an artist with my purchase.

Dimity, I haven't considered whether I would feel self conscious carrying this purse. I already stand out in so many other ways where I live and work because of my powerful professional position as a female physician and medical director. I dress nicely but not extravagantly. If you have seen my posts you know that my clothing is simple but of high quality. I probably stand out in most crowds for my physical appearance, but perhaps my clothes add to that as well. I don't think it would be easy for me to blend in, ever, so I don't try. The quality of my clothes is most definitely higher than most people I work with, but that has to do with the nature of our positions. I keep up my look wherever I go, because it's a small community, and I bump into people I know everywhere. I would feel more self conscious if I looked unkempt given my standing in the community. I am not someone who tries or needs to blend in. I also do not try or need to stand out,

Having said this, I know your point was different. You were speaking to Several things it seems. One being the effect of the manufacturing of this bag on the environment/world. Another it seems being my self consciousness in carrying this bag around other people, perhaps people who have less, or could not afford such a bag, or maybe even someone who is homeless or mentally ill perhaps. These are excellent questions, and I do not go through an environmental impact query before I make a purchase. I do however consider how long something might last before purchasing, and aim for long lasting items, thereby reducing environmental impact. In terms of considering what I am going to call the "shame" factor, or the "have" and "have not" factor of feeling self conscious carrying this bag around people who have much less than me etc. I live with that every day. I work with mentally ill people. Often they are impoverished. I know I have more than them. I see them and listen to them, and work with them every day of the week. perhaps it's my personality but I have never felt self conscious or or as you put it "judged" about what I wear around them. My feeling is that they all have potential to learn, grow, and function in this world. My job is to help them with this. What I wear around them isn't as important as my attitude and how I wear it. If I am wearing clothes to flaunt myself and show off my wealth, that will come across, if I am wearing clothes that flatter and make me feel good as a person, and professional, and fit my personality, then that will show. People of all ages can tell the difference. I have seen this dynamic among the teenagers in our classrooms. One student somehow becomes the one everyone is somehow jealous of or judging, yet that person does not necessarily have the most expensive or even the nicest items. I also do not think my spending less on a purse is going to put more food on someone else's table, or more clothes on their backs, etc. What I do for work however, will potentially allow many people to function better in the world. They may be able to finish school, to hold a job, to get by without becoming homeless, etc. this is how I make my contribution. It is my life work, and I truly believe in it.

I have to say that the exercise of adding up the total cost of what you are wearing is interesting. My DD did it for one of her art classes (conceptual art) and I did it for one week. It's interesting, and eye opening.

Golden pig, thanks for sharing your story! It is helpful to me as I am going through my thought process about this bag.

Shevia, you are correct about the perforations! When I visit your country, I will not bring a perforated leather bag! My son brought home a lot of sand and dust in his duffle bag after his five weeks there this past summer! It shouldn't be a problem here, we don't have too much dust.

It is a beautiful bag - the price is a bit off putting to someone like me who is pretty conservative, but hey, you only live once and if you can afford it, you love it and you want it, why not? Okay, so maybe it will be a little hard to keep clean. Details! My ivory leather bag from last year has a lot of blue jean staining on the edges but I'm going to try and clean it before giving up on it. I LOVED having an ivory bag for spring/summer. Otherwise, it didn't really get very dirty and I live a pretty casual, sometimes rugged life.

Texstyle, did you treat your bag with anything before you started to use it? I'm curious because I have used Meltonian rain and stain spray on some of my leather bags just like I do my shoes and it has worked well. I just haven't used it on a white/Ivory bag or pair of shoes.