GUNAS – Hostess Bag, A Review

Published May 18, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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My focus for 2013 has definitely shifted from vegan cooking to vegan lifestyle integration. The most major cause of this was the move from Florida to Seattle. Since we got rid of most of our earthly possessions to come here, now that I’ve been working for several months, I’ve been able to start shopping for new vegan versions of things that I parted ways with. I’m the type of person who buys really high quality or unique things and keeps things FOREVER, so when I switched to a vegan diet, the rest of my lifestyle items just lingered around. The sheer expense of doing a complete overhaul was absolutely prohibitive, so I figured it would happen slowly over time as things wore out.

In my pursuit of vegan handbags, I’ve been a stickler for fashion and quality. I like shiny and black, with nice heavy hardware, and classic designs. I wasn’t about to give up my high end purses for some cheapie bag that looked terrible and fell apart in a few months. The replacements would have to be knock outs, vegan or not.

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And then I found GUNAS… I was immediately fixated on this Hostess bag. Not only was it black and patent, it had a top handle as well as a nice sturdy looking shoulder chain, and the hardware was NOT gold. Plus, it was on sale. I figured it was worth a shot. Though you can’t really tell quality through internet pictures, I was hoping at this price point I’d get the kind of craftsmanship I was looking for.

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After a little bit of a wait, my bag came and completely met [and even exceeded] my expectations! Celebrity vegans like Anne Hathaway carry Gunas bags, and now I know why. These limited edition bags are either made by hand in house or in socially responsible factories elsewhere, depending on the materials. They try to be as eco conscious as possible and have won awards for sustainability in fashion.

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It has a beautiful red lining with a zippered pocket and 2 pockets of varying sizes for organization.

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It even has feet, which is a touch I really appreciate in my patent bags.

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The only con is due to the soft structure of the basket portion of the bag. Trying to get the magnetic snap closure to connect on the bag can be a little tricky. The top flap is sturdy patent, and the body gives with pressure, so you just have to let it slide down onto it. There’s a learning curve there, but I think it’s gotten a bit easier with time (I think due to the slight outward squashing, see below). It is nice and secure though, once it’s closed, which initially was a concern of mine since the points of carrying are all on the top patent piece, but it’s been fine.

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Due to the soft body of the bag it has gotten a little squashed. That’s mostly user error though, I tried putting it into my work backpack, and subsequently stuffing them into my work locker. Maybe not the best idea. (Since then I’ve been changing bags and using a wristlet with just the essentials in there.) I don’t think it’s gotten any worse since, and it closes easier now!

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Here’s a pic to give you an idea of the size worn on a 5’4″ person. This was its first trip out 5.5 weeks ago. It was right after my humerus fracture (that was one of the only shirts I could fit over my splint!) and it was really convenient to have a purse with a shoulder strap at that time!

Overall Impression:

I’m thrilled with my bag! They have a lot of variety in the styles they offer, so even hard to please people like me should be able to find something lovely to carry. The only thing that bummed me out a bit was that I found it on VeganCuts a couple of weeks after for $30 cheaper! So awesome for you, if you’re thinking about picking one up! (Here’s the link for all the GUNAS bags on vegan cuts!) And I’ll definitely check on there 1st for future purchases. (Which would probably be this wallet. It’s not the matching wallet, and it’s got gold hardware, but I don’t care. I think it’s ADORABLE!)

Thank you GUNAS! : )

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6 comments on “GUNAS – Hostess Bag, A Review

  • Thank you for encouraging purchasing vegan products, however, I wanted to add a little note about their customer service. I wanted to love their products being vegan, but was extremely disappointed in the quality of the material on the wallets I purchased.
    What was worse, though, was their customer service. HORRIBLE. Never once returned my calls and was blunt and hostile via email.
    I’m so sorry but I hope no one gets fooled by them again.

  • I recently discovered Gunas too and I’ve been lusting over their bags. I’ll have to splurge and get one. I also like high quality and fair labor conditions. I’m also cheap so I have to work on that! I love the black patent and red accents. Great choice! I’m heading over to Vegan Cuts now.

  • Ahh, I LOVE this! Were you carrying it at VVC? I didn’t see.
    I’m SO picky about purses, and can hardly ever find ones I like, so I pretty much just buy cheapie $10 ones because I don’t care much about them. But maybe it’s time for me to invest in a cool purse again, finally.
    Only thing is, on both the site you linked and on Vegan Cuts, it looks like they’re selling it with red trim and interior. But I like the pink! Do you know where I can find one with pink?
    Hope you got home safely! 🙂

    • No, I was wearing my new Mat & Nat bags b/c they were less bulky to travel with. 🙂 But mine does have red trim & interior! It’s the only way it comes, though the website says they will do custum pieces for an extra fee if you’re truly determined!

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