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Matt & Nat...NOT

Today I'm putting aside all things books to bring you information. I feel responsible to share because in the past, I spoke highly of Matt & Nat's products. Unfortunately, like they say, when the chips are down, true colors emerge.

In my quest to become cruelty free with my wardrobe, a few years ago I gave away all my Coach and Michael Kors leather bags and scoured the universe for a cruelty free, designer option. After carefully checking all the companies available at the time, I settled on Matt & Nat. They seem to have not only the style, but the mindset I'd been searching for. I ordered my first bag and was thrilled. The craftsmanship was beautiful and the faux leather felt luxurious. I did have one issue, no feet, but it was something I was willing to overlook.

After several months of use, I decided it would last and ordered another, this time I also bought a wallet. Still thrilled with my purchase, six months later I ordered my third cruelty free, designer bag. Can you feel the joy in my words? Matt & Nat had filled the void of my superficial need for fashionable bags. And then came trouble.

For Mother's Day, I'd been eyeing a new line they'd recently released. The new leather was not only more authentic in appearance, it was better for the environment. Omg, the happiness, a double win! Ronnie gifted me with the purse and dare I say...a matching wallet! The color was vibrant, the handles the perfect height, and the wallet coordinated with perfection. My new bag was my badge of happiness—for about 2 months. Little by little, the construction faltered. The trim pulled away, a tear at the handle, and then another.

I contacted the company and they apologized and agreed to replace it. They sent me a return label and I shipped back my now sad little bag. After several weeks of waiting, they finally sent me the new one. Once again thrilled, my joy would last just one day. The interior zipper pouch separated from the bag, Ronnie, being the handy, I can create a dining room set from toothpicks kind of guy, fixed it. He bought the necessary replacement piece to adhere it back in place from Michael's and my purse was healed.

Less than a month later, the piping began to pull away from the stitching. I was crushed, angry, and tired of the shotty construction. I'd had enough, apparently this new product was a poor substitution for their original line. I contacted them again but this time I demanded a full refund. I'm inserting their email response to ensure you see the exact response with no room for error. Not only did they refuse to replace it or refund me, but they actually suggested I take it to a shoe repair store to have it fixed. The price of their bags and wallets mirrors that of Coach and other designer purses, and they have the audacity to suggest I take it to an outside company for repair. Here's the actual email:

Hello Vicki-Ann, We are sorry to learn about this situation.

We regret to inform you that as a warranty was already processed for this item and a replacement was sent, we cannot process a second replacement for the same item, as per our company policy. As well, our warranty claims are ineligible for a refund. You may refer to the following screenshot, as indicated on our website: You may also read our Warranty policy by clicking on the following link:

Unfortunately, we can no longer issue a warranty claim for this item, as it has already been replaced. We truly apologize for any inconvenience this situation may cause.

We would now recommend contacting a local shoemaker to inquire if anything can be done to fix the damage on your item. They would be the best-equipped to help in this situation.

Please accept our sincere apology for any inconvenience this may have caused.

After receiving this, I contacted PETA and they thanked me for the information. I asked for another suggestion, and they gave me a designer that appears to have beautiful products. I haven't ventured to try them yet, but in the future I'll consider it. After all the disgust has had time to settle.

Consider this both a warning and an apology. I touted Matt & Nat to anyone who would listen and if you've had a bad experience after purchasing from them based on my praise, then I'm truly sorry.

If you're thinking of buying one of their bags...don't. I'm sharing pictures of my original bag and the replacement one so you can understand what my issues were. I hope sharing this helps anyone looking for a cruelty free alternative, Matt & Nat—NOT.

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