Please Buy These Beaded Bags Before I Do

Most mornings, I browse a very long bookmark list of websites to keep my millennial wits sharp. Perhaps surprisingly, I spend more time perusing Forever 21 than Reformation. Why? Well, the old saying still holds true: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Who knows, maybe Michael Corleone hated fast fashion as much as I do.

It’s not a mystery then, that I’ve recently fallen under the spell of the mini beaded bag trend. And believe me, I’ve got enough tabs open right now to prove it. This obsession leads me to an important query: How do I source said bag of my dreams sustainably?

Because most beaded bags have to be handmade, it seems that cheaper fashion giants like Forever 21 are unable to indulge in the fad. However, mid-tier retailers like Zara and Bershka are picking up the slack. Then, of course, there is Shrimps — the fashion house who initially hurled this throwback piece into the zeitgeist with their Spring and Fall 2018 runway shows. But without any available knowledge about their production to go along with the $400+ price tag, it would seem that — in the interest of wallet and conscience — the only way to go would be thrifting online.

 Photos via ShopBop, Lisa Says Gah!, Zara, and Shrimps.

Photos via ShopBop, Lisa Says Gah!, Zara, and Shrimps.

Unfortunately, this fashionable bread crumb trail brings me to one final realization: I really can’t justify adding a fourth bead bag to my closet right now. Ah yes, did I fail to mention that I already own three? All are the product of unbelievable luck thrifting in my area — mostly at Buffalo Exchange! So, in an effort to make all of this internet sleuthing somehow purposeful, I’d like to present you with the solution to the bead-shaped hole in your heart:

Note: Most of these bags are on the mini scale but pay special attention to size and dimensions!

Advantage: These bags are very easy to clean. And if you’re worried about losing a penny or two through the cracks, remember that you can always add a bright colored pencil case inside for some visual intrigue and security. Though, I find that most of these chunky wooden and translucent bead bags are stealthily lined.

If, like me, you live and die by the glitz, here’s a bonus selection of my favorite seed bead bags. I’ve only begun to see these pepper a few luxury websites, so get ahead of the trend before it trickles down to the Zara’s of the world:

There are so many bags I didn't even get to add! Browse websites like ThredUp, eBay, Etsy, Swap, and Depop with keywords like 'seadbead purse' and 'bead bag' to see more.

Photo via Shrimps UK.