What’s in Your Bag (& Where Does it Come From?)

Rubina Magazine sits down with hairstylist France Blais to discuss exactly what impact her every day essentials have on sustainability and health, with some ethical alternatives of course.



France Blais: It’s a Fendi Peekaboo handbag. I like it because it’s really sturdy with quality leather, it has two separate compartments, and the size allows me to throw in a pair of shoes, a jacket, or my iPad for work. Oh and I love the color, it goes with everything! Classic brown, not too flashy.

Of course, we agree that quality leather is unparalleled when it comes to handbags. For a lighter, more colorful accessory, why not check out the Rubina Dazzle Clutch Collection! They’re hand crafted by artisans in Kolkata, India, offering a more personal and Fair Trade friendly option than most designer brands.



House keys, salon keys, car keys, Eclipse gum, Versace sunglasses, Chanel card wallet, iPhone 5, Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer, Visine for contacts, a quarter, a pen, reading glasses, Melaleuca Women’s Vitamin pack, stack of membership/business cards, Trish McEvoy travel-size Makeup Planner.


Trish McEvoy Makeup Planner


It’s travel sized and protects the powder compact of eye shadows and blush from breaking in my bag. It also comes with great quality brushes like the angle crease contour brush, blending brush, etc. It’s useful for touch ups during long days at work, or when I’m running on a tight schedule.

Many cosmetics we use today contain toxic chemicals such as paraben preservatives, silicon, coal tar, Ethyl acetate, etc. that are harmful to both human health and the environment. Though free of animal testing, Trish McEvoy is not EcoCert qualified or particularly ethically friendly. It’s hard to find travel suited alternatives, but the Mineral Miracles Cosmetics set offers a convenient selection for a more natural touch up.

Melaleuca Vitamins


They come in an AM/PM package and are easy to throw into a purse. They’re prepackaged and simple to take whenever is most convenient; I like to take them with my meals. Hopefully this encourages me to actually remember to get in my daily vitamins!

Super handy for a busy schedule. But be careful for GMOs or unwanted additives in vitamin brands! A great vitamin option is Terranova’s organic and ethically wildcrafted products. You can find capsules for bone health, digestive health, antioxidant protection, and other essentials that utilize ingredients such as pomegranate seeds or Larch Tree Arabinogalactan.

Bath & Body Works Hand Sanitizer


Tiny, smells good, kills germs. Say no more.

Perfect for killing germs on the go. But the alcohol found in most hand sanitizers can be harsh on your skin as well as the environment. Brands such as CleanWell have lines of hand sanitizers sans alcohol that are biodegradable and not tested on animals.

Chanel Card Wallet


I’ve had this wallet for four or five years. It’s the perfect size to throw into my evening bag, my everyday bag, for travel, anything. I love it, this thing’s been through the ringer. I think spending more money on leather goods is worth it in the long run.

Though they are no leather goods, polyurethane based products (faux leather) are more eco-friendly because they can be soy-based and do not require solvents used to soften PVC and leather in the manufacturing process. SkunkFunk, a company evolved around sustainability, carries gorgeous polyurethane wallets that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.

Eclipse Gum


Since I do hair, I like to freshen up right before an appointment (though chewing gum with a client is unprofessional…)

Did you know that gum takes around 50 years to biodegrade? Glee Gum takes sustainably harvested, renewable rainforest chicle (a sap) as a basis for their product as opposed to synthetic gum bases. It is additive free, nut free, wheat free, gluten free, yeast free, and supports local workers who tap trees for chicle. Not to mention, it won’t stick around for 50 years.

Versace Sunglasses


Since I live in Florida, sunglasses are a must. I would die without them.

It’s called the Sunshine State for a reason. But in Florida or not in Florida, UV protection is key to healthy eyesight. Petroleum-based plastics are often used for eyewear, and they are not the environment’s best friend. But imaginatively hand-carved sunglasses made from renewable materials such as Australian tea wood and bamboo are a step in the right direction. You can support your retinas and sustainable (slash high) fashion with Julien Tual’s brand Waiting for the Sun.


One response to “What’s in Your Bag (& Where Does it Come From?)

  1. Pingback: Easy Lifestyle Changes To Help Protect Your Eyesight·

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