In recent years the Orla Kiely pear print has become one of her most covetable designs and many us, eager to own a piece of this quirky but pricey brand have turned to eBay to try and find an affordable bag.
It seems like our prayers were answered when canny sellers from across the pond decided to start selling the reusable pear totes that were originally made for Target, a budget brand in the US.
The design as well as the print of the bag is very appealing, it folds up into a very cute little clutch bag so you can pop it into your handbag and take it out for any impromptu shopping trips.
I bought one of these bags recently, at a cost of £15 including shipping. When the bag arrived it was undoubtedly the genuine article but was rather disappointingly made of polypropylene, which is a half step up from the material used to make those blue and white kitchen cloths. It is extremely lightweight though and looked very pretty so I decided to give the bag a chance.
On the first outing the bag began to fall apart, the pocket came away from the main body of the bag leaving a split in the material. Not good. The bag also scuffs incredibly easily and picks up dirt like a magnet. After three outings it looks incredibly shabby and has been relegated to keeping nappies in.
If this bag had been cotton, or even the kind of nylon that most magazine freebie bags are made of, it would be worth it, but it is made of the cheapest, nastiest fabric and you will NOT get your money's worth. I have seen these bags being sold for £29.99 by people wanting to exploit the quirky, covetable reputation of the Orla Kiely brand. Please dont be fooled, it IS the genuine article, but not worth the money. An Orla Kiely etc bag will last so much longer. A year or two ago I paid £12 for a very shabby stem-print bag on which I lavished lots of TLC and now have a lovely bag which will far outlast these so-called "reusable" totes.
*Update* Tesco have recently started selling a jute shopper at just £4 which is hardwearing and looks pretty. Predictably you can find dozens on eBay but the average of £10 or so they seem to be going for is worth it. If you cant get to Tesco, grab one of these instead.