I have been lucky enough to be approached to review a new range of 'big' bags created by Charlotte over at MiaTui.
MiaTui bags are a fantastic range of bags which have been created by mother of two Charlotte, who is currently living out in Vietnam as an ex-pat. Charlotte realised that many of the change-bags available nowadays just weren't practical or attractive enough for modern women, and therefore set about designing and producing practical bags which are fashionable and can be multi-purpose.
What makes these bags different for me is that they are not produced by a huge multi-national company by a man. MiaTui have used local (Vietnamese) designers, resources and manufacturers to produce the bags; I particularly found it fascinating that Charlotte has made the decision to work with "local women who have their own small businesses, getting paid a fair wage for their work and working their own hours to suit their family circumstances." This is an incredibly responsible attitude of Charlotte, it probably would be easy to having the bags produced in less than ethical situation, but she has thought long and hard about the image that MiaTui bags present. This post really illustrates the background to MiaTui.
The bag came in a large box well protected by air-pockets, but again this is another example of Charlotte's responsible attitude; Opus Air Pockets are biodegradable and compostable, so when put into plastic recycling it only takes 12-24 months to degrade. Underneath this is a beautiful wrapped bag in bright pink tissue paper: I felt like it was Christmas!
And so on to the bag and why it's better than others out there!
I chose the Amelie White-Pink bag to review after much deliberation, although I had the choice of seven different colours and I seriously considered the Aubergine (a brilliant colour for Autumn and Winter I feel).
Sunday was test day, a beautiful day to go to the park (by the sea) and the picture on the left illustrates all the things that would normally be shoved into the change-bag or bottom of the push-chair. I know what you're thinking, "That will never all fit in there!"
"Ha!" says I, "Look!"
Look at the organisation in that bag! And look how little space is taken up in it!
Inside the bag are several really deep pockets to hold the contents in an organised way:
- a big pocket along one side which is perfect for The Boy's spare clothes and nappies.
- a pocket for your phone (underneath the end of the zip so you can access it quickly) and it's also big enough to fit the iPod touch (a necessary must to distract The Boy sometimes)
- a proper-sized insulated drinks pocket (how infuriating is it when only half the bottle fits in like in other bags?)
- two further pockets along the other side, into these I put my purse and camera, and the wipes and nappy sacks.
- in the middle section I had the two PVC bags which come with the Amelie bag but are also sold separately. One of them had nappy cream, Savlon, teething gel, anti-bac handwash and sun-cream. The other had packets of snacks for The Boy. There was a towel (in case he went paddling) and I also had the matching clutch bag into which I put essential make-up and other bits and bobs that you'd find in a lady's handbag!
- my car keys which were clipped on to one of the two safety clips.
The Amelie bag hangs brilliantly off the back of the stroller because, as well as the big handles which enable you to use it as a shoulder bag, there is a long strap which can be attached to either end of the bag. Yes, that is a photo of me!
The bag held everything in it that I needed it to and there was space for more; I could quite easily have had a couple of small toys or a book in there for The Boy, or his swimming stuff and a picnic blanket (I'm thinking ahead here to Friday when we're going to country park which has paddling facilities in it). The most important feature for me was the long zip closing the contents up nice and secure; I hate it when everyone can see into your bag and everything falls out!
The Amelie bag is adapatable to your needs; travel bag, work bag (the large pocket can hold a 13" laptop or iPad), change bag, beach bag (it is made from a splash-proof material). I actually wish that Charlotte had created this two years ago and then I could have dispensed with the two or three change-bags that I've tried during that time!
For a short-time only, until Easter Monday, to celebrate the launch of her online shop, MiaTui are offering the bags with 20% off which brings them down from a very reasonable £54.99 to a bargain £44.50 with free postage and packaging. They are despatched from the UK, so don't worry about waiting more than a couple of days for them to be delivered.
Not only do MiaTui produce multi-purpose bags for mums, but they also produce a range of rucksacks for children with 8 different designs for both girls and boys. I actually really like the silver dot and am thinking of
sneakily buying one for myself The Boy!
To be in with a chance of winning one of these rucksacks for your little one (or yourself!) then you will need to do all of the following:
1) Visit www.MiaTui.com and then come back to tell me your favourite item in the comments box below.
3) You will also need to tweet the following message:
"I've entered to win a @miatuibags with @TheBoyandMe's blog http://www.theboyandme.co.uk/?p=2095"
Competition closes on Thursday 5th May 2011 at 8pm. I will contact the winner that night and they need to reply with their colour choice of rucksack by Saturday 7th May 2011 at 8pm or I will redraw a winner. Open to UK entrants only.
While I have been provided with this bag for the purpose of this review, my opinion is honest and fair, and I have not received any payment for this post.
The winner of the competition is: SomethingBlue_2!
Congratulations, and thank you to everyone who entered!