Why I No Longer Buy From Matt & Nat

I used to be a huge Matt & Nat fan. The first bag I invested in over 10 years ago was from Matt & Nat, and since then, almost all of my bags have been Matt & Nat. But sadly, this is no longer the case.

First of all, I want to say that I love their styles and that they’re vegan, and the bags can be very good quality (I still have that first bag!). I used to recommend them for all these reasons, but have now stopped promoting them and removed them from my directory. Here’s why:

 

They’re not transparent and I can’t get any information about their manufacturing.

About two years ago I was looking for a backpack, and I of course checked out Matt & Nat. Reading through their website, I had some questions about their transparency page and manufacturing process, especially since they moved their production from Canada. I don’t like companies that use vague/general statements like “the conditions of the workers developing it are up to par with our standards” so I sent them an email asking for more information about their ethical/labour standards, whether they worked with a lot of factories or just a few, and asked them to elaborate on their SA8000 certification, because the website only says that “One of our factories operates by the SA8000 standard“. I got a response saying, “I have forwarded your inquiry to the appropriate representative who will be able to give you more information on this“, and then… Nothing. After a few months I sent another email, and again, no response.

I also took part in Fashion Revolution’s #WhoMadeMyClothes campaign asking Matt & Nat “Who made my bag?” which, unsurprisingly at this point, also got no response.

 

I regret buying the backpack from them, even though it’s the perfect size and I love the style because I also learned that:

The majority of their bags are made from PVC.

We know that synthetic vegan leathers are not good for the environment, but PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is significantly worse than the other common material PU (polyurethane), as it has a negative impact throughout its production and life cycle and may also possibly be hazardous to our health. On Matt & Nat’s website they say that “PU is always preferred over PVC, as it is less harmful for the environment“, so I assumed that most of their bags were PU. They also present themselves as being an eco-conscious company, using recycled bottles and cork (and it is awesome they use those materials!), but it turns out a lot of their bags are still PVC. The bag’s outer material is also not included on their website listings, so it’s very difficult to know whether or not a bag is made from PVC.

I checked the tags on my bags, and most of them, including the backpack, are PVC. Currently Matt & Nat’s ‘Dwell’ and ‘Vintage’ collections – which make up the majority of their bags – are made from PVC.

 

Finally, Project Just also recently released a profile on Matt & Nat that confirmed my worries about their transparency; their investigation also found that there is no information about whether or not Matt & Nat monitors any of the environmental impact of their supply chain.

 

So, in conclusion, I think their quality is a big pro, and I like that they’re using materials like cork and recycled PET. But until they offer more information about their manufacturing process and their current and future use of vegan leathers/PVC, I don’t feel comfortable supporting them and can’t help but feel there is some greenwashing going on.

 

 

What are your thoughts on Matt & Nat?

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7 Responses

  1. Andrea Wodtke
    | Reply

    Thanks for this post! Really helpful and confirms feelings I’ve gotten about them after running across their Glassdoor employee reviews. I finally decided to try to get word out about the Glassdoor when someone shared your post with me. It all seems to add up to them being a company to avoid supporting.

    https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Matt-and-Nat-Reviews-E1008043.htm%EF%BB%BF

  2. Marie Reymond
    | Reply

    Thank you very much for your post. It is a real shame, considering the quality of their products. I look forward to your next posts!

    • Verena Erin
      | Reply

      It’s SUCH a shame. I’ve had (and still have!) so many great bags from them, and definitely gave them the benefit of the doubt more than I would with another brand. The fact that I can’t get any kind of response from them besides my email being sent to someone else is such a bad sign though. Their lack of transparency is so shady 🙁

  3. Mirjam
    | Reply

    I don’t find that the quality is that good either. My bag is now 1 year old and the “leather” is already wearing down quite a bit. Combined with this information from you I don’t think I will purchase from them again. I am going to look for a nice secondhand bag instead.

    • angie b.
      | Reply

      Mirjam, initially, I loved both the quality and chic appearance (I received many compliments on it) of my Wellington satchel. However, in addition to its heavy weight (it feels like lead), the “leather” also began showing signs of considerable wear after about a wear, which is quite disappointing. So, one again, I’m on the hunt for a high quality vegan bag. I’ve seen/read good reviews for Angela Roi’s bags. So, I may give them a try.

      • angie b.
        | Reply

        After about a *year*

  4. MC
    | Reply

    I’ve long known they use plenty of PVC and they choose not to explicitly say they do – they are much less of a green company they have touted themselves to be.
    They use green washing and clever marketing to maintain their brand image – funny how most online vegan bloggers would in the same article criticising vegan products made of PVC but support and recommend Matt&Nat which most products are made of PVC!
    They are also completely overpriced, I know the extortionate markup they put on their products made from those Chinese factories capitalising on their brand image.
    There are lots of lovely, honest vegan companies who don’t use any of the above techniques but who actually care about the environment too.

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