IT’S ALL IN THE PEDIGREE
It was a beautiful handbag. Tan coloured with a shoulder strap, it hung from my shoulder stylishly, matching my shoes and hat. It wasn’t too big nor yet too small; it would hold a small compact and purse, a mini pack of tissues plus a comb. I looked for it’s make, what was its pedigree? Ah yes, Gucci, I was about to return it to the rack, the price tag beyond my bank balance when I noticed a tag inside a pocket.
The handbag had begun life in a sweatshop in Thailand, synthetic leather, but it looked the real thing. Some machinist had sewn it with care. It had been packed in the sweatshop and sent to Italy where it was labelled and then sent off to Australia to a boutique in Melbourne.
The handbag had been bought by a young woman who had spent all her pay on it. She would starve for a week, might even lose the roof over her head, but just to have a handbag with a Gucci pedigree was her ambition.
I noticed a scratch or two, the shoulder strap showed a little wear and the lining was slightly grubby, the bag been passed down to a poorer cousin.
I had found it in an op shop in a back street of poorer Melbourne suburb. I too, was determined to own it. Rescue it from a life of rough handling. Its pedigree was too classy to just let it fall in to grubby common hands.
I sensed it had been stitched with love and I must honour that love, so I paid the five dollars and walked out of the shop, the proud owner of a pedigree Gucci handsewn bag.