Diaper Bag Doubletake: Can You Identify the Marc Jacobs Bag?

08/01/2008 at 12:30 PM ET

When I showed this diaper bag to Angela last week, she said, "It reminds me of that Marc Jacobs diaper bag!" She pointed out how the straps have similar quilted padding. Can you tell which one is the designer bag and which one is inspired by it? (Click Continue Reading for the answer.) And more importantly, which do you prefer?


The first bag is Kale‘s Cameron Diaper Bag. The second is the MARC by Marc Jacobs Totally Turnlock Baby Bag.

Kale_black_diaper_bagThe Cameron bag is nothing to sneeze at though — Kale is a luxury handbag line favored by the rich and fabulous. This bag is a baby-friendly version of their Cameron Flap bag, which will cost you as much as a Marc Jacobs bag. The baby bag version is made of nylon and PVC (what, they didn’t get the memo about PVC?), with many pockets, both inside and out. Like all diaper bags, it comes with a changing pad, plus a detachable zippered pouch for dirty clothes or diapers. It also comes in shiny pewter (which Jennifer Lopez has). At $175, it certainly isn’t a bargain, but it’s certainly an option for a mom who wants a designer look without having to worry about ruining her good handbag. To order, email info@kalehandbags.com or call 213.627.1743.

Marc JacobsIf you prefer the Marc Jacobs bag, you’re kind of out of luck because it’s sold out pretty much everywhere but eBay.

FILED UNDER: Celeb Style , News

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tink1217 on

I guessed right and I actually prefer the Marc jacobs style. The other one is nice too though.

Lauren on

I guessed correctly as well-it was pretty easy to tell which was which-and also prefer the Marc Jacobs. Just out of curiosity, what does “didn’t they get the memo about PVC” refer to?

Henrietta on

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic, commonly referred to as vinyl, is one of the most hazardous consumer products ever created. PVC is dangerous to human health and the environment throughout its entire life cycle, at the factory, in our homes, and in the trash. Our bodies are contaminated with poisonous chemicals released during the PVC lifecycle, such as mercury, dioxins, and phthalates, which may pose irreversible life-long health threats. When produced or burned, PVC plastic releases dioxins, a group of the most potent synthetic chemicals ever tested, which can cause cancer and harm the immune and reproductive systems.

New Car or Shower Curtain Smell? The Smell of PVC

PVC is useless without the addition of a plethora of toxic additives, which can make the PVC product itself harmful to consumers. These chemicals can evaporate or leach out of PVC, posing risks to children and consumers. New car smell? New shower curtain smell? That’s the smell of poisonous chemicals off-gassing from the PVC. One of the most common toxic additives is DEHP, a phthalate that is a suspected carcinogen and reproductive toxicant readily found in numerous PVC products. Children can be exposed to phthalates by chewing on vinyl toys. While it is still legal for US retailers to sell PVC children’s and baby toys containing dangerous phthalates, the European Parliament voted in July, 2005 to permanently ban the use of certain toxic phthalates in toys. One EPA study found that vinyl shower curtains can cause elevated levels of dangerous air toxins, which can persist for more than a month.

Environmental Injustice

PVC plants are disproportionately located in low-income communities and communities of color, making the production of PVC a major environmental justice concern. Communities surrounding vinyl chloride facilities suffer from groundwater and air pollution. In 1999, the federal government measured dioxins in blood samples taken from 28 residents who lived near PVC facilities in Louisiana. The testing revealed the average resident has three times more dioxin in his/her blood than the average U.S. citizen. Workers at PVC plants may face life-long health risks from exposure to cancer-causing vinyl chloride and other hazardous chemicals used to make PVC. These health risks include angiosarcoma of the liver, lung cancer, brain cancer, lymphomas, leukemia, and liver cirrhosis.

Hazardous to Firefighters and Building Occupants

When heated in a building fire, PVC releases toxic hydrogen chloride gas, forming deadly hydrochloric acid when inhaled by firefighters and building occupants. Firefighters face harmful occupational exposures when battling fires laden with PVC building materials and consumer products. Building occupants may be killed from inhaling toxic PVC fumes before they are able to escape. After September 11th, the EPA measured the highest ambient air concentrations of dioxins ever near ground zero, likely due to the combustion of PVC and other chlorinated materials.

A Contaminant to Recycling

PVC cannot be effectively recycled due to the many different toxic additives used to soften or stabilize PVC, which can contaminate the recycling batch. Most consumers do not know that a 3 in the recycle symbol indicates that the plastic is made of PVC, and therefore recycle those products, inadvertently rendering thousands of potentially recycled containers useless. In fact just one PVC bottle can contaminate a recycling load of 100,000 PET bottles. Recycling of PVC is negligible, with estimates ranging from 0.1% to 3% of postconsumer PVC waste being recycled.

Safer, Healthier Alternatives are Readily Available

The good news is that safer, cost-effective, alternatives to PVC are readily available for virtually every use. From safer plastics, to bio-based materials, there is a growing market replacing hazardous PVC products. A growing list of companies have committed to phase out PVC products and switch to safer, healthier products. Some of these companies include Bath and Body Works, Honda, Ikea , Johnson and Johnson, Microsoft, Nike, Toyota, Victoria’s Secret, and Wal-Mart. You can help build consumer demand for safer, healthier products by avoiding the purchase of PVC. One way to be sure if the packaging of a product is made from PVC is to look for the number “3” inside or the letter “V” underneath the universal recycling symbol. In addition, soft flexible plastic products that are made with PVC often have a distinct odor, such as vinyl shower curtains. If you suspect that a product is made of PVC, contact the product manufacturer and ask them directly about the materials used in the product or packaging and your concerns about PVC.

Lauren on

Whoa. I always tried to steer clear of PVC because of its inferiority to more quality materials like leather and nylon. I had no idea it contains so many toxins. I’ll definitely try to stay away from it if possible. The problem is that you can’t always tell what materials a bag is made of, particularly if they’re sold in boutiques with several different brands and the salespeople won’t know off-hand.

JM on

I guessed right as well. I like the Marc Jacobs DB better however I’d never buy a M. Jacobs bag either! lol

dana randall on

i bought that marc jacobs bag last year when i had my baby and returned it right away. it was SO HEAVY. even without anything in it. i can’t imagine carrying it around all day.

Kirsty on

The first one is so much nicer.

Jessie on

I am a Green Mama and I find it strange that Danielle made the PVC comment, since many diaper bags that have been reviewed on this site contain PVC (I emailed the companies) and worse off, many are made with “stain resistant” fabrics that are terribly toxic.