WHEN the government brought us bang up to speed with the rest of Europe by introducing a five-pence charge on carrier bags, I certainly found an additional use for my every increasing pile of tote bags acquired from events and press. Of course, they are incredible popular now , and the array of print,colours, and fabric is much to be desired – ( if like me you like that kind of thing).
The problem I have with tote bags however is, , no mater how great they look, once they get dirty and are put through the wash, they tend to lose their shine. I am aware a lot of brands now using the ethically sourced and stronger canvas material, which is great, as the bags hold their shape a lot better, but more still needs to be done, especially on the design side of it.
IN the last 2 years, I have acquired over 200 totes , and what to do with them is always a dilemma for me. It occured to me, that I can only use some many , but like my stash of notebooks, I am not prepared to part with many of them. In an attempt to resolve the conundrum, I started separating them based on the prints, quality , and colour. Some of my really good prints, without a logo get rocked as my day to day bags, replacing my handbags: others with more robust canvass, and bland prints come grocery shopping with me: there is a pile for giving gifts, and just stuff to friends, Some really good quality ones that are not to my taste, get sold when I have my occasional twice a year stall in my local park, and the really flimsy ones or branded ones shouting too loudly to be carried around, get laid out in the front of the house, with a note saying – FREE BAGS, PLEASE HELP YOURSELF’ (I usually lay out about 15, and no word of a lie, they disappear within 10 minutes!!!!!).
My other conundrum with totes, is the amount of time I spend each day rummaging around , looking for things in my bottomless bag! sometimes quite annoying. To mitigate this problem , I always have bags within my tote, to compartmentalize my stuff, however, for the hundredth time I ponder on how little attention is paid to the interiors of the totes. , A simple partition in the middle and a little pocket on the side, will make such a different, allowing for longevity, which is more apt to it’s name – ‘bag for life’ – .
I have considered buying a tote bag, but for me, it has to be more than an ethical option, it needs to be practical, pleasing on the eye, not dig into my shoulders by midday, and hold it’s shape after a wash. More often now, I come across many totes with either a pocket of the outside, or a little zipped pocket on the inside, which is great, but none combined. On a few occasions, I have seen totes with good designs, (no partitioning, mind you), but they tend to be bespoke for some event or other, and not available to buy.
Subconsciously, I set myself on a quest to find ‘THE TOTE’ that ticks all my boxes. In my pursuit, I constantly accost strangers carrying designs that I like the look of, asking where it’s from, and if I can have a peek inside, (to see the design of course)!
Then finally, when I wasn’t even looking, there it was, at a social in Shoreditch full of creatives . I immediately walked up her and asked where she got the tote from, could I have a look inside? and could I take pictures of it? all to which she was thankfully very obliging. This tote, ticks most all my boxes. The print is simple, yet quirky, it’s of a good weight, it’s functional, and is moderately priced. My QUEST is nearly over. this for now, is my idea of a tote bag. Read on to see my favourite tote to date and a chance to WIN ONE!
Some of my framed totes (Top print by kathassan.com)
Framing totes in cheap and easy to do. I brought some cheap frames from the pound shop. Printed tape from www.Muji.eu
I wrapped the printed tape around the frame, and positioned the tote behind the glass.
Some designs that I really like, and will use. (Ethically totes from http://www.creation26.com/)
I like this sturdy monocle bags with it’s simple minimal logo, but I think it’s only available if you subscribe to the magazine. (https://monocle.com/)
I am not keen on slogans, but this Nudie tote is cut from a good cloth, and has sturdy straps. (https://www.nudiejeans.com)
I also like the patch work on this Nudie jeans tote.(https://www.nudiejeans.com)
I will rock this, because Charlie brown is cute, and the tote is of a heavier weight.
Being a Londoner, I cannot resist this print, inspired by the underground lines. I just acquired one, two days ago, and this one is marked for framing!(http://www.vallila.se/)
I like these cotton totes from G STAR RAW, are sold plain, but were being customised by a graffiti artist at a press event. They are a very generous size with straps that don’t dig into your shoulders, and a minimal logo.
Plain totes from G-STAR RAW
Even though this is meant to be a laundry bag, I really like the design, and so it’s framed up.
I turn my attention now to design. I couldn’t resist talking to this stranger, when I saw the tote/backpack he was carrying.It is quite a quirky, with a side zip, so you don’t have to keep unwrapping the strap around it. (http://private-visit.com/)
If you are curious about how the strap wraps round, check out the short clip I posted on my Instagram page. (https://www.instagram.com/accidentalstatement/)
Design is what drew me to this Vans tote. I like the practical idea of the cut out handle as well as the long shoulder strap. However I couldn’t get me hands on one.
FOR the star of the show! the one that I am absolutely loving for all the right reasons – THE BAGGU
I simply love (and I don’t use the word ‘love’ very often to describe many material things) the design of this tote! it’s so practical with it’s long across the shoulder adjustable reinforced strap, as well as the handle strap. (The canvas is of a heavier weigh, so it holds its shape after a wash: I love the grid lines, the shape, which makes it very roomy on the inside ; the top snap clip that keeps the tote closed but it’s not visible from the outside, allowing for a super clean aesthetics. – (and I don’t have to worry about someone slipping their hand into my tote, especially during rush hours on the tube); the minimal logo, and the price! The only thing missing from this, is the partitioning on the inside. Perhaps I am demanding too much from a simple ‘TOTE’. For now however, I am happily parked with my BAGGU tote.
Duck bag – natural grid $26.00 (https://baggu.com)
My next purchase will be this one with the constellation print $26.00 (https://baggu.com)
If you dig the Baggu as much as I do, here’s a chance to get initiated! To be in with a chance to WIN THIS grid design Baggu shopper, all you need to do is Subscribe to my Blog, and follow me on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/accidentalstatement/).The winner will be picked at random, and announced on Instagram & Twitter. GOOD LUCK!