It was in 2007 that Anya Hindmarch released the “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” bag with hopes of inspiring people to use reusable totes instead of plastic. It also caused a fashion phenomenon, inspiring people to wait in line for hours in NYC to buy it (myself included), and causing stampedes in Japan. This was all so eco-friendly fashionistas in the world could let everyone know they were anti-plastic bag—or maybe because it was an Anya Hindmarch bag for only $15 (instead of the standard $500-$1000). Either way, it lead to thousands of people walking around making the statement that they would no longer use plastic bags.
It’s not to say that people didn’t shop with reusable totes prior to this—I’m sure they did. But it did help this “green” idea to become a fashion trend and shine light on the fact that the reusable tote was yet another accessory that could and should be built in to our wardrobes.
Skip a few years ahead, I don’t notice as many “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” bags on the streets, but there are a wide variety of companies providing reusable bags to fit your lifestyle and look.
For example Evolve45, a label that is dedicated to eco-conscious fashion accessories, has recently unveiled a new tote that says “If everyone evolved their consumption slightly, even forty-five degrees, collectively we will make a huge difference…” It’s a nice, lightweight bag that is cute enough to carry around for everyday use, or to fold up and stick in your purse for toting groceries home. This tote retails for $15 and is a nice addition to their line of designer, vegetable-tanned leather bags.
Baggu is a brand of reusable bags and they offer a wide variety of sizes and styles, as well as 50+ color and design options, making it possible for everyone to find the right fit for them. We’re partial to this elephant print bag! They range from $6 – $50, so it’s wallet-friendly in addition to eco-friendly.
There is also EnviroSax, the original designer reusable bag, as they proudly state on their site. They offer a variety of lines to choose from, including: organic series, kids series, green grocer series and the graphic series. You can also learn more about the facts around plastic bags on their site, providing a great reminder as to why it really is important to invest in reusable totes.
If you’re still not finding the perfect bag to save you from the plastics, there are several sites out there that let you design your own bag. It’s great for commemorating an event (as my friends did for their wedding in Vermont recently) or to put your design skills to work.
We’d love to see how you’re incorporating your reusable tote in to your style—send us your photos, we might even feature them in an upcoming style round-up!