We all want to stop using plastic bags, right? (Not sure why? Read this.) So take a reusable bag with you to the grocery store or farmers market. Not only will you be doing something really good for the planet, you’ll also look super chic because as one of the bags on our list says, “Plastic is so last season.”
BAGS WITH A CAUSE
If you’re going to spend money on a bag, why not choose
one that supports a good cause?
Bohemian Market Basket, The Little Market,$68.00
These bags are special because, well. . . they’re gorgeous, and they’re handmade by artisan basket weavers in Ghana, West Africa. You’ll also feel good about the fact that the artisans who make these bags receive Fair Trade wages. FIND IT HERE.
“The sales of these baskets have allowed many impoverished farmers in the Bolgatanga region of Ghana, West Africa to attain a sustainable way of living.” – The Little Market
THE MEXICAN MARKET BAG
Mexican Plastic Bag, Ciolula, $52.79, or $58.55 (with pompom)
We’re cheating a little here because these bags are plastic, but it’s okay because they’re made from recycled plastic. These vibrant bags are made in Oaxaca, Mexico by somewhat unconventional artists: prison inmates! Almost everyone in rural Oaxaca uses these bags to carry their groceries. You’ve gotta get one with a pompom. Otherwise, it’s really no fun at all. FIND THEM HERE.
“These beautiful bags are handwoven in Oaxaca by inmates inside prisons to support their families while they serve [their] sentence. All the shapes and colors come from their imagination and creativity.” – Ciolula
Market Bag, Apolis, $58.00
This jute bag holds at least 135 pounds, has a waterproof interior, and looks really cute holding baguettes. FIND IT HERE.
The female Bangladesh artisans who make these bags receive a share of the profit, a retirement fund, and Fair Trade wages. Apolis is a Certified B Corporation, which means they meet a higher standard of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.
Custom Market Tote, Apolis, $68.00
With this custom tote, you can add your name, address, or whatever else you want to say, as long as it fits on three lines. FIND IT HERE.
There are also more options HERE, including this Garden Tote that features a ton of side pockets-perfect for bottled drinks! $78.00
FEED 1 Bag,FEED, $98.00
The burlap bag with a noble cause. The FEED 1 Bag “provides one child with school meals for an entire year in 63 of the poorest countries in the world.” If you’re on a budget but still want to help, check out the FEED 10 Bag for $28.00. FEED bags are made with organic cotton and burlap whenever possible.
Market Tote, FEED, $78.00
Every purchase of this cotton canvas tote provides 50 school meals to kids throughout the world. FIND IT HERE.
Organic Waxed Canvas Grocery Tote, Olliworld, $40.00
This bag is made from 100% organic linen canvas. It’s biodegradable, vegan, and one dollar from the sale of each bag goes to supports Multiple Myeloma cancer research. FIND IT HERE.
Last Season Tote, EcoRight, $7.95
This bag is 100% cotton, biodegradable, and the dyes are eco-friendly. The best part is that “1% of all profits are donated to causes supporting a brighter future – education and the environment.” For $7.95, it’s a no-brainer! FIND IT HERE.
Blue Q Shoppers & Shoulder Totes, $11.99 – $14.99
The Shoppers & Shoulder Totes are made from 95% post-consumer material and both designs feature an inside pocket. The Shoulder Tote is made with a heavy-duty zipper. If you want to laugh hysterically, check out Blue Q’s gum section. FIND THE BAGS HERE.
“1% of the sale of Blue Q bags supports environmental initiatives around the globe.” – BlueQ
UPCYCLED WITH STYLE
Upcycle: to reuse in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original – Dictionary.com
Shopping Bag, Freitag, $95.00
In 1993, Markus and Daniel Freitag were graphic designers living in Zurich. They were searching for a durable, water-repellent bag to hold their creative work, but couldn’t find one, and so they made their own. What’s unique about their bags is they are made from used truck tarpaulins (tarps) and modeled after Swiss grocery bags. Each one is unique. FIND THEM HERE.
MADE WITH CARE
Funagata Bag B, Matters of Space, $145.00
Funagata bags are handmade in Japan, dyed with organic and natural dyes including coffee, tea, and oolong and are coated with natural beeswax. They are works of art that also hold your groceries. FIND IT HERE
“My concept is to reproduce something that resembles a simple craft paper bag that uses sustainable production methods and ethical, long-lasting durable materials.” – Kazumi Takagawa, founder
BIG CARRY ALL
Grand Tote, Aplat, $160.00
This bag is made out of locally-sourced raw denim and made with zero-waste origami design principles in mind. All the bags are sewn by women in San Francisco, California. The full line of Aplat’s bags are made from 100% organic cotton. FIND IT HERE.
CLASSIC STYLE TOTE BAGS
City Living Tote bag, AGL City Living on Etsy, $24.00
These organic canvas totes are so cool they should be the official bag of every city. FIND THEM HERE.
Busy Bee Totes, BertIllustrations, $26.35
God Save The Queen (the queen bee, that is)! These totes are 100% organic and serve as a great reminder to buy from local organic farmers who don’t harm bees. FIND IT HERE.
Wolf Howling at the Moon Organic Tote, NatureisMyFriend on Etsy, $12.05
Don’t you secretly wish this organic tote came with howl-along audio? FIND IT HERE.
Cotton is one of the most chemically dependent crops in the world. Support the production of cleaner cotton by buying one of these organic or eco-friendly cotton/linen bags.
ShumaLinen on Etsy, $19.04 – $25.39
These bags are handmade in Europe with Oeko-Tex certified linen fabric (Oeko-Tex means they are free of harmful chemicals at every level of production). FIND THEM HERE.
Organic Linen Tote Bag, TikTakTimeLINEN, $42.66
These luscious bags are handmade with 100% European stone washed soft natural linen that meets Oeko-Tex 100 standards. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. The Beach Bag is $50.53. FIND THEM HERE.
THE FRENCH MARKET BAG
Long Handled French Market Basket, Dreamy Whites, $69.95
These beautiful bags are handmade in Morocco with woven palm leafs. Sadly, the bag doesn’t come with the gorgeous flowers, baguettes, or a trip to France. C’est la vie! FIND IT HERE.
TAKE ME TO THE SEA
Indigo Striped Jute Tote, Dreamy Whites, $95.00
This gorgeous cotton-lined jute tote is designed with an internal pocket, which is perfect for your wallet and cell phone. When you open this tote, you can actually hear the sea. FIND IT HERE.
Kanagawa Wave Tote, Sea Bags Maine, $205.00
Buy groceries in style with “The Great Wave of Kanagawa.” This bag is made from recycled sails and the rope is hand-spliced. It might just be the most gorgeous bag at the grocery store. FIND IT HERE.
Octopus Tote, Sea Bags Maine, $140.00
This tote features an octopus illustration from the “official expedition report of the HMS Challenger, the 1872-76 cruise that established the field of oceanography.” The bag is made of recycled sails from Portland, Maine, and the rope handles are hand-spliced. FIND IT HERE.
The octopus is a great reminder of just how deadly all that plastic in the sea can be to marine life. Scientists have estimated that there are five trillion plastic particles swirling around in the world’s oceans, and new research calls that number a “major underestimate.” Let’s help by doing our part to stop using plastic.
BONUS: TWO PRODUCE BAGS
(Get rid of that plastic in your fridge!)
Vegetable Bag, Ambrosia Produce Storage Bags, $28.00
Ambrosia produce bags are made from flax linen. The founder, Jan Rem, came up with the idea because she wanted to find a way to make her veggies and fruit last longer without using plastic. FIND IT HERE.
“I thought of my grandmother, Elsie, and how she stored produce before plastic bags. I remembered as a young girl, thinking how ‘weird’ it was that she refrigerated damp linen tea towels wrapped around vegetables. I get it now . . .thanks grandma!” – Jan Rem
Try one and you’ll want the complete set, $100.00.
Reusable Produce Bag Set,BBEDesigns8 on Etsy, $33.50
These jute and cotton reusable produce bags can go with you to the store, and then right into in the fridge. They are handmade, biodegradable, and machine washable. FIND THEM HERE.
BBC – “Ocean plastic could treble in a decade”
Feature Image of the handmade bag courtesy Yoni Goldberg and The Little Market