Its smart, its environment friendly, it is convenient! A tote folds up neatly to be tucked away into your all-purpose bag – something you can reach for when the need strikes. Also, we give you some tips on making your own tote!
To ‘tote’ something is to carry it along, and a tote bag is typically a large bag made from cloth with handles for carrying or slinging over your shoulder. This is one fashion accessory that every woman needs (and men too, if they are honest) for reasons of practicality, to make a green statement and, quite simply, because totes are smart!
Tote bags are the all-purpose carry-along
A tote bag is something that you can carry along for when you head to office, the subzi mandi, the mall, out for a jaunt with the girls and even when you’re traveling out of town or on vacation. Your tote bag can be your main handbag, or you can fold up a tote and stow it away neatly in that sling bag or handbag or cross-body bag – you know, the one that contains your survival kit which you cannot leave home without.
Totes are big!
You can place your wallet, sunglasses, a book or two, your brush and makeup, a small mirror, some unmentionables (for those emergencies) and much more in your tote bag. Plus you have room left over for a bunch of other stuff that you decide to buy on the way, have to pick up from a friend or files you need to bring to and from office.
For some impromptu shopping
Often when you’re out, or at office or with a friend, you remember the need to pick up stuff for the house: provisions, toiletries or anything really. Rather than carry around a bunch of flimsy, unattractive and difficult-to-carry polythene bags, you simply whip out your trusty tote and deposit the lot to carry home easily and conveniently!
And the next time you pass that pavement stall selling that tee shirt or hat (or any other thing that you don’t need but want so much), you can buy it and tuck it away inside your capacious tote. This way, no one at home needs to know about your fizool-kharchi (mindless shopping)! Your buyer’s remorse can be your own little secret.
For when you need to carry 50 extra ‘essentials’
Some days you need to carry a bunch of extra stuff to work. Sometimes, when you’re out for the day with your besties, you feel the need to carry that big tube of sunblock, party shoes to exchange with the sensible flats and a bunch of other stuff you just may need. When you’re traveling with kids, you will need to carry wipes, hand sanitizer, a toy, a book or two, coloring stuff and heaven knows what else! That tote can be amazingly handy for all this and more!
Totes are really versatile
A tote can be as simple or as stylish as you need it to be. You can take it to the market or carry it along to a party. You can have several tote bags to go with outfits or accessories of different colors. You can choose ones with fun, funky prints and eye-catching designs. Tote bags can be statement pieces that say a bit more about your personality and your convictions. You can pick (or make, look below) totes with thoughtful or funny messages and slogans.
Because they are easy to make and available everywhere
Have an old tee shirt that is now a bit ratty or faded but which you love anyway? Or the tee shirt you bought on an impulse only to realize that it actually makes you look like a blimp? Transform it into a nifty tote bag. The tutorial in the link below and a bunch of similar ones on YouTube teach to you how. This requires no stitching and very little skill.
If you cannot be bothered with all that DIY stuff, simple cloth totes are easily and cheaply available everywhere – a single purchase that you can use over and over again.
Sending out the ‘eco friendly’ message
Not only is a tote bag attractive and smart, it can be utterly unique if you decide to make it yourself. Up-cycling or repurposing your old clothes into tote bags is an environment friendly thing to do as well. Totes are also cheap, easily available and reusable, which makes them an excellent alternative to the awful, ubiquitous plastic bags we all use.
It is a great idea to whip out your own bag and refuse to take those ghastly polythene carry-bags that the provision store uncle and subzi-wala bhaiya so generously hand out. Think about how many of those plastic bags you are saving from the rubbish heap – things that we know are going to take hundreds of years to biodegrade. Also think about how stylish you’re going to look with that tote bag!