Get to Know Our Tote Bags

The humble tote bag is really having it's moment right now. It's been slowly creeping up into the peripherals of fashion for some time, swinging from the arms of celebrities and university students alike, but thanks to the spotlight finally being put on sustainable and slow fashion, the tote bag is truly coming into its own.

Tote Bags

There's also a lot more to them than meets the eye. They're a lot sturdier than they look so they're ideal for getting those heavy books to class or carting your worldly possessions around on a night out. They also make an ideal alternative to plastic bags, and can be used for carrying everything from clothes to groceries home from the shop.

Despite harking as far back as the 17th century, the tote was first made popular by preppy all-American brand L.L. Bean in the 1940s, who created a simple tote bag which was originally sold as an 'ice bag' made from sturdy canvas. It regained popularity in the 1960s, when they added colourful handles and trim (still one of their best selling pieces today) and created a more stylised version of the tote bag.

L.L. Bean Tote Bag

It was also around the 60s that fashion took a political turn, and tote bags were the perfect blank canvas (pun absolutely intended) for printing bold statements, social messages and even branding on. Many companies began to realise that the tote bag was the perfect opportunity for advertising on the go, and began using a tote bag as a part of their merchandise, or as a freebie given away at events. The Strand, NY's most famous bookstore, truly made the most of this in the 80s, and began selling tote bags with their name, address and tagline on them, and it wasn't long before they were seen dangling from the arms of New Yorkers all across the city - the perfect way to spread the word. They're still popular today, and can be bought on their website in almost every colour, style and design you can think of.

The Strand Tote Bag

As with anything vaguely edgy and organic, high end designers started making their own luxury versions, and everyone from Louis Vuitton to Rebecca Minkoff have made their own versions using leather, hide, velvet and everything else imaginable.

Louis Vuitton Tote Bag

We obviously love a good tote bag, not only for its reusable, sustainable and practical vibes, but also because you can just do so much with the design of them. We couldn't resist creating our own version of the tote, so we took fabric remnants and deadstock materials and created two different designs, each with their own variations, for you all! It's clear we love a good print and colour block moment, so each bag is in a bold print and can be bought with or without a contrast colour frill around the edge.

Studio Courtenay Sustainable Tote Bags