Whether you’re traveling this summer or just hitting up all the usual summer hangouts, having the right bag for the season is essential. After all, you often lug extra items during the warmer months – from sunscreen to hats and reading gear, a big summer bag is a must. Tote bags are great for the summer because they have more space, but are generally compact enough to feel comfortable through the farmer’s market, the airport, or eating in without the overwhelming size of a complete beach bag. And, even better than a regular tote bag, it’s one that’s been made ethically and sustainably. The following consciously made tote bags are perfect for summer.
Rust x Mudcloth Tote by Jenna Bee Handmade, $148
This Rust x Mudcloth Tote from Jenna Bee Handmade is the best of all worlds when it comes to a tote bag. Made from authentic African mud cloth, the bag is durable enough to stand the test of frequent use and/or travel. Mudcloth is made from cotton that is spun, woven, dyed and painted by hand, all with respect for the environment. Waxed canvas is used for the bottom of the bag, which is both durable and waterproof. The bags are handcrafted in small batches in California and the straps are made from repurposed vintage belts – so no two bags are the same. The spacious interior includes two pockets and a magnetic case to keep items safe. Because each bag is unique, they are truly limited edition, which means you will never meet someone with the same bag. Inspired by the founder’s travels around the world, these tote bags embody the spirit of summer and adventure.
Rust double triangle vanity case, $48
The only trick to tote bags is to stay organized enough so you don’t lose everything at the bottom of your bag. This rust double triangle cosmetic bag from Jenna Bee Handmade is a must-have for staying sane if you’re going to be using a tote as your go-to bag this summer. By simply keeping all of your small items together in a cosmetic bag, you’ll save yourself the trouble of constantly digging. And, like all Jenna Bee Handmade items, the cosmetic bags are ethically and sustainably made in small batches, so you’re supporting a small business, individual artisans, and the planet.
Stargazer Tote by MZ Fair Trade, $179
This MZ Fair Trade Stargazer tote is made from wool handwoven by fair trade artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico. MZ Fair Trade is a woman-owned business whose mission is to provide a larger market for local producers while adhering to ethical labor practices. The company is also B Corp certified as socially and environmentally responsible.
Leather Tote Bag by Portland Leather, $208
If you need a tote bag that doubles up for work, leather might be a good option. Sourced from hides from the US cattle industry that would otherwise be wasted, this leather tote bag from Portland Leather is sustainably made in an artisan workshop in Leon, Mexico, under ethical conditions, near tanneries that use eco-forward practices to promote sustainability.
Lori tote by Nisolo, $170
Sometimes simplicity is the name of the game, especially with all the playful prints found in summer wardrobes. Choosing a monochromatic tote can ensure versatility. This Lori tote from Nisolo is available in eight colors that are both sober and elegant. Nisolo is also a certified B company with honorable labor and environmental practices.