Whether you’re traveling this summer or simply frequenting all the usual summer hangouts, having the right bag for the season is key. After all, you’re often lugging around extra items in the warmer months, from sunscreen to hats and reading materials, a big bag for summer is a must. Tote bags are perfect for summer because they have the extra space but are still generally compact enough to feel comfortable carrying through the farmers market, the airport, or out to eat without the overwhelming size of an all-out beach bag. And, even better than a regular tote bag is one that has been ethically and sustainably made. The following consciously-made tote bags are perfect for summer.
Rust x Mudcloth Tote by Jenna Bee Handmade, $148
This Rust x Mudcloth Tote by Jenna Bee Handmade is the best of all worlds when it comes to a tote bag. Constructed from authentic African mud cloth, the bag is durable enough to stand up to the test of frequent use and/or travel. The mud cloth is made from cotton that is spun, woven, dyed, and painted by hand, all in an environmentally-conscious manner. Waxed canvas is used for the bottom of the bag, which is both tough and waterproof. The bags are handmade in small batches in California and the straps are made from repurposed vintage belts — so no two bags are exactly alike. The roomy interior features two pockets and a magnetic enclosure to keep items safe. Because each item is unique, they are truly limited edition, which means you will never run into someone with the same bag. Inspired by the founder’s world travels, these tote bags embody the spirit of summer and adventure.
Rust Double Triangle Cosmetic Bag, $48
The one trick to tote bags is staying organized enough that you don’t lose everything at the bottom of your bag. This Rust Double Triangle Cosmetic Bag by Jenna Bee Handmade is a must for keeping yourself sane if you’re going to use a tote as your go-to bag this summer. By simply keeping all your small items together in a cosmetic bag, you’ll save yourself the trouble of constantly digging. And, like all of Jenna Bee Handmade’s 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 Stargazer Tote by MZ Fair Trade is made from handwoven wool by fair trade artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico. MZ Fair Trade is a woman-owned company with a mission to provide a larger market to local producers while upholding 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 for work, leather may be a good option. Sourced from U.S. beef industry hides that would otherwise go to waste, this Leather Tote Bag by Portland Leather is sustainably made in an artisan studio in Leon, Mexico under ethical conditions in close proximity to 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. Picking a monochrome tote can ensure versatility. This Lori Tote by Nisolo comes in eight colorways that are all understated yet elegant. Nisolo is also a Certified B Corporation with honorable labor and environmental practices.