Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Why I love tote bags

"Every woman needs a transportable receptacle to shove her collection of clutter into, and as much as I love some It Bag arm candy, I am just as happy to pile everything into a canvas tote"- Alexa Chung 

Like Queen Chung, I am also a big fan of a tote bag, I've talked about them before on here and on my social media but I still see a lot of haul videos which only feature plastic bags so wanted to share a list of reasons why I think tote bags are awesome, and why we should use them more. 

1. They save money in the long term- If you live in England then you have no doubt been affected by the dreaded 5p plastic bags; aka the end of the world in the eyes of papers like the Sun and the Mail. The best thing about the bag charge is that it encourages reusing, you can either pay 5p for a bag and hopefully use it again (I am watching) or pay a little bit more for a reusable bag which will last you longer. You can also do what I do and take a trusty tote with you to the shops, they can cost quite a bit more, depending on where you buy them, but they definitely stand the test of time! 

2. They help the environment- It's no secret that humans are destroying the planet due to our love for consumerism, so doing something as small as using a tote instead of a plastic bag can make such a difference. Most of my totes fold up small and flat enough to fit in my handbag, there is the odd occasion where I go out without the expectation of buying anything so do need to buy a bag but these instances are very rare; popping a tote in my bag is second nature now. 

3. They look damn cool- I am the proud owner of quite a good tote bag collection, I have one from London Fashion Weekend, a humongous Dr Martens one, one for my uni and slogan totes but the one in this post is my most recent addition. It was sent to me by Hillhouse Vintage and is in one of my new favourite colours; orange. It's not actually made by Hillhouse but by Wyatt and Jack who make really awesome totes out of recycled materials including vintage deck chair fabric. This one is made from recycled bouncy castle fabric and is such a cool bag! I obviously love the colour and the fact that it's recycled is hella cool. 

4. Supporting independent designers/ brands*- This one obviously depends on where you buy your tote bags and doesn't apply if you pick one up in Primark or Topshop, but a fair few of my tote bags are from independent shops and specific tote bags for your fave film or TV show are in abundance on sites like Etsy. Two of my personal favourite independent shops for totes are; Heiho and Bag Apart

5. They can hold more- All of the tote bags in my collection hold more than plastic bags do, which obviously means you have fewer bags to carry when you're out and also means that you save money as you don't need to buy multiple plastic bags. 

Top | H&M (not online but on sale in store)
Pinafore | Depop
Bag | Wyatt and Jack, C/O Hillhouse Vintage
Boots | Car-boot sale 

For the outfit, I kind of had to wear this H&M top, which I got in the sale, as the colours go perfectly with the tote; it's a match made in rainbow heaven. This top is the first 'new' piece of clothing that I have bought in months and although I know H&M isn't the most ethical brand, I decided to momentarily break my fast fashion spending ban. I'd actually spotted this top about two months ago when it first appeared in store but managed to grab it for £7 in the sale, which was a total bargain. Although I generally want to only buy secondhand clothes, I do believe it is okay to buy something fast fashion every now and then if it is something you really want and know you'll get wear out of; reducing your environmental impact is a lot better than doing nothing. I may not get my wear out of this top in 2017 as the weather has now turned but the print is so 70s inspired, which is right up my street, so I know that I will wear it next year once Spring/ Summer and the warmer weather rolls around again. 

The top is actually really versatile despite the bold colours and print, I've worn it with jeans and skirts already but decided to wear it with my pinafore for this post. The pinafore has graced my blog before and it is a really good shape since it's not fitted (which hides any food baby) and I love the pocket details. On my feet, I wore my cowboy boots which I picked up for ONE ENGLISH POUND at a car-boot sale recently- what a bargain! They won't last me for ages as the fabric is already peeling a bit, which has slightly broken my heart, but I will definitely get my wear out of them before eventually recycling them. 

Holly Olivia x

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