Tote bag from O Gosh Shop

Why everyone is obsessed with the tote bag

You're late, already out the door, when you realise you've forgotten your laptop. And it won't fit in your bag so will have to be carried. It's only 7:30 and already the day looks like a disaster. When you get to the office and discover you've left the laptop on the train, it really is a disaster.

Unless of course you can rewind to 7:25 when you throw your laptop into your favourite tote bag and set off on a pleasant walk to the train, a relaxing ride to work, and a laptop safe and dry as you stroll through the office door. All thanks to the trusty tote!

A tote bag is like a secret superpower! That's why everyone is obsessed.

The classic tote, a large, open bag with sturdy handles, is perfect for carrying just about anything. Think library books, groceries, fresh flowers, beach towel, picnic food, kids' toys, book fairies ... Any time you need a reliable bag for your daily essentials, the tote has got you covered. Its perfection is the product of its simplicity: lots of room, two handles so it can be opened wide, and durable construction. It's perfect for those on the go - and these days, isn't that all of us.

The ideal everyday bag

On work days, you need a tote bag that easily fits your laptop, a book, makeup, water bottle, and lunchtime salad. On weekends, swap out packaged snacks for the salad, and a change of clothes for the laptop, and you're set for a trip to the playground. On shopping days, empty out everything except your wallet and phone so there's space for the goodies you'll be bringing home.

The ideal travel bag

Totes are meant to be slung across your shoulder or carried on your arm, so they don't really need an adjustable strap. Ideally, the handle should be long enough that you can reach in and grab your keys or sunglasses as you're walking along. This must-have item is perfect for travelling. They are usually big enough to hold all your carry-on goodies, and they can easily be squashed under the seat in front on a plane.

Tote made from reclaimed sails

Cotton or canvas tote bags take up little room in your suitcase and are excellent as day bags when you go out exploring. Put a lightweight one in your pocket until you need it, and don't be too precious about where you take it because these ones can easily be washed when you get home.

The ideal tote bag

Tote bags are often referred to as humble but forget that and avoid any that come across as meek, modest, or unassuming.

The best designer tote bags, and those made by artists, are highly functional, versatile, reusable, and a reflection of your personal style. So when you start looking for yours, consider colour and texture (shape is pretty well set) and find one that will make you feel great every time you use it. Just a word of caution when considering material; be wary of those made from anything described as vegan leather or faux leather as this is often plastic by another name.

While there's not much variety in the shape, totes come in different styles, from lightweight cotton fabric that can be folded up in a handbag, to distinctive, designer tote bags with classic design.

Stone coloured sustainable tote

Totes in our selection are ideal for those who want a distinctive and stylish bag that is also eco-friendly. Unlike many tote classics, sustainable totes are made from innovative materials such as washable paper and organic cotton. We also have bags made from recycled sails and festival tents. Imagine that, carrying around a little piece of local culture or history that might have otherwise have gone to landfill.

Find a tote bag you love – one that's as individual as you are – treat it well and enjoy it for years to come.

Pictured (from the top)

  • Washable paper tote in black and tan (42cm wide x 34cm x 14cm)
  • Large, repurposed sailcloth tote made in Tasmania. (48cm wide  x 37cm)
  • Washable paper tote in soft grey (42cm wide x 34cm x 14cm)

The washable paper is PETA approved vegan. Manufactured in Germany under FSC Certification and Oeko-Tex Standard 100.

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