Tote bags tend to be made from canvas — a plain-woven fabric made from cotton. This is the preferred material for a tote as it creates a lightweight but durable holdall that is reusable and machine-washable. You might also see more expensive "totes" made from thick leather, but these tend to be much larger and more rigid than a standard canvas tote.
The materials and processes used to make standard canvas totes have also come under fire in recent years. The Ministry of Environment estimated that a organic cotton tote would have to be used 20,000 times to offset its overall impact of production, but that's not to say this is an inevitable environmental cost. Canvas totes made from a blend of recycled and organic cotton can reduce water use by up to 70-80%. At Tom'sTotes, our totes are biodegradable, and made completely from recycled materials and organic cotton.
How Are Tote Bags Made?
Tote bags are made when a single panel of material is stitched on two sides, and looped handles are secured on either side. For additional size and strength, you can add side panels and pockets.
Designers tend to use transfer, spot colour or screen printing to add a design - but you can customise a tote yourself if you want to add extra character.
We are Tom's Totes. Our mission is to make plastic bags completely out of fashion, and to make sustainable lifestyle choices stylish. Support independent artists and join our mission to ditch plastic with our collection of biodegradable tote bags, prints/postcards and paint kits online.