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All You Need to Know About Natural Tote Bags

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Tote bags are more than just a fashion accessory; these also represent a way to express your eco-friendly lifestyle and help protect nature. If you are keen on your mission, do not stop there. Look for natural tote bags made from cotton, jute, or other plant-based materials. Also, carefully follow up on the components and any traces of dangerous chemicals. 

Producers are shifting increasingly more to sustainability. Besides relying more on natural fabrics, they are also aiming to reduce the environmental footprint of manufacturing, and prolong the lifespan of products.

What Are Natural Tote Bags?

The fashion industry has become a strong force that has systematically impacted nature in a negative way. This is particularly true for fast fashion, a current that promotes a high-paced change and consumerism. The most polluting phase in a garment’s lifecycle is its production. To learn more about fast fashion’s negative impact on the environment and how to fight it, read our previous article about 10 Easy Ways to Reduce the Environmental Impact of Fast Fashion.

Natural tote bags are just one way to lead a sustainable lifestyle and help protect nature. These are made from natural textiles such as cotton and canvas. Also, producers try to stay away from using any chemicals in manufacturing and diminish the associated environmental impact. It is essential that both consumers and producers try to step back from fast fashion and slow things down. 

Types of Natural Tote Bags

According to studies, the average American goes grocery shopping at least twice a week. This of course does not include the small trips to your neighborhood shop  when you urgently need some orange juice or milk. 

Disposable (plastic or paper) bags are slowly being replaced by reusable alternatives. These have a longer life span and can serve your shopping needs for many years to come. A simple switch from single-use to reusable bags can have a significant impact on protecting the environment. You can further up your game by using a tote made from natural or recycled materials.

Natural Canvas Tote Bags

woman shopping with natural canvas tote bag

Canvas has become a favorite option for many businesses across different industries. It even shares the title with cotton as the favorite medium for printing. The thick and durable surface makes it easy to use for different projects and withstands various processes, including rough treatments.

Still, the canvas is not a new textile; different civilizations have been using it for millennia. Many believe that it originates from Ancient India, dating back as far as 1500 BC. Although, it was the Greeks who played a crucial part in popularizing the textile. 

Throughout its long history, the process of creating canvas also changed and evolved. Earlier versions were made of linen, but later on, jute and flax were also used. The modern version is typically from cotton or linen in combination with polyvinyl chloride. 

This synthetic plastic polymer is widely used, and it contains a series of harmful chemicals (like lead cadmium, or organotins). Therefore, when purchasing a canvas tote bag, make sure to follow up on its constituting materials and how it was produced.

Natural Cotton Tote Bags

natural cotton tote bag


Dubbed as king of natural fabrics, cotton is your ultimate choice for a reliable and eco-friendly tote bag. The main attraction of this textile, beyond its plant origins, is its versatility. The light fabric also lets the skin breathe and is easy to wash.

Cotton is known as a natural cellulosic fiber, as it is derived from a plant. Cellulose is considered a building block for cells in the flora. Other fabrics that are also plant-based include linen, jute, and ramie.

It was believed for a long time that the cultivation of cotton originates from 12,000 BCE in what is today Egypt. However, recent archeological findings have shed some shadow on the previous statement, as cotton remnants were found across North and South America, Asia, and Africa. These current findings make it difficult to determine the cradle of cotton. It is also possible that its cultivation occurred independently in different civilizations.

We have a wide selection of natural cotton tote bags from which to choose your favorite. Browse through the different sizes and designs and select the ones that best fit your needs. If you are searching for reusable shopping bags, it is always best to stock up on a few totes. This will allow you to always have a clean bag available. Also, consider having a designated tote for different products (like fruits, veggies, or meats) to keep things clean and well organized.

Natural Jute Tote Bags

blue natural jute tote bag

Jute has only recently been introduced in mainstream fashion, but it has a long history in India, where it continues to be a popular choice today. Natural jute tote bags have an interesting texture that sets them apart from the softer cotton and canvas fabrics. 

The brownish, slightly rough surface has a strong, natural, and rustic feel. However, this does not mean that the final product is not elevated. Depending on the design and styling, you can create a highly sophisticated look around a jute tote. 

This natural textile is made from the jute plant, which grows in similar conditions to rice. There are different varieties of plants used in this scope. However, white jute (Corchorus olitorius) is the most commonly used. Interestingly, the plant can grow very high, sometimes reaching up to ten meters. This, in turn, enables the textile to have very long natural fibers.

Jute tote bags are very strong and tear-resistant. Since the fabric is quite thick and resilient, the tote should withstand great weight. These are ideal for grocery shopping but daily activities as they can safely hold heavy loads. You can also use them for virtually any event or activity.

The strong surface of a natural jute tote bag also makes it ideal for customization. Explore these 10 ways to decorate a blank tote bag and see which technique would fit. Embroidery is one of our favorite methods to elevate a bag. If you are a proud vegan, check out this DIY Stitched Vegan Vibes Burlap Tote Bag.

Natural Straw Tote Bags

natural straw bags


Natural straw tote bags continue to resurface in full force each summer for a few years now. There is something enchantingly bohemian about these bags. The natural fabric, soft color palette, and stiff structure allow many creative interpretations of a classic tote.

Although this natural tote bag has found its way to the mass market, it started as an artisanal craft. Skilled artists used various plants (rattan, bamboo, or seagrass) to create intricate patterns and designs in ready-to-wear bags. The majority of items are made from a selection of plant types, as each of these brings its own set of qualities (some help with creating the structure, while others might ensure flexibility).

At its origin, straw bags were used for the purely practical purpose of carrying food and other supplies. However, in time, these have become more esthetically embellished until looks and function merged in a unitary design. 

Recycled Tote Bags

recycled tote bags in nature


Recycled tote bags can also join the discussion about natural fabrics. There are many different ways to approach this topic. However, the main idea is to take discarded fabrics and create a new item, like a tote bag.

One of the most common approaches to this is the recycled canvas. It all starts with gathering and deconstructing disregarded pieces of fabric that otherwise would be heading to the landfill. The fibers are reconstructed in a new fabric, ready to serve as your next dress or tote.

Stay Within an Eco-Friendly Mindset

Embracing sustainability is becoming increasingly easier. Yet living an eco-friendly lifestyle is still not an easy task. However, small steps can take both you and humanity a long way in the endeavor to protect our planet. Explore the colorful world of natural tote bags available in myriad artistic interpretations. Surely you can find a piece that will perfectly match any of your outfits.