"In essence, choosing any reusable bag over a plastic or paper one is a win," says Megan Heacock, a marketing associate at Feed Projects, which donates half the proceeds from its reusable bag sales to supply meals for children. "But, in order to maximize your impact, invest in a durable one made of high-quality materials that ensure you can tote home heavy goods without worrying too much about wear and tear on your bag."
The most sustainable options are ones made from 100 percent cotton, natural fibers, or straw. Other than that, "the ideal bag is one which can be reused day after day for years to come, while still looking good, to ensure you'll use (and reuse) it a lot more often," says Shea Parton, CEO and brand director of Apolis. Enough said.
Scroll down for 15 cute reusable bags that will turn your errands into your favorite part of the day.
1. APOLIS X CLARE V. MARKET BAG, $68
This bag is made of jute fiber, "an oxygen-producing crop which is sustainably harvested by farmers in Bangladesh," explains Apolis CEO Shea Parton. Not only is this fiber durable and environmentally friendly, but it's also 100 percent waterproof, can hold up to 135 pounds, and is chic AF.
2. FEED MARKET TOTE, $88
The best part of this simple tote is that the sale of one provides 50 (that's right, FIFTY) meals to schools around the world. That means while you're lugging around your work lunch, you're also doing a lot of good.
3. Bembien Maya Bag, $220
This rattan bag is from Bembien, an NYC-based collection of woven bags crafted from natural materials by artisans around the world. Bonus: 10 percent of your purchase goes to Nest, a nonprofit supporting female handworker communities around the world.
Designed in Brooklyn and made in Michigan from 100 percent cotton canvas, these bags are perfect for city dwellers. From Austin and Chicago to Seattle and Boston, these hand-printed totes can artfully rep your hometown, while carrying everything you need.
Started by Lauren Conrad, The Little Market is heaven for those who are looking to support local artisans around the world, and this particular bag supports women at the Haiti Design Co. with each purchase.
Handwoven in Ghana, this adorable carryall is handwoven from elephant grass, finished with white faux leather handles, and adorned with cowrie shells, which the brand says are symbolic of destiny, prosperity, and strength.
7. Baggu Ochre Zebra, $12
This adorable nylon carryall is the grocery bag of your dreams. Not only can it hold two to three plastic grocery bags worth of stuff—up to 50 pounds—but it's machine washable. Meaning any leaks and spills will disappear before you know it.
This reusable cotton tote was made by grl & co., an NYC-based design design collective. Fun fact: the brand is named after grl &co. founder Marissa Baca's three cats Gatsby, Rae, and Lola.
Although it may not look like much when empty, this mini string bag stretches to fit whatever you need it to hold. The fact that it's a fair wage product made from organic, natural cotton are all added bonuses.
The Little Market strikes again. This time with this too-cute raffia bag, which empowers female artisans at Razafindrabe Collections in Madagascar with each purchase.
Why say it when you can display it?
12. PATAGONIA MARKET TOTE, $29
Made from organic cotton, this oversized bag will allow you to tote everything you need. An inner pocket keeps your phone and keys from getting lost at the bottom.
13. ALO SHOPPER TOTE, $48
This heavy-duty cotton canvas toe is massive, making it perfect for a weekend shopping trip.
14. Baggu Giant Pocket Tote, $62
If you're a fan of pockets, this is the bag for you. Seriously—it's got four. Two gigantic exterior pockets, and two smaller interior pockets. There are also two handles, one for in-hand carrying and another over-shoulder toting.
15. COS Straw Woven Bag, $99
This roomy tote is made form 100 percent paper straw, with a 100 percent cotton lining. There's also a zipped inner pocket to keep your essentials tucked away with easy access.
For when you're not running errands, here are 12 luxe looking sustainable handbags that are elevating ethical accessories.
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