I recently suggested we make some branded canvas  tote bags for an event – and received filthy looks down the phone (weird how you can hear these) from the poor agency client wrangler. Entirely deserved as it was half way through the campaign’s development, but I still feel a bit guilty that we chopped down half a rain forest to make some paper bags but even worse for missing the fricking trend. The trend being that re-usable canvas tote bags are the new t-shirt (according to The Guardian). It’s not good enough to have a plain woolies bag – it has to have some kind of personality defining slogan on it (from an organic farm, eco-fashion exhibit, folk festival…). Despite having a number of great eco-bag companies in South Africa (Give-It-Bag and Carbon d’afreeque for example) we’re a bit behind (for now) on this trend.

It would be great if we’d truly experienced an eco-epiphany, but the success of the reusable bag is as much about style as saving the planet. Like T-shirts and badges, the square-shaped shopper is the perfect blank canvas for slogans, logos and patterns. Consumers who couldn’t give a toss about the planet love its fashion statement just as much as the green contingent loves its ethical credentials.

At last month’s Fashion Week the designer shopper replaced the paper goodie bag at shows from Mulberry to Marc Jacobs. Fashion East, a London showcase for young designers, asked new talent David David to create theirs. ‘The shopper is a billboard and a status symbol,’ he says. ‘It’s perfect merchandise.’

It’s certainly the first bag taken up by pensioners and hipsters alike, and the green movement hopes there’s life in it yet. Eco entrepreneur Kresse Wesling created Sainsbury’s new reusable bag from used jute coffee bean sacks. (The Guardian)

Also check out Susie Bubbles Tote collection: