What Is A Tote Bag And Why Is Wearing One Considered Cool?

What Is A Tote Bag And Why Is Wearing One Considered Cool?

A staple in any wardrobe, the humble tote bag is making its way back. Discover what is a tote bag and how to care for it with our guide to totes.

Think tote bag and your mind likely gravitates either towards a library book bag or a grocery bag.

But we’re here to tell you tote bags are now much more than that. Considered the height of street chic now thanks to their eco-friendly nature, it’s not only become cool to be kind but also conscious (or woke if you will), too.

Just ask Elle Magazine, who recently wrote an article about the rise of ‘Hot Guys Using Recyclable Bags.’ They claim being ‘responsible and organised enough to forgo single-use plastic is downright sexy…[and that] nothing is hotter than when a man goes to pay for something, and when offered a plastic bag, says, ‘no thanks, I’m good.’ ”’

As an ethical and sustainable company, at Apostl we’re very invested in conscious consumerism and agree with Elle that “caring about the environment is objectively attractive.”

So in the spirit of converting more men and women to using tote bags, we’ve created a guide to totes including a definition of ‘what is a tote bag?,’ ‘what is the purpose of a tote bag?,’ ‘how to clean tote bags?’ and ‘can guys use tote bags?’.

Before we dive into totes though, let’s just clarify the last question straight off the bat…

If Joe Jonas, Hugh Jackman, Chris Hemsworth (as seen in the Elle) are anything to go by, yes, not only can guys use tote bags but they look damn good and get serious street cred in doing so.

That said, women rocking a tote bag are just as admired, you only need to look to mum, entrepreneur and actress Jessica Alba and the queen of pop Madonna to know tote bags are in, no matter your age or style.

To learn more about what the purpose of a tote bag is, how to wear one and how to clean tote bags read on for our notes on the humble tote, as below.

What Is A Tote Bag?

Most of us know ‘what is a tote bag?’ but perhaps the important point to clarify is more around what constitutes a tote bag specifically?

According to Cambridge Dictionary, a tote bag is, “a large open bag with two handles, often made of strong cloth.” 

A tote is most easily distinguished by its cotton or a canvas style fabric, but in some sophisticated cases like ours, may come in genuine leather too and even feature pockets or zips.

In terms of our Apostl tote bags, we offer three styles: a plain cotton canvas, a handwoven basket style and a genuine leather style tote bag, with each designed to serve different needs and functionality. 

As a brand we pride ourselves on designing both practical and chic products that cater to everyone from students to parents, so we always consider ‘what is the purpose of a tote bag?’ and make sure we offer styles that appeal to different customer lifestyles.

To help you choose the tote that will suit you best and ultimately ensure you know what is the purpose of a tote bag you are investing in, we’ve provided a snapshot into our three styles below.

What Types Of Tote Bags Do You Have?

Within the Apostl collection, our tote bags are gender neutral and are designed with everyone in mind.

To determine the tote bag prototype that will benefit your lifestyle best read on for our tote types below.

1. The Leather Tote Bag

Designed to double as a nappy bag, a uni student bag or a day to night sleepover bag, our leather tote bag, the Barnabas Tote  and the Apollos Tote are the perfect all rounder, thanks to their reliable, chic and durable nature (made of genuine leather).

With both the Barnabas Tote and the Apollos Tote coming in a range of colours to suit all style needs, you can feel good knowing it's an investment that will last in the long term.

Shop the Barnabas Tote here or for our Apollos Tote shop here.

2. The Basket Style Tote Bag

Handwoven by local artisans, The Myra Tote bag is detailed, intricate and demands to be seen.

The ideal accompaniment to a day at the local farmers market or a picnic, The Myra Tote is designed to be on show and hold larger style items such as fruit and vegetables or handbag essentials (thanks to its internal zip pocket).

Shop the Myra Tote Bag here

3. The Canvas Tote Bag

The lighter every day option, our Apostl Canvas Tote Bags are an easy breezy alternative for days where you’re wanting a lightweight cotton bag that you can slung over your shoulder on a beach walk or pack away in a larger hand bag or backpack until your next grocery shop.

A black and white carryall, the Apostl Canvas Tote Bag is a staple bag to have on hand, that suits all. For those asking ‘can guys use tote bags?,’ this one by far is the favoured go-to among the boys.

Shop the Apostl Canvas Tote Bag here.

What Are The Best Tips For Cleaning A Tote Bag?

Finding out how or if you can wash a tote bag is a great consideration early on before purchasing one, as often this can influence what type you buy or determine what you’ll use your tote for.

In a nutshell, if you’ve been wondering ‘
can you wash tote bags?,’ the good news is yes you can. However, what tote bag you buy will ultimately determine how you care for it and wash it.

For the most low maintenance option you can’t go wrong with a canvas tote.

Not only are they functional and made with cotton, which makes learning how to clean tote bags a breeze, but canvas totes such as our Apostl Canvas Tote Bag are a low risk option that can get wet, won’t be damaged due to heat and can naturally dry out easily. 

The only caveat when it comes to wondering how to clean tote bags that are canvas is ensuring you don’t go OTT with hot wash or hot dryer.

Our canvas totes feature a printed Apostl logo, which if exposed to heat (be it in the washing machine, an iron or hot dryer) could melt off or lead to diminished quality of the logo. 

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a long-term durable tote such as a leather tote bag, it’s important to know that with higher quality comes higher maintenance. 

While leather tote bags are made to last, leather itself (such as sustainable cows hyde) isn’t 100 per cent foolproof when it comes to water exposure.

It has some natural resistance to water but due to its permeable nature will never be completely waterproof which means, if you are debating ‘can you wash a tote bag?’ we’d recommend erring on the side of caution.

Too much water can stain and or damage leather.

The best way to wash a leather tote bag, such as The Myra Tote, the Barnabas Tote or the Apollos Tote, is to dab the stain gently with a soft cloth and warm water then towel dry and leave in a sunny spot of the house. 

For more specific care tips for how to clean tote bags that are leather based see our blog, How To Protect Leather Goods here.
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