Southeast Missouri State University student publication

The cult following of tote bags

Friday, September 24, 2021
Graphic by Nicolette Baker

There’s some kinda ~main character energy~ sewn right into canvas tote bags. Am I heading to a park with five of my best friends to snack on charcuterie boards? Will I be hopping on a plane to explore a tiny town in southern Italy?

Not exactly — I’m just going to class. Not that anybody needs to know. (;

The hype of tote bags is simple, really. Pros: everything you need in one place! Cons: everything you need in one place. Carrying a pair of earphones is an almost-guaranteed way to have every single item tangled together.

Um, Airpod owners, you win this one.

The mega-cute accessory has been popping up in TikToks for months now, mostly in the circles of NYC influencers like Kate Bartlett. It’s even made an appearance on HBO’s “Gossip Girl” as activist Little Z carries bags supporting Black-owned businesses, such as this one from Melanin Apparel.

I first saw it on Instagram’s reels — during the summer, the “hot girl tote bag” trend totally took over. Users posted a short clip of “What’s in my tote bag?” while an unreleased version of a Lana Del Rey song played in the background.

It’s giving me 2014 tumblr vibes, but more Pinterest-y. Does that make sense?

One of the biggest draws of the trend is the love it gives to Mother Nature. When grocery shopping, it’s quite a bit more eco-friendly than single-use plastic bags (score!). Careful, tho — the Independent warns they might not be as sustainable as they seem.

While once a backpack-only sorta girl, tote bags have now taken over my life. I’m a loyal follower of the @totebagfanaccount on Instagram and now can’t even leave the house without canvas. bag. in. hand.

They’re *totes* cute and *totes* functional.

Are you a fan? Tweet me what’s in your tote bag at @nbakerARROW!