Plastic or Paper? Or something more substantial?
We all need to do our bit to recycle and protect the resources we have and I have seen huge changes to the way we have used bags over the years. When I was first married shopping bags were a permanent fixture on the arm of every housewife out doing the family shopping. Paper bags were reserved for goods that needed containment, sprouts, peas etc: these bags were then flattened out and stored to be used again around the house. Brown bags in particular were great for cleaning scorched irons and excellent pressing immaculate creases on men’s trousers.
When plastic carrier bags were introduced there were rumbles of outrage that members of the public were paying for the privilege of advertising for businesses. So often people turned the bags inside out to hide the shop’s name, until plastic carrier bags were provided for free, then the voices went very quiet.
How times have changed. We now live in a society that embraces advertising in any form from t-shirts to trainers and bags to bracelets. Some brand names are so popular and so sought after that they can cost ridiculous amounts of money. Several times I have seen people come out of Llidl and transfer their goods from the shop’s carrier bags into Marks and Spencer’s carrier bags, such is the snobbery surrounding modern-day shopping bags.
But we can not carry on producing the high volumes of plastic bags the way we have been, they are slow if not impossible to destroy and use up our resources. They can be a danger to our wildlife and our young children.
Personally, I try to make as many changes as I can to protect our resources for future generations. I am often amused when I hear ideas for recycling that are exactly the same things my parents and grandparents did every day of their lives.
The tote bags I make have a variety of uses but what makes them a bit different from mass-produced bags is the fact that some of the bags I make started out as something else. I’ve used some cushion covers, that were more suited to being used to carry every day bits and pieces. Nearly all of the bags I make are lined, have triple sewn seams for durability and strength, fully washable and should last for many, many years.
This beautiful bag has been hand stitched in an orangey red colour on a loose weave fabric. The cross stitch was sewn using embroidery floss. The back of the bag is calico and the lining is A strong cotton fabric. All seams are triple sewn for strength and durability.
Cost: £12 plus p&p