Tote Bags: Where Functionality meets Fashion


Annie Jiang, Staff Writer

Move over designer handbags—tote bags are the new ‘it’ accessory, as seen on the shoulders of A-list celebrities like Emma Watson, and even the Queen herself, Rihanna. Tote bags have come a long way from being practical bags for grocery shopping to becoming trendy accessories worn by celebrities and students alike.

As students, these versatile bags have become a staple, accompanying us from school to our favorite coffee shop. Looking around, it is really hard to miss them! Tote bags with witty slogans, bold graphics, and unique designs appear everywhere you turn at Arcadia High School. So, what is exactly behind this tote bag phenomenon?

Rather than the bulky and heavy handbags that pack everything tightly, tote bags offer a practical solution that fits your everyday needs. Thanks to their wide open top and lack of fixed compartments, tote bags provide ample space for your daily essentials. Tote bags are never restricted by size or shape, meaning you can fit all your belongings without sacrificing style for functionality. Over time, the tote bag has become a popular choice for individuals who want a flexible and dependable option to carry their belongings, whether it’s a laptop for class or groceries for home.

Other than being practical, tote bags also offer an affordable and sustainable alternative to expensive designer handbags. Moreover, with the growing concern for fashion sustainability, tote bags have become a favored option for individuals seeking to minimize their environmental impact. Sustainable materials in the production of tote bags benefit the environment: tote bags are often made of organic cotton and recycled plastic! ! Totes are also reusable, which has the potential to significantly decrease the demand for disposable plastic bags. So by choosing a tote bag over a traditional handbag as a student, you’re not only making a practical choice but also doing your part in helping the environment!

To me, or any teenagers out there, the most important part of tote bags is probably the aesthetics they can bring to our life. Tote bags have become a fashion statement in their own right with endless design possibilities. From simple canvas designs with charming statements to bold patterns and prints, tote bags offer a variety of fabrics  for individuals to incorporate their personal styles. And even for artists and designers, tote bags have emerged as a way to exhibit their creativity. Whether you’re in search of simple and classic design or more colorful artwork, the aesthetic appeal of tote bags is undeniable.

“I think tote bags are a combination of multiple modern components,” said sophomore Maria Huang. “I really like tote bags, as they somehow represent my personality and preferences.”

There are many organizations at Arcadia High School that have done fundraisers using tote bags such as The Wellness Center and Senior of Merit at Work (SMW). 

According to senior Tess Ige, who is a member of SMW, the primary reason SMW expects the fundraiser for tote bags to “sell well” is the scenario where “there are always people at school holding tote bags.”

Opting for a tote bag instead of a conventional handbag not only makes for a fashionable and functional choice, but also contributes to environmental sustainability. Whether you’re a student, celebrity, or anyone in between, tote bags are a great option for carrying your essentials in a variety of ways!


Photo by Lex Sirikiat