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Chic Farmers’ Market Bags & a Canvas Tote Giveaway (Plus $$)

I’m a complete sucker for fashion. Any medium which allows me to express myself, especially in public, becomes my fascination. Much of it has to do with that creative energy where I must put things together that result in artful productions. From writing music, to helping my mom design her jewelry line, meshing different elements excite me.

Of the fashion fetishes, shoes, hats and bags stand out. I confidently announce my ownership of each item for any occasion. Seriously.  I’ll also admit it’s borderline OCD.

All of this only matters because when it comes to grocery shopping, I’ve never cared to carry a tote that speaks to my sensibilities. I’ve always used the industry standard brown paper bag (do they even provide those anymore?) and the multi-purpose plastic bag–you know, good as trash liners, carrying clothes to the cleaners, transporting goodies to a friends house, wrapping up a dish for potluck, and the list goes on.

Though I find the plastic bags to be wonderfully practical [though environmentally unfriendly], I’ve contemplated  an upgrade.

A serious upgrade. It’s only right. And it makes complete sense. As much time as I spend at the grocery store and even more time visiting local farmers’ markets with summer harvest in full bloom, there’s no reasonable explanation for not owning what could be the most practical of bags. Plastic bags rip and tatter, but a solid canvas, leather, burlap, mesh or straw tote will last me far longer than the 2 week life span I’ve given the plasties (I think I saw this word on a reality wedding show).

I’ve searched high and low for the perfect bag that could fashionably carry all of my market finds, one that can sustain the elements of wet greens, wrapped up fish and dewey ice cream cartons!

Finally, my light bulb went off! These lovelies are the ones that made my top list. All have great style, design and purpose.

1ST LADY KIND-OF-STYLE: 1st Lady Michelle Obama is seen above donning a popular woven basket made by Kenyans. I see this style all over the place (especially in Adams Morgan in D.C.) and always want to get one, but always pass. Couldn’t tell you why. But after finding some affordable ones on this site, I was finally convinced. These deep and super wide baskets double as wonderful bags for market shopping (insert fresh flowers and herbs) and beach visits (Jackie O sunnies, flipflops, coconut smelling suntan lotion, iPod, etc..) … a true piece of art with long-lasting qualities. My fave of all.

CARRYING WITH A PURPOSE:  A bit pricey at $60, this reversible burlap tote has incredible purpose: It feeds children all over the world. For every bag purchased, one child will benefit from one school year’s worth of meals! Makes all the sense in the world to invest in this one! Shop with a cause! Feedproject.

TO MARKET, TO MARKET… ON A SCOOTER: Another Etsy find, this custom-designed tote has great messaging on it… uhm, if you live in a city like Manhattan, you’re probably walking or getting around in scooter (something else I’m contemplating). Go on! Go to market…and scoop up your food.

THROWBACK KNITS: I appreciate these colored knit bag because they’re handmade. The Sunshine Stitch designer caused me to have a nostalgic moment. I remember living in Miami and seeing just about every middle-aged woman carrying something similar. Not as chic as these, but those bags back in the early 80s attracted my eyes! I’m fond of the green and salon colored one. I wonder how a liner would look in it?

UBER CHIC WEAVING: Does this one need any  introduction?  A stunning beauty from a Filipino designer, I have to get my hands all over  it.

PRACTICAL STATEMENT: And finally, the best font design of the canvas ones. And straight to the point. A good friend here in Atlanta directed me to her friend’s line, Fashion Notes. I browsed HIS site (yes, a man designs these–even more appealing) and came across this simple yet statement bag. I looove it. For $20, it’s worth scooping up a few designs. Check out the Jute Collection! More up my alley and far more chic! 


Now that I’ve given you a sneak peek of what I like in a bag, I’m going to save you some trouble!  As part of my ambassadorship with Latina Smart, we’re giving away 3 of you fabulous readers one canvas tote and one $25 gift card to Kmart, to enjoy.


What you have to do!?! Super simple.

Leave a comment sharing your top shopping bags, including ones you’d use at a farmers’ market.  And, what do you look for when selecting a bag?

For a second entry, follow me on Twitter and tweet the giveaway using the hashtag #LatinaSmart. I’ll be hawking the tweets so as to play fair! 😉 

That easy breezy.

Comments will be accepted through next Wednesday, July 27th. I’ll select 3 winners based on the answer I like best!  No random winners here! Just share a fun shopping story. And all the legal talk I have to impart means I have to ask you to please read here for Terms and Conditions of the giveaway. Prizes will be satisfied by my friends at Latina Smart.

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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0 thoughts on “Chic Farmers’ Market Bags & a Canvas Tote Giveaway (Plus $$)

  1. Whole Foods sells some reusable bags (usually around the checkout counters) that are amazing! They are quite durable and made out of an easy to clean material which I love. Their handles are also long enough to wear on the shoulder and carry by hand. Which is important for vertically challenged chicas like me. And of course – they are quite inexpensive. Got mine for $1 🙂

  2. Wow, what a gorgeous selection of bags, Bren! You’ve done your homework. 🙂

    I like to use baskets that we buy from SERRV. http://www.serrv.org/AboutUs.aspx They work with low income artisans and farmers from around the world, and help them get their products to larger markets. The prices are so reasonable for handmade goods, and they’re also a founding member World Fair Trade Org!

    You can shop the catalog here: http://www.wcvirtualversion.com/publication/?i=62493

  3. Hola Bren! I love any reusable bag from Trader Joe’s. In fact, I always take the newsest selections to my colleagues in Honolulu, and not their stuck on TJs’ bags too! But trust, I will be happy to sport the new Latina Smart tote! It has my name all ova it! … I’m bout to tweet about you now…BOLO!

  4. My town is darn proud of its farmer’s market. It’s a place to see and be seen. No reason not to look good while you pick up your fruits, veggies and conversation.

  5. I’m with Eliana and always tote around extra WF’s bags. Not just for groceries, for the beach, cleaning up the car, travel extras. Love the basket!

  6. I have to admit I never use shopping bags! Plastic bags from the grocery store it is. I know, I know. Horrible for the environment and just not practical! So, when I do use an actual shopping bag, I’d love one that would look less shopping bag and more stylish purse, just like the one from the Filipino designer. I will be the envy of all the Dominican shoppers in Washington Heights! Lol.

  7. If you live in DC, you’ll be well served to get you a grocery tote; you’ll save some money -DC govt. charges you $.05 per plastic bag: a tax hike disguised as environmental consciousness- and yes, you will help protect the environment … somewhat. And I knew for you it was just a matter of time when you would decide to extend your making a fashion statement even with your grocery bags! Since i care more about social consciousness than fashion, I favor the first one: Feed the Children. Good post.

  8. Our local grocery store here just did some great bag, promoting the charities for endangered species that live/visit DR. I got the Carey Turtle one…Love the round up of bags you have here!

  9. I have a couple of bags that I like to use. One is a huge mesh bag I got from Giant for 99 cents. They don’t make them like this one any more. I also have a short vinyl bag from a conference that is great for a light load. I would love to have one of those yarn totes. I haven’t seen one in years. The remind me of the fisherman ones from the 70s/80s.

  10. It’s such a shame that here in Puerto Rico most people still go to the market without reusable bags!!!! Still you give “baggers” a reusable canvas bag and they look at you like you’re from outerspace… indeed they have asked me what am I giving these bags for.

    I love the ones from Whole Foods too… I have bought several ones every time I travel to the US. I particularly like the one that say
    “I used to be a plastic bottle”. It’s roomy and durable.

    I also love 2 canvas bags I got at Old Navy… and another one from Esprit. They’re fashionable and hold a lot of weight – like large bottles of juices, milk cartons or tons of veggies from the farmer’s market.

    My best friend gave me these reusable bags from http://www.envirosax.com. They’re super cute, the designs are very cheery, they roll so you can always have them in your car or even your purse, and even Giada Di Laurentiis has them. I was soooooo thrilled when I saw my same bag in one of her shows.

    The one I love most from your round up… the woven leather bag!!!!!

  11. Ladies and dad! I’m loving all of the suggestions and links to the ones you like! I could have researched for hours and hours. I purposely left out the Whole Foods, Trader Joes and more popular ones for that very reason — I figured you were already familiar with them. I wanted to feature some different ones. I’m doing 2nd follow up with ones I’ve actually used so that you know that pros and cons of each! 🙂

    Thanks for chiming in! I’m <3ing it all! GL to all of you!

  12. You should check out Envirosax: http://www.envirosax.com. They have some fantastic styles that raise the concept of reusable bags to becoming a fashion accessory. It might be nice to review these for your readers….

  13. My favorite bags are the ones from Shop Rite. 🙂 I look for durability and strength. Don’t care too much about looks but now I do. Would love the Latina Smart bag and sport for everyone to see!

  14. I really like these bags I bought at IKEA (black with red cherries). Not as stylish as your options but only about 1.00 or so. So much easier to carry your food in a good reusable bag and an easy way to get more green.

  15. One can never have enough market bags! I carry one inside my purse, a couple in my car and even a few at work! They definitely have to be washable and fashionable.

  16. whole foods and trader joes canvas bags – the most popular ones because that’s where i shop. i like them because they’re simple and sturdy.

  17. Love the selection….great research. I have several bags I use from work our insurance company. Comes in some cool coloers. I really like the 3rd one and yes a must have…. love the black bag. Can’t wait to see your selections too. Michelle…enough said!!

  18. Seth: I’ve seen and I love!

    Mercedes: right! She looks great in that image. I think I need to credit it! oops!

    Lisa: I need to look into ShopRite since I’ve not heard of them. And what woman doesn’t care about looks, especially if she’s carrying it on her arms! Goods looks can be practical, too! 🙂

    Julie: Ikea ones are def practical but not the chicest for me to use for other needs! 🙂 Can’t beat .99 tho!

    Ericka: I’m about to start carrying some in my purse, too. I always forget to take the ones I do have—which is quite alright since they’re not so cute!

    Terrence: As a man, do you use any when you shopping? Not girlie ones, of course…

    Rachel: need to look into more of those trader joe ones… whole foods—def. a nice option.

    Joi: Thanks! Michelle always looks good, right!

  19. las bolsas esas son muy practicas y convenientes para hacer compras ..asi no se desperdician bolsas por que en realidad las que dan en los supermercados se botan .y esas se pueden usar una y otra vez sin tener que desperdiciar y asi ayudamos a nuestro planeta .estan muy bonitas sobre todo la negra esa me gusta mucho yo en lo personal tengo varias de diferentes colores. gracias

  20. i love using canvas bags when grocery shopping as they are sturdy and washable 🙂

  21. I have a couple I keep in my car, and don’t use for anything but shopping, so I guess I haven’t really considered the fashion implications… 🙂 But my favorite bags are the ones that are nicely divided into six compartments for 6 bottles of wine! (hehe)

  22. I would love to pretend I am all organized and fancy and fashionable and stuff, but my farmers market shopping bags are sadly whichever ones I grab in my last minute rush to get to the market before all the good stuff is gone. I am happiest when I grab the one that has a photo of squirrel on it, and most sad when I end up with one that has a yucky dried up frizzled piece of whatever I bought the previous week stuck in the corner …

  23. I use a big see through yellow beach bag as my farmer’s market tote. But, in a pinch I grab the reusable shopping bags. I do my best at the market to not need any kind of bag from each farmer, just blending all produce into the bag.

  24. What a fun giveaway! I have a few from Whole Foods that are insulated and I have one than folds up small enough to fit in my purse that is made from recycled water bottles 🙂

  25. Girls! I’m loving all of the links you’re sharing with me! There are so many wonderful bags out there I had no idea existed. Especially these eco companies! LOOVE! Goodluck! xo

  26. I’ve gotta admit, my shopping bags are pretty boring adn basic (wholefoods, traderjoes, etc.)I do love ones that give some and/or all of its profits to charity…I’ve also got a breast cancer awareness one.

  27. I’m a big fan of reusing old denim to make bags. I’ve also recently sewn some reusable drawstring produce bags out of lightweight cotton.

  28. My favorite market bag (and doubles as my enormous purse sometimes,too) is a woven tote made by Bojoh bags. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bojoh-Bags/166571816725931?sk=wall&filter=12
    It’s made from strips of trash, such as two liter bottle labels, Capri sun pouches, etc. Women in third world countries grab the good trash from the landfills and weave the bags. This company helps them marke them and is fair trade.
    I get So many compliments on this bag, it’s kid of crazy.

  29. I love using my green bag from my local grocery store. It got it a very reasonable price, and it holds alot of small grocery items.

  30. I love all my market bags I use them for everything but the groceries!! I like the plastic bags for sealing up certain garbage items that have offensive odors. You can never have enough bags I used to have the reputation of being the bag lady, a bag for everything especially when you are toting around a one year old. I love the Feed The Children bag money that is certainly well spent. My favorite style though is the paisley one super chic. You did a great job Bren of putting all these bags together.

  31. Emme: I’m with you: if it gives to charity, it makes sense to me! Great choice.

    Kary S: Love that idea! Need to get on that myself!

    Kelie: Saw their bags. Those are niiiice. Love the recycling of it.

    Charity S: Yup, those are totally cheap!! I have some but never use them.

    Michele: Bag lady… yeah, I’ve been called that, too. But b/c of all of the handbags I have! Ha.

  32. So many bags, so little time…Which bags I use depends on the store. Costco runs, I use the big Costco bags that they sell. These are great for taking to the beach and the park as well! Market runs, I use trader joe’s or von’s bags. I love the ones meant to hold cold items. I also have the sturdy bags made in Mexico. The colorful ones with stripes or an image of Frida Kahlo and lastly, I have bought plain totes at oriental trading and let my kids decorate them for me. Those always get a second look. 🙂

  33. COMMENTS ARE CLOSED! thanks to all of you that entered! Good luck! Winner will be announced later today via Twitter. B-

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