Designing the Ideal Tote Bag… Because finding one is tricky




As a bag designer and maker, I believe most people need more than just one bag to do everything in life. 

However, as a practicing minimalist I also believe in the idea of maybe owning just one bag that is multifunctional could also be a good solution. Owning a tote bag is an ideal start to try this idea. But it almost requires addition features to achieve that solution. 

After reading an article from Vice about How pointless the majority of basic simple tote bags given away for free can be utterly useless and a waste of resources to make and damaging to the environment yet alone your possessions inside and the damage to your posture. 

Vice magazine about tote bags 


When you start looking into the average usual tote bags given away as marketing freebies they generally seem to be a bit of a hit and miss.

After al that, despite the flaws stated in the article people still are determined to put up with a subpar useless tote bag because it's free and don't have to worry about looking after it. Once it rips or gets dirty its can be binned without any guilt. 

Speaking as a bag maker, from a design point they just seem to do a basic task well which is to carry your stuff. The basic cotton tote fail to look after the stuff you placed inside.

I do believe in the simple tote bag. Just Not in the flimsy cotton ones we've discussed. I have come up with some general thoughts and requirements to consider when given or buying a tote bag. Ideally people generally look for the following features:

  • Durability: Tote bags need to be made from sturdy materials that can withstand everyday wear and tear.
  • Size: Tote bags come in a variety of sizes, so people will look for one that fits their needs.
  • Comfort: People want a tote bag that is comfortable to carry, with straps that won't dig into their shoulders.
  • Style: Tote bags come in a wide range of styles, from classic and simple to trendy and bold. People will look for a tote bag that matches their personal style.
  • Functionality: Many people look for tote bags with various pockets and compartments to keep their items organized.
  • Brand Reputation: Popular brands can have a good reputation for their quality, durability, and customer service.


It's worth noting that people might also look for specific features depending on their intended use, for example, if they want a tote bag for the beach, they might look for a waterproof material.

Tote Bags Design Thoughts by Goodstart Jones Approach   

When designing anything carry-related, the goal is to address a problem for a certain sort of person or purpose. 

It must also be cost effective to manufacture as well as cost effective for the intended buyer. 

Finally, it should be created with quality in order to be sturdy and long lasting in both construction and timeless style for years to come. 

I like to think that all of the tote bag lines we manufacture here at Goodstart Jones match our above-mentioned goals.

Back to blog