Troop London - Your Quick Guide to Tote Bags, Their History, and More

Tote bags are one of the most popular options for people looking to purchase a new handbag. Tote bags are also a testament that you need not skip on the fashion sense just because you need to bring a lot of your stuff. They are incredibly stylish and fit any person. But what are tote bags, and why do many buyers prefer them over other types of bags?

Where did they come from? Read on to learn more about this stylish and functional bag!


Tote bags have become a staple for many people who want to combine fashion and utility. They are easy to style based on the occasion and fill with belongings of various sizes. After all, you cannot just put gym clothes, laptops, or books in a small satchel. Using a tote bag instead allows you to carry any of these and go. 


You may be wondering where this practical fashion piece came from, and many others are too! Although the American words “tote” and “toting” have uncertain origins, it is widely believed that they came from West Africa. The word “tota” actually means “to pick up” in Kikongo. On the other hand, “tuta” means “to carry” in Swahili. 

Another famous origins story is based on famous outdoor brand L. L. Bean, when they first introduced their Ice Bag in 1944. This product helps users carry ice from their cars to the freezers. However, the bag gained popularity beyond its purpose to carry decent quantities of ice, and the founder of the company used this opportunity to design something new. He dressed the bag up in varying colours and styles, which led to critical acclaim. 

American designer Bonnie Cashin was known for transforming the tote bag from just useful to also fashionable. She first designed a leather tote that came in a wide range of colours. Tote bags have been undergoing several modern improvements and trendy takes from that point on. Today, the exquisite Hermès Himalaya Birkin bag is famous for being the world’s most expensive bag and sells for around $500 thousand.


Brands use a broad variety of materials in producing tote bags. However, the main element should always be durability and the bag’s ability to carry a considerable amount of weight. 

Some of the most popular materials for totes right now are cotton and nylon. They are also ideal for environmentally conscious people who wish to eliminate the usage of plastic bags. Cotton and nylon tote bags are also sturdy, reusable, and washable. If you are looking for a planet-friendly bag to make your shopping experience more comfortable, you may want to try using a tote bag instead. 

Similarly, you can replace your current handbag with a canvas or leather tote bag since the latter allows you more space to bring several items without compromising on fashion sense. You can even purchase custom tote bags to let you get more creative with expressing your personality!


Whatever the specific function you are looking for, there is definitely a tote bag to meet your needs. In addition to their stylish appearance, tote bags possess a history that truly demonstrates how purpose inspires fashion. 

If you are looking for a canvas bag, check out Troop London. We offer the world’s finest canvas bags, messenger bags, backpacks, travel bags, and more. Shop at our website today!