Gimme Five! Reusable shopping bags

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Selection of 5 reusable shopping bags

From this week, in England, you will have to pay 5p for each new plastic bag you use when you do your shopping at any of  the larger shops and supermarkets.

I’m really happy that England has finally brought in this legislation, single-use plastic bags cause a lot of litter and are harmful – even deadly – to wildlife both on land and in the world’s oceans & waterways.

I got into the habit many moons ago of having a few reusable shopping bags folded up and stuffed into most of my handbags. They’re not too bulky or heavy and are mostly cheap to buy or even make if you’re of the crafty persuasion. After just a couple of months of using reusable shopping bags, they’ll have paid for themselves!

  1. Canvas shopper bag: £4, Next
  2. Carrot shopping bag: £13, Etsy
  3. Hearts foldaway shopping bag: £8, Cath Kidston
  4. ASOS shopper bag: £20, ASOS
  5. Fairtrade recycled cement shopper bag by recycle-recycle: £15, notonthehighstreet

Viva Vegetables

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Viva Vegetables medium tote bags

Win one of these gorgeous tote bags – they’re from the Viva Vegetables range, one of the new Spring 2015 collections from the folks at Talented.

Even if you’re a complete carnivore, you’ll love this quirky range of colourful canvas bags. They’re both attractive and versatile.

Talented is an eco-company based in Sheffield specialising in creatively driven, sustainable accessories and tote bags. The brand celebrates the bag as an art form and collaborates with upcoming British artists, designers and print makers on a seasonal rotation.

Viva Vegetables is designed by American crafter Leslie Astor who now lives here in the UK. Leslie’s four designs pay homage to a few of Britain’s favourite vegetables. Large-scale prints of broccoli, carrots, beetroot and asparagus adorn the colourfully dyed canvas tote bags. Viva Vegetables small tote bags

The collection is inspired by the farmers’ market at Grand Army Plaza in New York City. When Leslie lived in Brooklyn, she and her family would visit the market every Saturday.

Leslie said:

“A tote bag gets out and about and exposed to a lot of eyes in a lot of different contexts: the subway, the office, the grocery store, the park – maybe all of those places in a day. Given that fact, I wanted my series of totes to be conversation starters, and I think they are.”

Viva Vegetables are made and printed at a fair-trade certified factory in India and are available in 2 sizes – medium tote bag and mini tote bag. They’re available to buy from the doodle bag website.

For your chance to win one, just comment below telling us which size & design you’d like and how you’d use it. To carry your lunch to work? A school bag for your child? To pop to the shops? Something else entirely? 🙂

Viva Vegetables tote bag

Gimme Five! Satchels

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selection of 5 satchels

For years, my everyday, about town bag has been a brown leather satchel. They’re smart, versatile and timeless. I’ve had a few incarnations – all used & abused until they were falling apart. Two things make me think of the quintessential British school child, a brown leather satchel and a pair of Clarks Joyance T-bar sandals.

The best, to date, was a vintage school satchel Justin bought for me at our local flea market for £7. Over time, the long strap and then the carry handle on it both broke. I resorted to tying them with string for a while, not wanting to give in to the inevitable.

I’m on the look out for a new contender and there are lots to choose from out there. This is my dream shortlist – financially, some more a dream than others!

  1. Mulberry Walter briefcase: £895.00, Selfridges
  2. Two tone leather satchel by Artisan Satchels: £99, Notonthehighstreet
  3. The Classic 13″ in vintage: £108, The Cambridge Satchel Company
  4. Sandqvist Artur leather satchel: £259.00, ASOS
  5. Signature collaboration Harris Tweed satchel: £175, Next

Life’s a Beach!

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vintage beach bag made of bright yellow 1950s towelling fabric with beach umbrella and male & female swim-suited figures pattern

Life’s a beach! It’s pouring with rain as we write this, so not exactly sunbathing weather, but we had to highlight this fantastic vintage bag we found this week.

detail of vintage beach bag made of bright yellow 1950s towelling fabric with beach umbrella and male & female swim-suited figures pattern

The bag is ideal for the beach – big enough for your towel, phone, purse, suntan lotion, book, swimming cossie & sunglasses. And the fabric… how perfect!

detail of vintage beach bag made of bright yellow 1950s towelling fabric with beach umbrella and male & female swim-suited figures pattern with vintage Biba sunglasses sitting on top

And, speaking of sunglasses – we bought this vintage Biba pair at the same market a few weeks earlier. There’s been quite a delay with them reaching the website as Adelle hasn’t stopped wearing them!

detail of vintage 1960s op art patterned inflatable li-lo detail of vintage 1960s op art patterned inflatable li-lo

Two fab beach items that are actually available – both from the 60s/70s. The first is a real eye popping airbed/lilo in shades of orange. The second is a nifty drawstring bag that can be inflated to form a pillow.

detail of vintage 1960s op art patterned inflatable li-lo detail of vintage 1960s op art patterned inflatable li-lo

It’s not quite autumn yet, so there should be a few more beach days left this year!