My brother used to ask me why girls have to carry bags. Bag snatching happens at every corner in KL amd why create a chance for such crime?

In reality, we girls can’t live without a bag. We are not like men wearing pants with deep pockets.

But … how about carrying a tote?

It kills my beauty. It kills my coolness. Let say you don’t consider any of these. Do a reality check by standing in front of a mirror. Oh it kills the silhouette of my body.

Tote is just not …. cool.

But when I had to carry a bunch of hard-covered books from library, I had no choice. Yes, you are reading it right. A real library. Not a virtual or online library! Until one day I had shoulder pain and realised I need a good quality tote. My numerous cheap recycle totes were useless! They were only good for grocery shopping.

I went around in city to search for one. First thing came to my mind was — It had to be vegan*. No leather at all (Not even vegan leather **).

After two weeks of searching around malls, shops and even streets, I didn’t end up buying any.

This inspired me to make one that suits my situation. My surrounding (office – shopping malls – park), my activities (always on my spontaneous shopping impulse), my commute (multiple destinations in one trip), my style (always bringing a pair of leggings for yoga session) and my clumsiness (just imagine stains from coffee and sauces yes I love food). Practically I need to fit my life into a bag and preferably washable!

Homemade bags in progress

Knowing that my mum is an excellent tailor***, mission started. I bought material from a curtain-making shop. Good that there were some block-out materials to pick ( I don’t have to worry my lip balm from getting sunstroke).

simple tote and purse

Here’s my first tote. No, TWO totes plus one purse! Mum made a smaller tote and a purse from the remaining material. I love the matching purse!

First I carried it just to the library on weekends. Later on I realised it could fit my 16in macbook pro (or 17in? That old machine was huge and heavy). Since then I chucked everything into it. Macbook, lunchbox, stationery box, purse, mobile phone, pouch and occasionally a pack of dessert. My all-in tote to office!

Black and white vegan DIY bag

I made a few more with the help of mum. Like this black and white tote above.

Seriously, my friends. Can you survive with a small bag?

Would you prefer to be modest carrying a tote to office? Or … would you like it to be your second bag?

*On why I go for vegan bag — it was the influence of my mum. She is a buddhist and frequent to meditation retreats. She said it is not nice carrying a leather bag or a fake/vegan leather bag to retreat classes.

** On why I never consider vegan leather. I’m comparing it with processed vegetarian food, which is veeery popular here! There are made to look and taste like fish, chicken, shrimp etc. The thought of someone vegetarian craving for the taste of meat … forget it.

*** All my kindergarten dresses were made by her.


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