Talented Totes- printed totes, ethically made
Bags are arguably the staple of women’s wardrobes all over the world, if we are honest with ourselves, we regularly construct an outfit around the bag rather than the other way round. They are more than just accessories and they hold more than just stuff; they say something about us more than jewellery or shoes can.
So if our bags are so revealing, should we be thinking more carefully about what we buy? This is where Talented Totes comes in. A new brand from the founders of the successful Bag It Don’t Bin It, which invests in their British workforce and ISO 9001 accredited factories in India whilst providing eco-friendly canvas bags to fashion brands, Talented Totes features their own quirky collections that are quintessentially British.
We caught up with founder, CEO and chief designer Julia Gash to find out more…
1. Describe Talented Totes in five words.
Quirky, British, ethical, sustainable, bags
2. What is the history of Talented Totes and the faces behind it?
We were making bags for many blue chip fashion brands and were asked to help on designs too. The success of this work, together with a growth in demand for tote bags as an on-trend fashion accessory, led me to realise that we were ready to launch our own brand collection. We launched in February 2012 and have since designed several ranges, which draw on British cultural themes. We also support the collection of an up and coming designer; this season it’s Maude and Tilda from Paris.
3. Do you enjoy putting your own spin on key cultural events such as the Royal Wedding?
Very much so. I’m interested in what’s in the news and like to use bag art as a means of commenting on topical issues, people and events.
4. What has been the most exciting collaboration so far?
We have connected with a Yorkshire wool manufacturer, Clissold, and have made a collection of bags using upcycled suit fabric. They’re printed with quirky illustrations in powder blue and look great. They’ve been a hit with our international buyers looking for something quintessentially British.
5. In your opinion, what is the role of sustainable practices in the modern world?
The world has a finite amount of resources and we’re getting through them too fast so we need to seriously reduce our impact on the environment. There are so many easy ways to do this but it’s just not on so many people’s radar. I get completely dispirited by the demands that many fashion retailers have on packaging of products, they carry out procedures just because it’s always been that way and don’t consider how environmentally damaging they are. Sustainability needs to be incorporated into all decision making, including design, production and logistics together with a retake on how we wear our clothes.
6. What is it about totes that strikes a chord with the public?
They’re different and have a sense of humour as well as being sustainable.
7. What inspires you?
I love going to art galleries and I also love looking at good design – there’s lots of up and coming design talent in Britain.
8. What is next for Talented Totes?
At the moment I’m working on a Birds and Bees floral range, which is pretty but has a punch.