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Arm candy for Mumbai's markets
Food blogger and caterer Shaheen Peerbhai knows where to find cute eco-friendly grocery totes by indie designers and local boutiques
Back in the day, plastic bags were introduced with all the good intentions of cutting back on paper bag production, which would in turn save the trees.
While plastic bags are reusable, and take a lot less energy than paper bags to produce, they still take hundreds of years to decompose.
With global climate change manifesting as untimely winter rains in Mumbai, we have yet another reminder to become increasingly conscious about switching to more eco-friendly ways of living.
For instance, carry your own little eco-friendly tote when you go shopping to the local veggie market down the road, or for running errands.
This way you won't end up consuming an unnecessary number of plastic bags that would, in all likelihood, get stuck in sewers or float in the ocean.
My favorites are shopping totes made of canvas.
The fabric softens and fades slightly over time lending a beautiful worn-out look while being sturdy.
1. Eco-friendly message tote
This hand screen-printed canvas tote in 100 percent cotton is a product of CleanPlanet.
Since they endeavour to create products that are both good looking as well as eco-friendly, I like that this bag wears its message on its sleeve. And it's washable which ensures a longer life.
Available for Rs 875 at Loose Ends, Shop No. 2, A.N. House, opposite Shoppers Stop on Linking Road, 31st Road, Bandra (W); tel. +91 9820 233194, +91 (0) 22 6522 4725; www.looseendsindia.com
2. Krsna Mehta taxi tote
Local designer Krsna Mehta has long been translating Mumbai icons into neat graphic designs for knickknacks such as pillows and diaries. His interpretation of the Bombay taxi for The Bombay Store tote has a washed out, grungy feel to it.
Available for Rs 275 at The Bombay Store, Western India House, Sir P.M.Road, Fort; +91 (0) 22 4066 9999; www.thebombaystore.com
3. Wine bottle sketch tote
This cotton canvas bag with adorable pink line work is perfect for running quick errands as it is lightweight.
Since it’s also thin, it can be folded up (or more likely, crumpled) and stuffed into your purse.
Also available in black for those averse to pink!
Available for Rs 300 at Loose Ends, Shop No. 2, A.N. House, opposite Shoppers Stop on Linking Road, 31st Road, Bandra (W); tel. +91 9820 233194, +91 (0) 22 6522 4725; www.looseendsindia.com
4. Cartoon elephant tote
This roomy canvas bag with a sturdy base is great for loading up on bulky goodies and carton products.
Available for Rs 525 at The Bombay Store, Western India House, Sir P.M.Road, Fort; +91 (0) 22 4066 9999; www.thebombaystore.com
5. Ambassador taxi tote bag
The Jhola Co. made this tote in collaboration with Verry India.
It features a caricature of the great Bombay Ambassador taxi.
Other designs include a bicycle, truck and a rickshaw, replete with an air horn.
Available for Rs 650 at Bliss, Flat No. 180, Aram Nagar 1, Fisheries University Road, 7 Bungalows, Andheri (W); +91 (0) 26332111
6. Mustachioed Tantra bag
This bag, like all other Tantra products, comes printed with a tongue-in-cheek message and a caricature of a distinctly Indian feature. In this case, an Indian mustachioed man.
This is another bag that can be carried around in your purse for impromptu market stops.
Available for Rs 149 at Tantra, Narisons, Colaba Causeway, Opposite
Colaba Police Station, Colaba; +91 (0) 2284 2942