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Graphic by: Maya Palavali

We live in a world today where we see new trends emerging left right and center. Bell bottom pants? Check! Bows? Check! Hydroflasks? Check! And… tote bags, you say? Also, check!

Tote bags have become a favorable alternative to carrying traditional backpacks, whether it be to university, picnics or any other outing. But being a tote bag user comes with its own set of pros and cons. Let’s dive in and take a look at some.

Pro 1: Tote bags are stylish and easy to store.

For starters, tote bags come in some very cute and aesthetic designs, perfect to match your mood and outfit for the day. Compared to having multiple backpacks, tote bags are easy to store because of their flexible material. This makes it possible to keep a wide range of different tote bags without taking up too much space.

Additionally, the different sizes and lengths offer a diverse collection to choose from, making it easy for everyone to find their perfect tote bag.

Pro 2: Being a tote bag user means being more eco-friendly.

Compared to the alternatives, tote bags are usually environmentally safe and friendly to use as many are made from materials that are sustainable and long-lasting, like canvas fabric.

Tote bags have become a popular substitute for conventional plastic bags when going grocery shopping especially because they can be reused. This helps us play our part in sustaining the environment and instills a sense of social responsibility within tote bag users.

Pro 3: Tote bags are easy to customize and convenient.

Tote bags allow users to freely express their personalities on the bag as if it’s their blank canvas. You can buy plain tote bags and paint them with a design or dye them different colors. You can also decorate them with fun pins and badges.

All of these options make tote bags a fun choice for all its users. Besides this, the fact that you can store everything in just one place makes it easier to look for things, compared to storing things in different compartments which can sometimes be a hassle, especially if you’re looking for something urgently.

Con 1: Many tote bags do not have zippers or buttons to protect your belongings.

On the contrary, a common complaint tote bag users have is the lack of zippers or buttons to keep their belongings enclosed and protected. This is something that you can do if you use a handbag or backpack. Not having a zipper or button increases the risk of items sometimes falling out of the tote bag if they’re not looked after carefully.

Con 2: Tote bags can be heavier to carry if they are filled excessively.

Sometimes, people tend to compromise making a fashion statement with shoulder pain. Unlike in a backpack where the weight is evenly distributed between both shoulders, carrying a tote bag often means bearing the entire weight on one shoulder.

After a certain amount of time, it can be harder to carry around the tote bag, especially if the straps are very thin. You can solve this issue by not excessively filling your tote bags and by alternating carrying the tote bag between both shoulders or simply carrying it in your hand like a shopping bag.

Con 3: Tote bags may not be big enough to carry everything you need.

Another common complaint tote bag users often have is how tote bags aren’t always big enough to carry everything they require. However, they are definitely convenient and practical if you have a few things to carry and wish to go out on a walk, a picnic or visit the bookstore. But using tote bags for university can be more of a hassle especially because you need more study materials to carry which can be bulky and heavy. In such instances, carrying a tote bag becomes less ideal.

Though using tote bags offers both advantages and limitations to its users, whether it’s suitable for someone completely depends on their needs, requirements and preferences. For some people, the pros of using tote bags outweigh the cons and vice-versa. It is possible to find solutions for some of the restrictions tote bags come with but ultimately, the best part is that you have the complete freedom to choose what’s best for you!

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