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Some have said I’m a bit of a handbag ho — complete slander, I assure you. True, my closet is full of impulse-purchase purses that rarely escape onto my arm — but I usually carry one tried-and-true workhorse on a daily basis. That can get a little boring, so I’ve been doing research to find a sturdy, fashionable tote for summer that won’t weigh me down but will still fit my steno pad, Spanish book, and reusable water bottle.

My eventual choice turned out to be eco-conscious as well. Engage Green makes cute, comfy bags out of recycled material. My spunky, red-and-white, bowling-style satchel is made from woven recycled paper and sports cotton canvas handles and lining. It was a tough choice though — they also make a recycled-plastic satchel in a vibrant orange-and-brown vintage print that’s already sold out several times! Find both at The paper satchel also comes in brown and pink.

If you’re crafty at all, why not try making your own? If you can wield a crochet hook and have access to a pile of plastic bags (let’s hope you’ve at least stopped using them at the grocery store), you can whip up a charming, durable tote of your own. Check out tutorials at


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