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Urban Tumbleweed Alternatives

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Yes, Wes Bentley's character moved us with a video of a dancing plastic bag to punctuate his confession that "Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it," but those bags have actually brought a whole lot of ugly to the Pacific's marine life. A plastic bag ban goes into effect today in all unincorporated ares of LA County, and, although paper bags will still be made available at some grocery stores (with a 10-cent surcharge), the big idea is to get Angelenos to tote their own reusable bags. (Even if your neighborhood isn't affected by the ban, we still think it's wise to get ahead of the curve and invest in your own shoppers.) Never ones to shy away from an eco-conscious fashion moment, we've been on the lookout for carry-alls that have a bit more style than Whole Foods' green monsters or Trader Joe's Tommy Bahamas motif - and it's the perfect time to recycle your OG Anya Hindmarch "I'm Not a Plastic Bag" tote into your summer wardrobe.

On the high end, we love Otaat's limited edition carriers, conceived with (and sold at) LA's own Iko Iko. Made with indigo-dyed Japanese denim, the Bagby is designed with two different-lengthed straps to allow for carriage adaptability depending on your load, whereas the Canoe Bag can convert to create multiple slots to keep items separate. These versatile bags bring fashion to function in a chic, minimalist way.

Also a bit of an investment but at least one that gives back to a cause (besides keeping our ocean clean) is Lauren Bush's FEED line. Each tote, made of burlap, organic cotton and/or denim, will provide food or aid to people in need, be it impoverished African children, Japanese disaster relief, or school nutrition programs here in the US. The slogans printed on the bags advertise the cause that you've supported with your purchase, so hopefully others will be motivated to follow your fashionable example.

Even if you're on a budget, there's options aplenty. Baggu makes brightly-colored, roomy nylon bags in over 50 styles that fold and store inside their own pouches for easy stashing in your purse or glove compartment. Their standard shopper comes in at under $10, with the per bag price reducing the more you buy. Made in New Orleans, its-laS-tik bags by what'Surbag will stretch to hold up to 45 pounds(!). Starting at $11.99, they come in an array of metallics and animal prints, and each purchase benefits Hope House, a local charitable organization. Conversely, just start taking your farmer's market basket-weave totes to the supermarket - totally European and stylish!
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Iko Iko

1298 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026 Visit Website

Anya Hindmarch

118 S Robertson Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90048 310-271-9707 Visit Website