Why totes matter

It’s official: plastic bags are out of fashion. Government data shows that in England, we’ve been using fewer single-use bags each year since 2015, when the government brought in a mandatory 5p charge for every one bought from large retailers. In 2016-17 we bought, on average, 38 single use bags each, and in 2017-18 that was down to 32.

In their place, cotton tote bags have for many of us become the best, most eco-friendly solution. Not only are they light, durable, and roomy; they can carry serious style too. At ICON, we’ve done tote bag printing for a wide array of businesses, creating printed bags for events, free promotions and for brands looking to create high quality, strikingly designed bags to sell. For businesses, having your branded tote seen on the arms of the right customers can be a huge boon. Here’s why:

Customers value sustainability

Totes can be used hundreds, if not thousands of times, before they wear out. As data from the Environment Agency and other studies shows, we need to use and reuse cotton bags a lot to offset the environmental cost of their production. But there’s no doubt that – used in the right way – totes can be a great way to cut down on our use of plastics. Get into the habit of bringing one with you every time you shop and you’ll quickly see the benefits. For consumers, totes carry the feelgood factor, and you’ll want that for your brand too.

They act as advertising

Think of all the places people carry tote bags. The supermarket, the office, boutiques, the beach… the simple cotton tote bag is everywhere. Which could be great for your business. Totes are like portable, personal advertising boards, allowing us to signal our interests, hobbies and tastes to everyone we pass. Perhaps that’s why The New Yorker’s graphic-print tote has become so ubiquitous on both sides of the Atlantic over the past few years. The black and white bag, which comes free with subscriptions to the magazine, gives wearers the appearance of being well read (regardless of whether they’ve opened the magazine or not), and it’s seriously improved the magazine’s standing among young people. Of course, there are several Instagram accounts dedicated to it…


Totes can carry bold, ambitious designs

The term “blank canvas” certainly applies to totes. With a huge variety of ready to print options in every colour – as well as bespoke designs – you really can let your imagination loose. At ICON, we’ve the expertise to make your totes the most covetable around. Our processing times range from just seven days for ready to print totes, up to four weeks for bespoke bags, which can allow for extras like interior pockets or unique colour dyes (minimum order 3000 for the latter). Check out the designs we’ve produced, from dainty floral patterns for Harvey Nichols, to strong modern architecture-inspired styles.

Associate your brand with quality

It’s simple: if you create a high quality bag, your brand gains cache. The Daunt Books bag is a case in point; constructed from high-quality Fair Trade canvas, and printed with a delicate rendering of the shop’s interior, it has become perhaps the most popular canvas bag in London, worn by students and academics, casual readers and fashionistas. The bag helps convey the shop’s classy reputation and Edwardian heritage. No matter what your brand, from fun fast food to antiques, get the best quality materials your budget will allow, and take time to consider the printing possibilities.

Need to print custom cotton tote bags? At ICON Printing we offer a range of tote bag printing, from fast turnaround ready to print totes to elaborate bespoke orders. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.