In the summer of 2017, I walked the Inca trail to Machu Picchu - not the wisest decision in my life, but that's another story. While I was in Cusco, nursing my blisters, I saw a lady cross the street from the Plaza de Armas. She was carrying a canvas tote bag from my local Daunt Book shop. Daunt Books is one of the few remaining old-fashioned bookshops in London, with wooden shelves and mezzanine floors illuminated by a leaded skylight. The bag gave me the confidence to smile and a conversation soon ensued, and before I knew it a friend was made. These canvas tote bags have intrigued me ever since and I have spotted them as far afield as in New York and Nevis. So I set about discovering who had made them.
Re-wrap produces high-quality, hand-made organic cotton tote bags. The bags are made in rural communities in India. Many of the women who sew the bags come from marginalised sections of society and re-wrap train them in traditional sewing skills to help them gain economic independence. Re-wrap have also built partnerships with farmers who grow Seed-to-Shop cotton from which the bags are made, investing in them along the way. The entire process is kind to the environment and kind to people.
Selvedge has worked with Re-wrap over the last year to develop the design for the Selvedge Tote. Our bags have finally arrived and we are delighted with the result. They are stylish, roomy and a great way to avoid single-use plastic. With a handy inside pocket that is perfect for a phone a flap pocket for a purse as well as a key loop. They have sturdy handles and come in a choice of six cheerful designs taken from our most popular covers over the last fifteen years. In time I hope the Selvedge tote will become a symbol of our community and an invitation to share stories.
Blog post by Polly Leonard.