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Sustainable Tote Bags

Whether you’re looking to ditch single-use plastic bags, searching for a sturdier and longer-lasting alternative to cotton canvas bags, or wanting a switch-up from the backpack you typically carry, sustainable tote bags are a great option.

At Parker Clay, like all our products, our sustainable tote bags are made with durable, high-quality leather and are meant to get better with age. And, they’re ethical, too — we ensure that the artisans who delicately help craft each product are paid a living wage and have benefits they need to help support them and their families.

It’s quality leather goods you can be proud to support.

Tote Bags Crafted With the Planet and People in Mind

At Parker Clay, we work to ensure our leather totes and other goods support the planet and people every step of the way.

Here’s a look at sustainability and ethics in action.

Local, Sustainable Sourcing: We work with local farmers around Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and source leather from animals raised for food. Because our leather is sourced from animals raised for farming, it minimizes impact compared to leather sourced from animals raised explicitly for leather. This supports local farmers in the area and ensures that it limits waste.

Planet-Friendly Practices: From sourcing to tanning and more, we ensure that planet-friendly practices are used in every step of production. Rather than using harsh chemicals in creating and tanning our leather, we opt to use more planet- and people-friendly materials — minimizing environmental impacts, water pollution, and potential harm to artisans and our customers.

Beautiful Ethiopian Handcrafting: Each item from Parker Clay is handcrafted by local artisans — not by machine. Our artisans skillfully work to create leather goods that are works of art. This skillful crafting creates items that get better with the test of time.

True Ethical Support for Artisans: At Parker Clay, we believe that true ethical support for our artisans goes beyond providing a competitive living wage. While a living wage is essential to helping our artisans thrive, we believe it’s important to provide them with additional resources. With our sister non-profit, Ellilta, we employ women — many who have been impacted by human trafficking — and provide them with health care, education, transport benefits, coffee breaks, and more. We ensure that we provide our artisans with safe working conditions and a complete ethical environment. It’s important to us to ensure that those who work so carefully to create each leather good have the support and resources to provide for themselves and their families.

Sustainable Packaging: From sourcing until the moment your item lands on your doorstep, at Parker Clay, we believe in sustainable materials every step of the way. This sustainability goes down to the packaging. We believe in zero-waste packaging that’s free of plastic. Each item is shipped in a reusable organic cotton storage bag (which you can continue to use and protect your item) and a recyclable paper box.

Quality Products That Get Better With Age: One of the biggest components of sustainability and circular design is items that are meant to stand the test of time. Our products are not only meant to last — our full-grain Ethiopian leather is meant to get better with age. Your item is built to be loved and last a lifetime — and can be passed on to your children or a friend to keep in use (and out of landfills) for years to come.

Our Best-Selling Sustainable Totes

Here’s a look at the best-selling, eco-friendly totes at Parker Clay. No matter your gender or personal style, there’s something suited to everyone.

Merkato Signature Tote

One of our best-selling items, the Merkato Signature tote is everything you could want in a tote. Its classy, sophisticated design is perfect for a night out after work out or on a weekend date. With an interior zippered pocket and D-ring to hook your keys, all your belongings will stay safe and sound. It’s also roomy enough to hold a 15” laptop, making it ideal for carrying everywhere from a work meeting to a casual coffee.

Whether you carry it over your shoulder or close on your arm, this tote has both functionality and good looks — what more could you want in a tote?

Caroline Small Tote Bag

For those looking for a modern, sleek take on a tote, look no further than the Caroline. The sleek, slim body gives it a contemporary feel while keeping that same versatile function a tote provides. With thinner, longer straps, this bag is perfect to sling over your shoulder and take with you for all your daily errands. It’s roomy enough to hold your laptop while running to work, yet has a narrow design that won’t feel bulky and is comfortable enough to carry all day.

With an interior zipper pocket and exterior front panel pocket, you can rest assured that everything has a home. And, it’s available in four beautiful neutral colors: Black, Bordeaux, Rust Brown, and Sand, so you can choose whichever color matches your personal style.

Merkato Signature Zip Tote

For those who want to keep their belongings extra secure, look no further than the Merkato Signature Zip Tote. Featuring soft curved handles and a zipper across the bag’s opening to keep your items secure, it’s the ideal everyday tote for your every need.

Whether you’re heading to the farmer’s market on a Saturday, commuting to work on the New York City subway, or heading to a post-work hangout, this bag is versatile enough for the occasion. It also has two interior slip pouches so your phone, wallet, and everything else you need for the day stays organized!

And for those who want a more compact size of this best-selling style, the Merkato Small Zip Tote is the perfect companion.

Merkato Shopper

If you’re looking for a more high-quality, durable version of the classic canvas tote bag, look no further than the Merkato Shopper. This bag has a simple, sleek design — with a smooth leather exterior, comfortable leather handles to grab, an interior phone sleeve, and interior key rings — to carry everything you’d need for a picnic in the park, carrying groceries, or holding your laptop as you head for an afternoon writing session at a coffee shop. It’s a luxurious take on the casual style of shopping bags — giving you lots of room and style.

Plus, you can pair it with the attachable Shoulder Strap for hands-free, comfortable carrying. It also comes in two colors — Black and Rust Brown — to pair with any outfit.

What Is Sustainable and Ethical Fashion?

Sustainable and ethical fashion are two trending topics that are here to stay. Many companies in the fashion industry throw around language like “eco-collections,” ”vegan leather,” and “planet conscious” to make their garments and accessories sound sustainable (but they fall short). So how do you know if fashion is truly good for the planet and that those making the items you love are being compensated fairly?

At Parker Clay, we believe that true planet-forward fashion doesn‘t just support the earth — it also should support those who live on it.

We maintain a high standard of ethics — ensuring that the artisans who delicately craft each tote, wallet, and luggage tag are not only paid fair wages but also that they have the benefits to grow and succeed in their lives.

From sustainable sourcing through farms to the moment a bag arrives on your doorstep, at Parker Clay, we want our products to have an impact that makes the planet a better place for all.

Parker Clay: A Promise of Sustainability and Fair Trade You Can Be Proud to Support

At Parker Clay, we’re committed not only to creating high-quality, sustainable leather bags that get better with age — we’re also committed to ensuring the artisans who carefully craft each item have fair wages and benefits to help them thrive.

We believe fashion shouldn’t just be about what makes you feel good on the outside. You should feel good on the inside, too, knowing that the items you wear go toward supporting a greater good — for both the planet and people. It’s ethical, sustainable leather goods you’ll be proud to support.

As part of our promise to provide long-lasting products, if any of our items fail to keep up with you over time, we’ll repair or replace it free of charge.