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Gen Z’s obsession with tote bags

By Aliya Couillard, Staff Writer

The tote bag. This accessory has been seen hanging on the shoulders of individuals since the 1860s. Made in many different sizes and materials, the tote bag’s practicality makes it perfect for on-the-go use.

Clearly, the tote bag has been around for quite some time now and they don’t seem to be going out of style anytime soon. 

Generation Z has taken an immense liking to this style of bag. Typically in a canvas style, totes are all the rage amongst this generation. 

Junior psychology major Kira Adkins owns three tote bags of her own. 

“I use them pretty often. I use them when I go to class or when I’m running errands, especially in the city. [The tote] is convenient to carry around because they are big and roomy,” she shared. “I like how they can go with any outfit and can make outfits stylish.” 

Now, for some Gen Zers, the tote has seemed to take the place of the commonly used backpack. 

Sophomore business major Morgan Sigut, like Adkins, uses her tote for school and running errands.

“I like that instead of a backpack you can just easily slide it off your shoulder and get anything you need out of it. [Also,] it’s not really fashionable to walk around with a backpack on, so I think the tote is the best way to go,” she stated.

The tote has become a very fashion-forward item amongst Gen Z. What was once just an accessory for convenience has become a whole fashion trend for this generation. 

Sigut touched on a key reason why Gen Z is so infatuated with these bags. 

“I think it’s so popular because you can put anything you want on it like you can support different brands, it’s like a way to express yourself,” she said. “You can show who you are on [your] tote bag [and] what you like.” 

Gen Z is very big on self-expression; these bags are just another way for this generation to show who they are. If they like a certain music artist, read a specific publication, or are interested in art, it can be shown right on their tote. 

Along with self-expression, the tote bag has other unique qualities, one of which Adkins points out is its diversity. 

“[With the tote bag] you have the capability of styling up or down an outfit,” she said. 

That’s just another reason for the tote bag to be so popular among Gen Z. With its diversity, this type of bag can be paired with anyone’s choice of style. 

Tote bags are sold all across the retail market and are sold at a variety of prices. So, how much are students willing to spend on a tote?

“Honestly no more than $20,” Adkins expressed. “You can find really cheap tote bags that are cute like at the thrift and they are unique.”

Sigut’s willing to spend a bit more.

“Depends on the material of the tote bag, but for a canvas, I’d say no more than $40,” she said. 

As we usually see with trends, they come and go. However, students believe that the tote is a trend that will stick around 

“I think it will stay [in trend] just because they are so stylish and they are durable and simple. It’s just a perfect little basic to go with any outfit,” Adkins said.

Sigut made a very good point as well as to why the tote will stay in trend.

“I think it’s always been around but just in different forms and it’s always going to grow after how many people use it now,” she pointed out.

However, the trend cycle is quite fast, so we’ll just have to see whether the tote bag will stay or go. 

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