Fabric | sustainable |eco friendly | bags|Sling bags| grocery bags| gifts | souvenirs | gift bags| embroidery | fancy bags| reuse| upcycle | bling | cloth bags| traditional | local| mirror work | Indian | potli 


                              SLING BAG 

This exquisite embroidery and mirror work Sling bag is from my personal collection. 

This has been with me for the past decade and has been used regularly. It looks brand new as I have taken good care of the beautiful bag. 

If you are keen to purchase something similar, you could either visit Indian flea markets, local markets in the Indian state of Rajasthan and Gujarat. These are easily available in markets in Delhi. You can visit Dilli Haat ( market in Delhi that has a vast handicrafts collection)

Reasons we should shift to Fabric/cloth bags

● I remember distinctly during my growing up years, every one used cloth bags for shopping, traveling or gifting. 

● Suddenly  over the past 2-3 decades, use of one time plastic/plastic bags has exploded with fatal consequences for the planet.

● Indiscriminate use of plastic bags has let to land, water and air pollution. 

● When animals ingest plastic bags it results in fatalities. 

● If we volunteer to use cloth bags, demand for plastic bags will reduce. 

● The consumerist culture has resulted in disposable products. This has a direct bearing on climate change.

●We have to look beyond disposable items and make things last.

● The cost of living crisis is real. Let’s start a frugal lifestyle and save some money. The living crisis has a definite connection to climate change. 

●Using cloth/fabric can make us value our possessions more.

●The Government Of India has banned use of single use plastic items from 1st July, 2022. This is the right time to extend our support for this cause.

●This initiative by the Government is in the right direction. For the sake of  life on this Earth, we have to reduce the use of plastic. 

● Popularity of cloth bags and handicrafts will help in supporting local artisans. 

●When the World is on the brink of recession ( according to news agencies), handicrafts will help solve employment issues. 

● As cloth and fabric bags last long, we will reduce waste that ultimately reaches landfills and water bodies. 

Here, I am showcasing a few cloth/fabric pieces from my limited collection, from many years. 

I take a lot of pride in using them regularly and sometimes repairing to lengthen their lifespan. 

                               THE  JHOLA 


This Jhola is from my personal collection.  A Jhola is typically used as a normal Indian shoulder bag. 

This bag is from Rajasthan, it was gifted to me by my parents when they returned from a trip.

It  has multipurpose usage like a grocery bag, travel bag, shopping bag, carry bag etc.

A Jhola ranges from a simple cloth shoulder bag to an embroidered one. It could come with beads, cookies, mirror work, patch work.

So, basically a Jhola can be the most  basic to the most stylish.  This bag is typical to India and you can find a range of them all over.

You can see the beautifully embroidered Parrots, a local common bird and flowers. The mirror work is stunning. 

If you observe carefully, the upper hem line has delicate bead work.

This Jhola is used occasionally by me for outings. As it is ornate, it is not used for heavy duty shopping of grocery and produce.

Again, it looks new though it has seen many seasons, as I personally take care in maintaining and storing it.

Whenever I use it, this  pretty Jhola garners a lot of compliments and my acquaintances are motivated to buy one at least. 

                          THE FANCY POUCH


This exquisite embroidered sequence fancy pouch or potli is from my daughter’s collection. 

It looks very pretty with traditional occasion wear and makes a great statement piece. 

I have borrowed it many times for attending parties and weddings. 

It is very stylish and dressy, yet muted as the color is pastel.

                                THE POTLI


Another beautifully  deep blue Potli with intricate golden leaves and flowers embroidery. 

This Potli has a golden drawstring and looks amazing when paired with traditional Indian outfit. 

Again, it belongs to my daughter. Though  I have my own personal collection of potli and pouches, I find her collection very intriguing. 

You can get different sizes and fabric potlis in the markets easily. 

This one is special as it is made of soft velvet fabric. 

There are potli and pouches to suit everyone’s style and sensibilities. 

You can get them at a reasonable price at wholesale shops in all major cities. 

In Delhi very attractive pouches and potlis are available in Chandini Chowk market, Lajpat Nagar market, Karol Bagh market, Dilli Haat, Rajouri Garden market, to name a few.

They are available in all major cities in India. These are easily available online on various platforms like Amazon, Nykaa, Flipkart, Ajio, Myntra, snapdeal.

Most of these e-commerce websites deliver worldwide. So, if you want one, just browse through these websites and place your order!

                       THE JUTE BAG 

( This is a very stylish take on the humble jute bag)

We have all grown up with different types of jute bags. 

Jute is a versatile, natural fibre and has been around since ages. Alas, the plastic takeover broke the jute industries back in India and saw it getting wiped out of business. 

Now, suddenly jute has come back in fashion.  As people and governments have become conscious with new laws in place, and some asthetic designs, jute bags have taken the market by storm.

The likes of the above jute bags in various shapes, sizes and styles have been around since the last decade or so. 

I have personally used these to carry my tiffins and waterbottles during my stint as an educator. 

Once you start using them, you won’t stop.  They are sturdy, durable and stylish. 

Available easily in all markets and in plenty online. You can order them from Amazon, Ajio, Big Basket, Flipkart, Myntra, Home center, snapdeal. These can be shipped internationally also.

                         THE PAPER BAG 

Of course,  this is common all over the World and used widely. My concern here is that we should use as little as possible as these are ultimately made from felling of trees. 

If we don’t limit our consumption, the entire purpose of sustainability will be defeated. 

So, carry your cloth bag wherever possible and refuse paper bags.

These invariably make their way to my home, so I try to reuse, repurpose and recycle as much as possible. 

Some companies have always been very conscious about sustainable products and waste reduction. 

Here are a couple of examples;


All Suta  products come in cloth packaging 

Also, Body Shop is also particular about waste and makes an effort in spreading awareness. 

Here is a bag I purchased from Body Shop advertising their motto.

Definitely,  in business the main focus is profit.  If not so, the entire idea of doing business is pointless. 

What is heartening  is that the issue of  reducing waste, eco-friendly business practices and sustainability are garnering a lot of limelight. 

Here, my aim is only giving a couple of examples,  though I am fully aware of the vast number of businesses practicing clean operations in addressing the environmental goals through their various CSR activities and marketing options. 

This is my humble effort to put together what is available in the Indian markets and may we come forward to make them mainstream by popularizing their use.

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