These are the 2 Canvas Tote Bags I mentioned towards the end of the 5th paragraph of My Story: Handbags Post (here). I purchased the Marks & Spencer Twiggy Tote myself, from the Marks & Spencer Flagship store in Salmiya either in 2007 or 2008 (around the peak of the Anya Hindmarsh “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” trend). My younger brother got me the Green Elephant Tote as a gift from his trip to Sri Lanka for charity, where he and other Kuwaiti volunteers, built houses over there, around 2016 (most guys usually celebrate their bachelor party in Vegas or go on all-guys trip to somewhere like Spain for one last hurrah, before getting married, but my younger brother is definitely not like most guys). As such, I associate both Tote Bags with “Feel Good” vibes!
Eco Shopping Bag from Marks and Spencer featuring Twiggy (famous teen model in London during the 60’s). She was famously known as “Twiggy” due to her thin build, but was also known for her androgynous look.
I’ve referenced Twiggy in a previouc MAC post (here) and in a Rimmel post (here). I’ve referenced the M&S Twiggy Eco Shopping Bag in a Bath & Body Works post (here) a Marks & Spencer Haulage post (here) and My Story: Handbags post (here).
As you can see it’s got an iconic photo of Twiggy depicted on both the front and back. It says Marks & Spencer on both the front and back as well. Normally, I don’t like it when the brand name or logo is blatantly visible, but in this case, I not only don’t mind, but I actually kinda’ like it. It also reads Organic Cotton on the side. There is no hardware (zippers, buttons, etc…) on this thing, so it just stays open all the time. Also, it’s quite slouchy and shapeless. As far as I know, the Twiggy Tote was only available in this color.
Apparently, it’s an Eco Shopping Bag which is meant to be an eco-friendly alternative to the plastic shopping bags that they use in Supermarkets and Convenience Stores. However, in accordance with the Anya Hindmarsh “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” trend, people started sporting all kinds of Eco Shopping Bags out and about in their everyday lives (it was a “thing”).
Obviously I can’t remember how much this M&S Twiggy Eco Shopping Tote cost but at this point it’s more than payed for itself. I’ve gotten so much use out of this thing, over the years! At first, I wore it everywhere and with everything!
You can’t really tell (or maybe you can, I don’t know) but this thing is huge! As such, I filled it to the brim which consequentially resulted in a sore shoulder at the end of the day. Once the trend died down, I still sported my Twiggy Tote but reserved it for the Chalet, Sleepovers, etc… basically, anytime I was going to need a change of clothes. It was particularly handy for days spent at the beach or pool-side, because I could fit in a large fluffy towel, yet still have room for so much more!
Despite being quite large, you could also fold it up until it barely took up any space. I’ve folded my Twiggy Tote in my suitcase on weekend trips to Dubai (took it with me went I went swimming in Atlantis The Palm), on my honeymoon in Thailand (an absolute must for island-hopping) and even summer vacays in Europe (where it safely and comfortably housed the “necessities” of everyone with me during those trips). This thing was especially useful for days spent at the beach (both locally and abroad) which is another reason why I associate it with feel good vibes! It was super easy to maintain as well. I’d just flip it over to get all the sand out – and since it was made out of cotton – just toss it in the washing machine.
So to recap, the Twiggy Tote is huge (handy), practical (easy to maintain), eco-friendly (feel good vibes) and associated with a lot of great memories (more feel good vibes)! As such, I just can’t bear to part with my Marks & Spencer Twiggy Eco Shopping Bag and will probably hold on to it for at least another 10 years.
I don’t know much about this thing except that my brother came back from Sri Lanka with two of these bags in tow (one for me and one for my sister). They were identical save for the fact that one was Green and the other was Blue. He let us decide whom would get what. Since my sister’s favorite color happens to be Blue, I let her have it and took the Green instead. That said, Green has really been resonating with me for the past few years now. I’ve mentioned this particular bag in the My Story: Handbags post (here).
As you can see, this thing has got Elephants all over; from the large Mama Elephant with the Baby Elephant trailing beside her, to the border of Tiny Elephants above and beneath them, to the Small Elephants nestled amidst the plants. In Sri Lanka, no other animal has been associated with the people in both their religious activities and traditions more than Elephants. In fact, Elephants are considered as quasi-sacred (to a certain religion).
I thought the Twiggy Tote was huge, but this one is so ginormous, it practically dwarfs the other one! I’m assuming this thing can be tossed in the washing machine as well, but haven’t had to test that theory out just yet. Unlike the Twiggy Tote, this thing has actually got hardware (black zipper that goes all the way around the mouth) on it. I love the fact that the hardware and surrounding fabric is all in Black because it just pops against the White and Green! Also unlike the Twiggy Tote this one has extra-extra-long straps! I’m 5’1 so this thing sits comfortably at my hip. However, when I wear it as Crossbody Bag (or Cross, as they call it in Kuwait) it sits slightly above my hip. Honestly, it looks pretty chill, either way!
I love this thing because I got it as a gift from my younger brother, from one of his more meaningful trips (he built houses over there in Sri Lanka for the needy, so by extension, I kinda’ feel like I did too)! For real though, it’s loaded with good karma! Also, you can actually load it with a lot of other stuff, because this thing is a behemoth (for real, it’s ginormous) and the extra-extra-long straps make it quite comfortable to carry around all the extra weight! More importantly, I find Elephants to be quite cute (I’ve got a “crystal” figurine collection that includes elephants, owls, etc… that look oh-so-adorable)! Plus, this Bag has got that laid-back islander vibe (very cazh!) which is my style of choice! Like I said, I love this thing!