A (very) Short History of Bags

A (very) Short History of Bags

Dear all,

I hope you are keeping well.

A big hearty welcome to Julie, Cecile, Daisy, Lebas, Jiyeon, Gordon, Aiko, Stuart, Rati, Rohan, Viviana, Laura, Mira, Amanda, Kim and Lissa. Thanks so much for joining us.

My aim is for these newsletters to add a little jolt of enjoyment to your Sunday. I also hope that you'll learn something interesting (usually related to sustainability / fashion / running an eco-friendly brand).

This week is about fashion, but there's a treasure trove of information about sustainability and vegan / next-gen materials in our newsletter archive. It's worth a peruse if that's your thing.


All the bags. Contact sheet from this week's shoot. New pieces landing soon!

The talented Chloé has been doing some research for me on the history of bags and she's uncovered some very fun facts that I wanted to share with you. You might be surprised by identity of the first people to use bags...


The first tote bag was invented in the 1940s for carrying ice and wood.

Some modern-day totes are now made from cactus.

Shop Totes


Dick Ketly invented backpacks for a hiking trip. He was also one of the first gear designers to produce and market an external-frame backpack designed specifically for civilian use.

Backpacks: from hiking to vegan high fashion (sounds like the name of an exhibition!)

Shop Backpacks


Originally called "utility bags", crossbody bags were used by soldiers, fishermen, and lumberjacks to store the tools of their trade.

The Zanele cross body bag.

Shop Cross Body Bags


The handbag (in the form we know it today) exists only since the nineteenth century. In the days before this, women wore boxes around their necks on long chains.

An early LUXTRA handbag circa 2018. Should it make a reappearance in 2022 ?

Shop Mini Handbags


In ancient Greece, the wallet was the poor man's portable larder; it was where someone would store their provisions. The evolution to the present day isn't that different: wallets store one of society's most valuable objects... money.

Shop Men's Wallets

Shop Women's Wallets


Men were the first people to use bags for carrying around their possessions. Priests in Africa were famous for their beaded purses while Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs picture men with pouches.


Before bidding you adieu for another week, I want to mention that today is World Kangaroo Day. My mother organised a small protest (thanks Covid for limiting the number to 4 pax!) to bring attention to the fact that the Australian government allows our national icon to be killed in astonishing numbers for pet food, soccer boots and handbags.

I was astonished to learn that the EU is the largest importer of kangaroo meat and skins. I'm off to write some letters to politicians...

That's my mother (second from left) in her home made Kangaroo ears. Vegan, of course ;-)

Wishing you a nice day/evening. Keep well,

Jessica x

Founder | Plant Parent | Proud B Corp-er

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