The Story of My Organic Cotton Tote

When I asked for a Raven + Lily tote for Christmas, I couldn’t have been more excited to receive it as a gift.  I always enjoy having large bags to carry with me, and not for just hauling groceries.  When I lived in Denver, I used to have multiple bags to carry everything I needed for my jobs and was always thrilled when it could fit my lunch as well.  In Chicago, a reusable grocery bag was always necessary to carry coats, jackets and umbrella for the just in case moments walking from the bus stop to work.  That’s why I was excited to see this one from Raven + Lily that is colorful, playful and was durable as well.  Just how much do I admire this tote?  I didn’t think it was possible, but after learning more about it like I have with other accessories, I appreciate it even more.

Raven+Lily Tote

Totes specifically made by Raven + Lily’s artisan partners in India, are made of 100% organic cotton or natural jute.  The designs are screen printed and the artisans are women who were formerly a part of the sex trade.  But it’s not just my tote that these artisans from India construct.  Raven + Lily also has organic and natural soaps, paper made from recycled materials and wood and leather handicrafts in their accessories and home goods.  Many of these products serve the same purpose: to provide artisans with enough revenue to be economically independent and work that gives them pride.  A short video from Raven + Lily shows exactly the kind of partnership the company has with their India artisans.

Raven + Lily India Partnership from Raven + Lily on Vimeo.

Knowing all of this makes me feel proud to be the owner of a bag crafted by a skilled and empowered artisan.  What’s even better is that the tote is something I use and rely on every day.  It’s perfect for books, binders and other items I carry between my work at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Southern Utah Museum of Art.  Functionality, design and skilled craftsmanship in one tote—what could be better than that?

To learn more about Raven + Lily’s commitment to artisans and sustainability visit pages about their company and how their products are made.

This post is a part of Friday Favorites hosted by Lizzie In Lace and Style Swap Tuesdays hosted by Myriad Musings.Friday Favorites Lizzie in Lace


  1. Caitlin Barrett

    this is so great, Brooke! And such a cute tote too!

  2. yogawinetravel

    What a wonderful initiative! And the bag design is so cute – thank you for sharing! Just added another item to my travel wishlist 😉

  3. Nora Gouma

    Love your blog, truly such a great post, love your video as well, thank you for sharing!!!


    • brooklyntvlasich

      Thanks Nora! I’m thrilled I could inspire you and I appreciate your wonderful compliments.

  4. Love Of Mode

    What a great cause! Fashion is a great tool to help spread awareness over serious issues like sex trading and other problems! Love this!


    Tamara –

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Thanks Tamara! I truly believe in these companies and I’m glad there are organizations out there that work towards empowering others to become independent and successful.

  5. Alice Shiya

    The totes are so cute, and for such a good cause!

    xo, alice / T Y P E N U

  6. laurajaneatelier

    Your tote is so cute, I love the print

  7. mariamichelle117

    That is a beautiful bag. I can totally understand why you would love the fact that you are using something that someone worked so hard on and will help them in so many ways. I have several bags that I always want to take everywhere with me. It would be great to have just one that would work for everything. I loved the video of Raven and Lily. I want to see everything these talented women have you made.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Raven + Lily have some great products and I’ve admired their style for a very long time. I’m glad you enjoyed my blog and the company’s video!

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