Buy Now or Cry Later: A Cheery, Reusable (and Locally Crafted!) Grocery Bag

Divert single-use plastics from the landfill and support local!

Divert single-use plastics from the landfill and support local!

Buy Now or Cry Later is a bi-weekly(ish) feature that recommends the newest, coolest and best fashion, beauty and home finds in our fair city. Heed our advice and buy now—or risk a stream of tears later if and when an item sells out.

I love tote bags. I love tote bags so much, in fact, that I have a tote bag packed with tote bags (my lesser used ones) perched on the top shelf of my closet. I have another tote bag packed with tote bags (my more frequently used ones) hanging on a coat rack on my bedroom door and at least one packable Baggu tote tucked into every one of my most-used purses. (Fun fact: the name of this column—Buy Now or Cry Later—is taken from a tote bag I was once gifted! I know: it’s a problem!!)

But, in response to anyone who may be classifying me as hoarder, tote bags are just incredibly versatile and convenient to have around, okay? Consider them the MVP of your accessories arsenal. They’re lightweight, easy to clean and do a fine job of carrying whatever you happen to be carrying around on any given day, whether it be groceries, your keys and abnormally large wallet or an unexpected mid-day snack-stash replenishment from Shoppers—all while helping you divert single-use plastic bags from the landfill. Plus, they’re super handy for travelling if you, like me, are too cheap to invest in packing cubes.

At least, these are all the things I’m telling myself, anyway, as I attempt to justify the purchase of yet another tote—this one from local designer Andrea Wong. Inspired by the cheery plastic bags handed out at bodegas, Wong’s woven-fabric Gratitude Grocery Bags are no-fuss enough to go with everything, but quirky enough to add some pizazz to a plain T-shirt-and-jeans ’fit if you’re using it as an actual accessory—which you should! The extra long handles allow the bag to hang lower than your standard tote, after all, giving the bag a sort of fashion-y vibe (and making it easier for you to access the stuff in it) that works for both guys and gals.

And while this isn’t the first time that’s someone slapped those red-and-white thank you’s onto a closet essential, Wong, who’s largely known for her leather goods, is the first local designer I’ve seen do it so well. And, these days, we’re all about supporting local, right?? (All right, I’ve convinced me—I’m headed to the check out.)

AW by Andrea Wong Gratitude Grocery Bag, $40

Available at One of a Few (354 Water St.), Much and Little (2541 Main St.) and other local boutiques, as well as online.