Totes are a prerequisite for anyone looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Depending on the materials used to make the tote, it generally takes more resources to make them than single-use paper or plastic bags, but totes can be used and reused plenty of times. Using totes instead of single-use shopping bags can help reduce your carbon footprint even further if they’re made of sustainable materials. To offer a sustainable alternative, designers Johanna Hehemeyer-Cürten and Lobke Beckfeld made Sonne155, a reusable tote and sustainable alternative to the paper bag.
Sonnet155 is entirely made from biodegradable materials to ensure that each bag can break down into water or soil. Hehemeyer-Cürten and Beckfeld constructed the tote bags from the composite of two raw materials: cellulosic production waste from the textile industry and pectin, which partially mimics the gelling effects of gelatin. Cellulosic production waste comes from cellulose, the structural cell wall found in plants, while pectin is a plant-based polysaccharide derived from the skin of fruits. When used together to build Sonnet155, the locally sourced materials form a sustainable, gelatin-like tissue that can be fully integrated back into their natural, biological life cycle following the tote bag’s use. The tough material almost appears elastic, but looks and feels like leather.
By creating Sonnet155, Hehemeyer-Cürten and Beckfeld hope to make a sustainable alternative to single-use paper bags that feels more “[like] a treat rather than a burden,” as the designers put it. By following a minimalist design scheme, Sonnet155 is enhanced by its own natural, translucent hide that dissolves over time with consistent use. Coming in a wide range of colors that echo the peak months of summer, Sonnet155 is an upgrade to the canvas tote or single-use paper bag.
The materials used to make Sonnet155 totes are derived from cellulose waste and pectin, or fruit skin.
Sonnet155 is constructed from locally sourced, biodegradable materials to ensure a natural, biological life cycle.
Pectin mimics the elasticity of gelatin for a tough and durable completed structure.
With a minimalist design, Sonnet155 is enhanced by its own unique gradient pattern derived from natural pigments.
The leather-like building material found in pectin gives Sonnetq55 a loose, yet structured frame.
Once Sonnet155 totes reach the end of their use, they dissolve in either soil and water and continue their biological life cycle.
Totes are great accessories for city living or even weekly grocery store trips.