May 29, 2024

Will This Be the Summer Maura Finally Gets Herself a Pretty Straw Bag?

I’m not really what you’d call a big handbag person. I have just a few – some of which once belonged to my mother or my grandmother – that I rotate every so often, usually using a larger one during the day and something smaller for nighttime.

One of the larger ones is a woven leather bucket bag my mother received as a gift from her mother in the ’80s; it’s one of my favorite things, and I’m careful not to use it too much. Which is, admittedly, difficult, given how much I love it and want to lug it everywhere.

For years, I’ve toyed with replacing it in my daily rotation with another woven bag – this time, with one made of straw. But I haven’t found one that fits my ideal a) price point (low enough), b) quality expectation (sustainable and if possible, handmade), and c) style (simple, versatile and slightly vintage-y, like I might’ve scooped it up at the Rose Bowl Flea Market or something).

So! When I came across Portuguese sustainable and ethical handbag brand Toino Abel somewhere on Instagram, I was delighted. Each Toino Abel bag is entirely handmade and a product of a generational family business that preserves the craft and heritage of basket-making.

This one, the “plain,” is made up of handwoven organic reed, full vegetable tanned leather and toxic-free metal pieces. Toino Abel also sources all of its materials in Portugal, and works closely with the artisans involved at all points throughout the production process. Plus, the bag is just really beautiful.

All that for less than $100? Sounds like a win to me.

“Plain” flapbag, €79 (about $96. 88), available at Toino Abel.

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