Isn't materialism lovely? I've saved labels and scraps from America's surplus of stuff, and used them to make a shopping bag... to buy more stuff! There's a "Made in USA" label sticking out of the side, and the words stamped on the handles celebrate all things excessive.
The bag is made entirely of scrounged materials (and, of course, thread). In addition to the obvious clothing labels, the body and lining of the bag is made of the offcuts from an upholstery shop. The handles are upholstery scraps and pieces of plastic strapping that were used to hold cartons and pallets together for shipping.
Let me take a minute to tell you where I'm coming from with the design of the tote. I read the Little House on the Prairie books when I was younger, and I was really impacted by how few things the family owned. It was a very big deal when they bought... not a new dress, but fabric to MAKE a new dress. And then they had to take the fabric home and sew every seam and buttonhole by hand. They valued things because they were so hard to get, and because they had so little. These days, it's easy to get stuff... and easy to throw it away.
I'm not suggesting that everyone ought to get rid of all their stuff, grow a beard (even the women) and live in the woods. I just think that everyone would benefit from being mindful of what we use and discard, and how... and why.
This bag is an art project, a statement about a throw-away society, and an exercise in re-using things that are easily overlooked and discarded. This is not an instructable about the quickest, easiest way to make a tote bag... but it could be, if you just ignore every step that involves saving, ironing, and painstakingly stitching down hundreds of clothing labels. In fact, the tote itself is a very nice beginner sewing project. I hope you give it a try, and decorate it to make a statement that's all your own.