Who says you can't save the planet and be stylish?
Last month, the city of San Francisco banned the use of nonbiodegradable plastic grocery bags, and other metropolitan areas are considering similar proposals. Just in time, designers Hermes and Stella McCartney have gotten into the reusable grocery-tote business, created for shoppers who need to show off their haute couture while they dash out for Romaine and instant oatmeal. The Hermes version will hit U.S. stores this summer. Made of "hand-wrought" silk, it carries a price tag of $960 (roughly equal to the amount I spend on groceries over the course of six months). McCartney's offering is a bargain, at just $495 for organic canvas.
A fan of committing to help the environment without the highway robbery? For 60 bucks, you can get a FEED Bag, the proceeds from which provide enough nourishment for one child for an entire school year (where, exactly, do the profits for the Hermes and McCartney bags wind up?). Endorsed by first niece Lauren Bush, the FEED Bag craze seems to be sweeping the nation; there's a four-to-six week wait for the canvas tote on Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN).
For the bargain price of $1.99 each, you can pick up a reusable canvas tote or two at Trader Joe's. Next time I'm at my favorite natural-foods chain, I must remember to do so. I already have a great one, five years old and solid as ever, from The Strand. And it didn't even cost me a week's paycheck.
Beth Gaston Moon is an analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research.