betonthetoteI’ve been a fan of the tote bag for some time now, and for menswear events such as London Collections: Men it’s my go to man bag. I love the ease of being able to readily retrieve my camera or note book; it’s accessibility to me puts it ahead of the back pack when I’m on the hoof. Whilst I carry it the traditional way (ie. gripped in my hand astride my leg), it’s equally practical slung over my shoulder if I need to be hands free.

I recently came across The Parker tote from Los Angeles brand M.R.K.T. (Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger) – its ‘s a structurally chic tote that is both lightweight and durable – a viable alternative to the wax or canvas versions I’ve owned in the past. Supple shoulder straps and a stud closure add a minimalist touch.

M.R.K.T. products are crafted from unconventional and socially responsible materials, embodying the spirit of creativity, experimentation and innovation. The Parker is made of SMRT FELT, a tightly-woven synthetic fibre constructed in Germany. It is 100% recyclable, giving the bag rigidity and structure and, what’s more, is remarkably water and stain resistant.

Felt may have a tendency to pill or snag when subjected to excessive amounts of friction, so susceptible areas of the tote are covered with protective panels. This fuzzy look may not bother you, but if it’s not your thing simply take a common disposable razor and shave off the pills. The technical boffins at M.R.K.T. have performed year’s worth of shave tests in the lab, and found the integrity of the bag does not noticeably diminish over time and can be as good as new in a matter of minutes. How’s that for longevity? And double bubble from your Bic!

MCRO LEATHER: The smooth microfibre M.R.K.T use, seen here on the handles and smart phone pouch,  is vegan friendly and has an inherent buttery texture. Similar to its MCRO SUEDE cousin, the microfibre material should be treated with care. A damp cloth and hand soap will remove most stains. For particularly stubborn blotches, a typical water-based cleaner will do the job.

13.2”W x 14.3”H x 3.5”D

• SMRT FELT body
• Removable media pocket (fits up to a small handheld tablet)
• Exterior travel card pocket
• Stud Closure

Price: £75

M.R.K.T. is a Los Angeles-based accessories label established in 2010 by Harvard-trained architect, Tom Pen. Designs are inspired by modern architectural concepts of clean and pure form. Structure, function and materialinnovation are their guides as they push the boundaries of design in every bag they create.

M.R.K.T. online store