There’s a lot of difference in quality and artistry that comes in a single tote bag. Depending on the level of quality in the construction and the level of quality in the materials being used, there are a lot of differences that can become obvious when comparing one to another.

This is why it is essential to take a look at the big picture to learn which materials are the best for a product you intend to use often. Tote bags come in various sizes, shapes, designs, and materials.

Let’s take a look at some of the comparisons.


Polypropylene is a type of plastic. It is used in several items that you probably already use in and around your home. It is also a material used in the manufacturing of tote bags. However, there are some advantages and disadvantages to polypropylene tote bags. 


  • They can be recycled
  • They are considered reliable as well as durable, so they should last a long time
  • They can be manufactured from recycled materials which reduce waste in landfills
  • They are resistant to chemicals so they can withstand some abuse
  • They are very cheap to mass produce


  • The low-quality style of polypropylene tote bags can wear out fast
  • Fossil fuels are required to produce polypropylene. However, recycled polypropylene is a better environmental choice



This is a plant fiber that can be spun into threads. The threads that result are typically coarse and durable. When jute is used in products, it is referred to as hessian.


  • Because this is a plant fiber, it is biodegradable
  • This is considered one of the strongest natural fibers, so it has a lot of durabilities
  • This product is affordable to purchase
  • The crops that produce jute do not require a lot of water to produce


  • This is not a moisture-resistant product unless it is chemically treated
  • Pesticides are often used in the production of jute
  • Can have rough texture and wrinkles.
  • The majority of products made with jute are imported which equates to greenhouse gasses



Reusable Hemp

Industrial hemp is a plant fiber used in the manufacture of various consumer goods ranging from clothing to furniture and anything in-between.


  • The hemp plant fiber is rot resistant and very strong and durable
  • Crops for this plant can be grown in little water and poor soil conditions


  • Due to the confusing association with marijuana, hemp can be expensive to produce and import from countries more accepting of the product.
  • Can have rough texture.


Reusable Calico

Calico is fabric that comes from cotton. It is not entirely processed and is unbleached.


  • Because there is no bleaching or processing of this material, it is environmentally friendly
  • This material is not expensive to produce
  • Cotton is considered a strong and durable material


  • Unless it is chemically treated, calico is not resistant to water
  • Can pills, shrinks and have wrinkles.
  • Large quantities of pesticides are required to grow cotton unless it is organically grown
  • A lot of water is necessary for the production of cotton

Reusable Cotton and Polyester Canvas

These are arguably the most popular and the most common types of reusable tote bags on the planet. The mixture of the materials produces a good looking and long lasting product.


  • The combination of cotton and canvas results in a soft fabric
  • These bags are known to be very strong as well as durable
  • The fabric construction allows for many different prints or patterns to be incorporated into the design


  • Pesticide use is required in the production of cotton unless it is organically grown
  • Cotton that is fully processed requires more treatment
  • A large volume of water is needed to produce quality cotton crops

Comparing Cotton To Polyester

If you have even worn clothing that is made from either material you will instantly know that cotton ‘breathes’ where polyester does not. Here is a further comparison between the two products:

Cotton is a product that is natural. It is grown in crops on the land. Polyester is a product that is human-made. Cotton is not considered a durable as polyester. Polyester is deemed to be an extremely durable product.

Colors in cotton tend to fade over time. Colors in polyester last a long time and will also shine for as long. Cotton is considered a non-irritant which means it is suitable for all skin types. Polyester is a rougher material that can result in skin irritations for a sensitive skin.

Polyester tends to be lighter, wrinkles and water resistant. Cotton is a heavier fabric and tends to shrink in size and have wrinkles. In emergency cases, if polyester and cotton catch on fire it's much easier to put off the fire on a polyester fabric than cotton which in many circumstances might keep burning.

The Final Results

There is nothing wrong with a blending material because you get the best parts of each. However, you also end up with the disadvantages of each. When it comes to the manufacture of reusable tote bags, polyester canvas and cotton are the top winners simply because of the soft material they produce and the durability of the combination of products.

Plus, because they last so long, you cannot ignore the fact that a reusable cotton and canvas tote bag will not be found in a landfill site anytime soon. They hold up to plenty of use and abuse and are the perfect tool to get your groceries from your vehicle to your home without the fear of a spill resulting from a poorly constructed carrying container.

There is a good reason why these are the most popular tote bags in use on the planet they last and they don’t get tossed out after a few uses. When you need a tote bag for any reason, turn to the king of tote bags reusable cotton and polyester canvas. They work together for a reason, and that reason is that it works!