The word Mala is translated from the Sanskrit word meaning ‘garland’, an item used to keep count while reciting Mantras. The brand Mala was born of harmony, as our tote bags bring together the function of keeping track of our most valued possessions and the expression of personal style.
During the summer of 2007, I travelled through South East Asia. As I made my way through Bali, Singapore, Cambodia and Thailand, I found myself in need of a way to keep track of my most important belongings. The solution came in the form of a light canvas tote bag, into which my passport, money, clothing and water were safely packed away.
Upon returning to my hometown London, I couldn’t help but notice that totes were being used as an alternative to plastic bags. The combination of a sustainable storage solution and the bold graphic message spoke to me, and I soon started a blog to showcase these bags: https://toteprints.wordpress.com/. Eventually, the Tote Bag Book was published in 2011, thanks to Laurence King Publishing who believed in my vision and idea.
The design and manufacturing of Mala tote bags take place in the UK. Using my experience in the fashion industry, I design the tote bags in my East London studio, while the silkscreen print designs are hand-pulled at a studio in South London. All bags are constructed by hand, and the hand-cut leather handles are sourced from the UK. Each bag has a unique hand-crafted ceramic branded label, made in a ceramic studio in South London.
Mala tote bags are manufactured in Nottingham, by Ray a master tailor with over 40 years of experience. He takes pride in producing each bag to meet a high standard for everyday use to keep our most valued items close to use, stored safely in a Mala tote.