The Tote Project

Carry your summer essentials in style with The Tote Project! The Tote Project sells fair trade, organic cotton pouches and tote bags handmade by survivors of human trafficking. These adorable bags are providing women with second chances.


Fay and Michelle started The Tote Project because they both felt called to help. Michelle was heartbroken, but inspired by the documentary about human trafficking, “Call + Response.” Fay realized her true calling was to use insight gained from traumatic experiences to bring change and uplift others. These two wonderful ladies wanted to make a difference together. Fay started out selling bags on Etsy, but had trouble producing enough product. She realized she wanted to make an impact and fair trade was a priority.  The two passionate individuals set out on the adventure together, starting an IndieGogo to receive funding and reaching out to Freeset to ensure bags were made with fair trade principals. The Tote Project was born.

These trendy bags have various words on them that allow you to make a statement. My pouch says “Hold on to Hope,” which I chose to remind me of The Tote Project’s wonderful mission, providing hope to so many. Other bags include sayings such as free to dance, free to explore, free to give, free to love, and many more. These positive sayings allow women to celebrate freedom and express their passion. Michelle said she has heard inspiring stories about how people are connecting with the words on their bags.

Each bag comes with a Human Trafficking Awareness Card which lists signs of modern day slavery and provides resources for further action. The bags are handmade by survivors of human trafficking in India with Freeset Global. Freeset is a World Fairtrade certified organization that provides employment and second chances to these women, allowing them to “hold on to hope.” From The Tote Project's proceeds, 20% go to the nonprofit, Two Wings which mentors at risk youth and survivors of sex trafficking. Two Wings helps these individuals identify their goals and dreams, creating a plan of action after they are rescued. They have life skills classes and career training workshops to lead survivors towards success. Michelle and Fay got to visit Two Wings and witness the work their products are contributing to. Michelle said these women were filled with hope and very grateful.

The Tote Project’s bags are made with 100% organic cotton canvas. Pouches are made with 100% organic cotton and lined with recycled sari with a braided recycled sari tassel. I absolutely love the pop of color the sari on the inside of my pouch adds. The designs on the products are printed with water-based, environmentally friendly inks.

I love that Michelle and Fay are so dedicated to raising awareness and spreading hope. Please help The Tote Project continue their mission and inform more people about modern day slavery. Shop and learn more with the links below.