When you carry a tote, you Hold on to Hope™ that together we can end human trafficking and support survivors. 

The Tote Project began with a hopeful dream shared by two best friends. Our business plan ignited from the passion for our cause: to support survivors of human trafficking. We united to use fashion and creativity to make a difference, and today our mission is interwoven into every aspect of our business. Since launching in 2013, The Tote Project has evolved to create sustainable impact in three key ways - giving back, raising awareness and ethical manufacturing. 

Giving Back: We donate 10% of our profits to nonprofit organizations aligned with our cause. We’ve raised over $50k for programs like career academies for trafficking survivors, awareness campaigns, trafficking prevention for foster care youth, and therapeutic art classes for survivors and their children. 

Raising Awareness: We share facts, dispel false narratives and strive to empower our customers to share their talents to help end trafficking. We believe we each have a part to play in making a difference.

Ethical Manufacturing: We only work with suppliers and small businesses that prioritize people and the planet. Their certifications ensure green and trafficking-free supply chains. Our fair trade standards create demand for ethical manufacturing while lowering demand for forced labor. 

Supplier Code of Conduct

As a fair trade brand we require our suppliers to either have fair trade certifications from certifying bodies including Fair Trade USA, Fairtrade America, or Fair for Life, or to have membership in fair trade groups including but not limited to, Fair Trade Federation, World Fair Trade Organization or Fair Trade Los Angeles. We aim to work with both certified factories and certified fabrics, but recognize that smaller artisan groups may only have access and resources for one type of certification or membership. Our supplier requirements are as follows, and are inspired by the Fair Trade Federation code of practice: 

  1. Suppliers must ensure and prove their elimination of all forms of forced labor.
  2. Suppliers must ensure and prove their elimination of all forms of child labor. 
  3. Suppliers must cultivate new market opportunities in order to help eliminate poverty for their artisans. 
  4. Suppliers must show transparency and accountability in their supply chain.
  5. Suppliers must allow freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. 
  6. Suppliers must aim to build capacity with their artisan groups.
  7. Suppliers must ensure prompt and fair payments for their employees. 
  8. Suppliers must provide safe and empowering working conditions for all employees. 
  9. Suppliers must prioritize environmental stewardship in all aspects of manufacturing.
  10. Suppliers must respect the cultural identities of all employees and partners. 
  11. Suppliers must ensure the elimination of discrimination in the workplace.
  12. Suppliers must promote fair trade principles.


Caring for the planet is a fundamental part of our mission to manufacture ethically. Our brand was launched in 2013 during a plastic bag ban, in hopes that we could provide high-quality, organic reusable bags, rather than wasteful disposable alternatives. As we evolve, we’re always looking for ways to improve our products and reduce their environmental impact.

All of our cotton canvas is, at minimum, GOTS certified organic. Approximately 70% of our products have an additional Fairtrade cotton certification.

Our Freedom Collection pouches are lined with upcycled sari fabric, and all of our designs are printed with inks that are water-based and phthalate-free. We use eco-friendly, recycled shipping materials, and most of our orders are printed on-demand to reduce overstock. 

We are always looking for ways to eliminate plastic packaging. With the help of eco-friendly, USA-based packaging suppliers, we now ship the majority of our retail orders in recycled paper mailers without the use of plastic bags. 


  • Eliminate all remaining plastic in our packaging by 2025. We’re 95% of the way there!
  • Eliminate synthetic materials in our swing tags by 2028.
  • By 2035, offer products that give back to combat human trafficking in all corners of the world – Asia, North America, South America, Africa and Australia.
  • By 2025, provide every customer with resources to help them identify a victim of human trafficking and the tools to properly respond via a QR code, to prevent paper waste.