What’s in my work bag — Bri

For about 3 years, I carried the “Melrose” bag by Gunas in the peach color. If you haven’t heard of Gunas, they’re a sweatshop-free, animal-friendly, eco-conscious brand.

The “Melrose” tote was the perfect bag for my needs at the time, as I was traveling to-and-from headquarters in San Jose. It had metal detailing that gave it an edgy – dare I say, “hip” – look, while the shape and color made it work well for the Silicon Valley corporate world. I stopped carrying the bag when it started looking really worn out.

Alas, they no longer sell the Melrose style. I’d order another if they did! However, I encourage you to check out their other totes on the Gunas the Brand website. The “Melrose” pricing was north of $200, but they have several other great products as well; don’t miss their sale site for items <$100.

Back to the task at hand though: what am I carrying now and what goes inside of it? Currently, I’m using a $25 non-brand bag from Marshall’s. (It may have been $35 – I can’t remember the exact price.)

I chose it for the following reasons:

  • Size: It can fit my 14” laptop and charger comfortably, along with a notebook, and a scarf or thin sweater.
  • Zip-top closure: If it accidentally tips over in the car or at my desk, the closed top prevents contents from spilling out.
  • Zippered pockets inside and outside: I like to put my keys in the outside zippered pocket. On the inside zippered pocket, I tend to keep my wallet, feminine products and/or lip balm.
  • Open-top pockets on the inside: Perfect for my cell phone and sunglasses.
  • Animal Friendly: I’ve carried vegan bags for several years now. If Gunas isn’t really your style, I also encourage you to check out:
    • FreePeople: note, not all of their bags are vegan, but the link goes straight to their vegan offers.
    • Mat and Natt: I have a casual bag from M&N – love it! The link goes to their totes.
    • LuLu’s: note, not to be confused with LuLuLemon; not all of their bags are vegan, but the link goes to their vegan offers.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to get preachy here. If you want to learn more about choosing animal-friendly products, there is a lot of info on the Interwebs, of course. And, I am also transitioning to vegan shoes, but we can save that content for a future post!

Here’s a look at the interior:


If I need to carry more technology with me, I bring a Grid-It and just slot it next to my laptop. It’s perfect for corralling earbuds, a USB stick, a touch-screen cloth, an extra pen and more.


The downside of my current choice: the $25 brandless bag quality isn’t great. The inner lining is thin and there are a few stray threads. However, as I recently transitioned to working from home more often, I am not using the bag very much and when I do, it suits just fine. After this bag wears out – which might take a while – I may pick up a bag from one of the sites hyperlinked above.

Do you have a great bag that you’d recommend for work? Any essentials for the inside you think everyone should know about? Tell us in the comments below!

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