the eco bag revolution is in full swing in japan. which makes me so happy after years of living in japan and being (very courteously) plied at the supermarket and other stores with layer upon layer of plastic. it is also so great because japan is supreme at packaging cuteness and imbuing a distinct style into what the rest of the world might overlook as an object that serves a function and that requires no further embellishment or refinement. these eco bags might cost a little more than the 99 cent coles green bags, but if my eco bag was this pretty i would definitely not be walking out and leaving it in the hallway then cursing my forgetfulness when i got to the checkout. (although my japanese friend did buy a bunch of the coles green bags to take back to japan as omiyage...)
the susan bijl photography is lovely and these seem very high on the list of cool eco bags in japan available via rakuten and the like.
this month's ginza magazine had a spread of some amazing bag designs from brands like mina perhonen to celebrate beams 25th anniversary. i really like the butterflies one by coco ribbon (at bottom, click on image to enlarge).
rakuten has a whole section devoted to them, and eco-market and eco-style sites are dedicated to the fast emerging eco awareness in japan.
and this site also has a roundup of many of the cool fashion brands and their eco bags.