Why Doesn't PLG Offer Tan Handles?

We’ve heard it a million times – and really, we don’t blame you! From brand new Groupies to savvy Instagrammers who scroll all the way back to 2019, it doesn’t take long for PLG fans to learn that our Classic and Zipper Totes used to have an option for tan handles. Now before you go jumping to any conclusions, the truth is...we LOVE them just as much as you!

black leather

Photo @thisthriftedabode

So why did we discontinue them? Sadly, the answer is pretty boring: storage! By the beginning of 2020, we had already outgrown our beautiful 24,000 square-foot workshop in Southeast Portland. So we found ourselves at a crossroads: if we wanted to design and offer new products like our latest Leather Backpacks, we couldn’t possibly continue to stock the tan handle option. As our amazing inventory team knows all too well, we just don’t have the space!

It may seem unfair that these tan handle totes had to go, but we promise it was with good reason. Our crew of marketing gurus determined that far and away, dark handles were the favorite by a long shot. And because they’re so good at what they do, we can give you the actual numbers: bags with dark handles made up 80% of all our Classic and Zipper Totes purchased, outselling tan handles four to one! So as much as we wanted to keep both options around, the decision was pretty much made for us.

black leather tote

Can you spot the Black with Tan Handles? Photo @houseonasugarhill

Another major factor came down to something called a SKU – or in English, a “stock-keeping unit.” Every single product we make has a specific SKU. For some items, like our Deluxe Dopp Kit, it’s relatively simple. There's one size, three different colors and you can choose between Premium or Almost Perfect. One size x three  colors x two  grades = six  different SKUs for that product. Easy enough, right?

But with totes, things get tricky. Four different sizes, Zipper and Classic, Premium and Almost Perfect – that’s sixteen different SKUs for each individual color. Add in another variable like handle color? That’s sixteen more SKUs...per color! You can just picture our warehouse filling up with nothing but totes, leaving no room to design any of our highly anticipated new products (did someone say Bucket Bag??).

multi tan handle totes

Hang on though, don’t give up hope just yet – there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! While these tan handle totes may not be a permanent fixture on our site...(cue drum roll)...we do have a special limited edition sale coming soon!

Get them while you can! This Spring we’ll be announcing a limited pre-order sale of Black Totes with tan handles. Because they’re going to be made to order and will ship out as soon as they pass QC, we don’t have to get SKUs involved or worry about storage at all!  These bags will only be available in select sizes and styles, and they’ll be made to order, just for you. This means once your order is placed, you can expect a longer fulfillment window than our usual speedy turnaround, but trust us, it’ll be worth the wait. And if you’re wondering whether we’ll do pre-order sales like this again, well, we hope so! Since this is our first one, any future plans we might have will depend on how this sale goes. So if you’re interested, be sure to show your support by securing one of these totes while you can, because they won’t be available for long!

Black Leather Tote

You may be asking yourself, why now? Well, our favorite group of PLG fans just hit 4,000 members, and we wanted to help them celebrate! As our Customer Success team knows, they’ve been dying for a tan handle option on our Black Totes for months. But don’t worry – these coveted bags will be available to absolutely everyone.  That said, you may just want to go ahead and join the Portland Leather Groupies anyways...who knows what we’ll do to celebrate 10,000 members??

Pre-Order Your Tote Today (Pre-Order ends May 19): Shop Now