Every Day Tote | Organic Waxed Canvas | Reclaimed Leather | Made in Toronto
I (Steve) would love to credit for this tote, but truth is, my wife Mandy schooled me for hours on end. Then she took each draft version to work, shared it with her friends and delivered a ton of feedback.
The bag was developed on three guiding principles
1- It had to have a definitive sense of style - classic, casual and simply designed.
2- It had to be functional and durable.
3- It had to be made from the most sustainable materials I could find.
Metric: 39 cm tall by 43cm wide by 15cm deep, with 53cm straps.
Inches: 15.25″ tall by 17″ wide by 6″ deep, with 21" straps
Here's a bit more about the materials and process.
14oz ORGANIC WAXED COTTON (DUCK) CANVAS
First off, I wanted to use waxed canvas because it looks great (especially with age), it's practical in that it repels water and stain; and it lasts a long time. The challenge - however - is that I also wanted to use organic cotton canvas and I didn't want any petroleum in the wax (that means no paraffin). It was hard to find either, so I had to wax it myself using beeswax. In order to have a professional finish that was easy to sew, I did a lot of googling and even more experimenting (think mad scientist explosions). It took several months, but I figured it out and was really happy with the outcome.
VINTAGE LEATHER STRAPS
The next challenge was figuring out the leather strap because I wanted to avoid virgin leather. After a number of trials, I settled on old horse straps and reins from a Mennonite farmer I met outside of Toronto.
So there you have it. Cool, functional and sustainable is possible, but it takes some time to figure out. Hopefully as more manufacturers go this route, we'll all be feeling a little more connected to big Mama earth - and look good doing it! : )
VINTAGE LINEN LINER, ORGANIC MUSLIN POCKET & MAGNETIC CLASPS
If it wasn't for my wife Mandy's input, I wouldn't have had these extra - and essential - features. She sourced the vintage linens, said "it must have a pocket" and was equally adamant about the magnetic clasps. It's the vintage linen that, in my opinion, really sets this tote apart.
Quote from Huff Post on why organic cotton is a good idea:
"What makes organic materials, like cotton, so much better than the conventional ones? Organic cotton is grown in a way that uses methods and materials that lessen the impact on our environment. A big effort in the organic movement is to use growing systems that replenish and maintain soil fertility and build biologically diverse agriculture. Organic cotton uses far less water too."
Quote from Cosmopolitan on why we should avoid leather accessories:
"But it doesn't have to be this way. When it comes down to it, the cruelty faced by animals, the environmental degradation, and the awful working conditions of the poor who are forced to take up work in slaughterhouses and tanneries—the price we as a civilization are paying for a handbag or car seats is just too much. No matter how hard activists work, we will never be able to entirely stop the cruelty or the ecological damage."