Today is Earth Day, so I thought I’d share about my favorite reusable bag. Because I live in California (and specifically, the San Francisco Bay Area), I was indoctrinated into carrying a reusable bag early on. Now, I always have two on me: one for groceries, and one for non-food items. The number of plastic bags I accumulated before I started carrying a reusable bag bothered me. Even though I re-used those flimsy plastic bags that came from grocery stores as liners in trashcans, I always had so many of them.
It’s nice to see that it’s becoming standard practice now in many places to carry your own bag. IKEA stopped supplying plastic bags in all their stores in 2000. You have to bring your own or buy one of their now-ubiquitous (and super handy) FRAKTA bags. Still, change is slow to come in many places. I remember going home to Texas one summer and buying something in a clothing store, which led to an argument with my mom. BYOB was not a thing in Texas yet then. I had brought my own bag but my mom insisted I get a plastic bag from the store because otherwise the store would think I was shoplifting. “But I’ll have a receipt that shows I bought this,” I said. Eventually I gave in out of a sense of embarrassment because we were holding up the line with our argument. I’m still trying to convert her from her plastic bag-hoarding ways.
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I have a bit of an preoccupation with finding the right bag. Not only does it need to be good looking and practical, but as someone who spends a fair amount of time on public transit and on foot, it also needs to be lightweight. Have you heard of Every Day Carry? It’s all about thinking about what you carry on you trying to make it as efficient as possible. (It seems to be mostly men.) My problem is that I’m a bit like my mother — I carry a bunch of items on me just in case (band-aids, small tape measure, nail clipper, tissues). But I also try to lighten my load as much as possible. The last one is usually a deal breaker when it comes to bags. A bag can be beautiful but if it’s heavy, it’s a no go. I’ve been looking for a nice lightweight leather bag and haven’t found the perfect one yet. But in terms of a fabric option, behold: the Everlane Twill Zip Tote.
It has one inside open pocket, leather straps (which lend it an elegant look), and a zipper across the top. I got one in reverse denim. A few months into carrying the bag, the stitching around the zipper started to come undone! I wasn’t even carrying anything really heavy like a laptop in it. I let Everlane know and they sent me a new one. They took back the old one back to study it. I’ve had the replacement bag for about a year now, and here’s what it looks like now.
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