Built to Last

Recently, I've found myself trying to leave the house with arms spilling over and a very heavy purse. I keep telling myself I'm not a bag lady, but saying it doesn't make it so. So, in an effort to avoid what's been looking like my inevitable fashion future (and probably some back problems too) I decided to get a pack to serve all of my diverse lifestyle needs.

Typical contents in a day include but are not limited to: 

  • Refillable 64 oz Kleen Kanteen (everyday)
  • Gear for hiking/climbing
  • Laptop and notebook for working around town
  • Snacks
  • A change of clothes.

I needed a bag that could do...pretty much everything.

So when Ryan-Ashley and I visited Indio Durham to do our first interview, I found my eyes wandering lustfully to a Topo Designs pack and bag display -- I had to get the scoop. Since catching a glimpse into the real truths of fast fashion, I'm now, more than ever, conscious when deciding what and if  to purchase. Luckily, the shop owner, Wendy, stocks her shop with ethically made items... 

From Topo's website:

"At Topo Designs we talk a lot about how things are made and why, about the value of creating v. consuming, and how to work with that tension...After research we were pleased to find that we could make things locally and even more, we could control quality at a closer level, we could drastically reduce minimums which gave us more flexibility and, if we were careful, we could bring things in at a price that didn't reduce it to a luxury item. We're global citizens and enjoy things made all around the world, but we're very proud to be making and producing things in the country we call home. We hope you enjoy them." 

My conclusion is that less is more and it's worth more to invest in something made locally, or in this case, made in USA. It's multifunctional, classic in style, and high in quality -- this is a lifetime kind of bag! 

While I've always taken quality and value into account when shopping, I've recently adopted new perspectives when making purchasing decisions, and the questions I've started asking myself are these:

  • What are the social, environmental, and economic implications of my purchase?
  • Who am I harming or lifting up when I buy a thing?

I've been rocking my Topo pack for about 3 months now and totally love it. It fits groceries when I shop, reliably secures my laptop, and I just took it for our first overnight in the backcountry. I'm still looking forward to a climbing trip and know it's going to hold up no matter the circumstances! (Although I love my bag, what would really send me over the moon is if it were vegan. Maybe in the future??)

Saving more and buying less,


Past fashion related posts:

Style Saint: Ethical Fashion

The Real Cost of Buying Pink

Laundry Done Right