A New Architecture for Carrying
What People are Saying
I’ve spent years lugging my messenger bag down endless corridors, dreading the walks, the strain on my shoulders. But with the Anchorpak, I feel liberated. I can reach into it, pull out a snack, a phone, a book, then flip the bag back, out of the way, and keep on trekking. What a relief. Stress no more.
– Bruce S. - Portland, Me.
Remember the days before suitcases with wheels? The Anchorpak is just as revolutionary. As a frequent traveler, I use mine all the time and can carry LOTS with me without feeling a heavy load. I also can get to what I want quickly and easily without fumbling with a heavy, unwieldy backpack. And I also like its stylish flair.
– Carol W.
The search for the perfect tote bag is almost as elusive as the search for the perfect travel backpack. I have several top contenders in my arsenal of travel totes, but without a doubt, my new Anchorpak is the most innovative.
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– Amy Whitley,
Practical Travel Gear
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FROM THE BLOG ↴
This winter, with the spirit of resourcefulness . . . Allagash Brewing Co. called Anchorpak to ask if we could somehow use their emptied out grain bags to make new Anchorpak bags. Normally Allagash recycles their leftover grain bags, but, they thought, why not use a bag that once delivered barley & hops to the brewery to provide a tool for carrying home Allagash 4-packs from their brewery shop? It sounded like a pretty good environmental ethic too. Beer does go swell with any season but Maine's winters especially so. We love all things made in Maine and appreciate the hard work and sky-high creative energy that goes into our businesses. Allagash Brewing Co. is a true case in point. Repurposing raw materials is a fun challenge in line with the creative efforts and low impact practices we need to sustain the ecosystems that provide us with important things such as the clean water to make beer from! We visited to check out and pick up some of the salvaged fabric for test sewing in our studio. It turned out they had wisely chosen to save the bags which are made from perfectly good, tough, clean, woven Polyethylene. Which sounds really bad, but is, in fact, quite environmentally stable and safe to the degree that it’s used widely in tooth-paste! Molecules and useful properties approved we forged ahead to design a Special Edition of Allagash / Anchorpak bags with each bag in a unique variation of colors, styles and graphics. Since the fabric from their sweet horde of salvaged grain bags was perfect for reinforcing fabrics we typically use, thick natural canvas and parachute (rip-stop) nylons their smartly saved material extends the life cycle of each bag. Using the thickest grain bag material on the bottoms reinforces each pack's base like the soul of a shoe. We used the bold printed graphics identifying each grain company to do a reinforced pocket with extra cargo room for any other items you pick up along the way next time you're visiting the Allagash brewery for a taste o'Maine. It's been nice to work cooperatively with our friends down the road a piece here in Portland. Thank you Allagash for kindling this collaboration in clever Maine frugalit These Special Edition Allagash Anchorpaks are now available at the Allagash brewery shop.
Serendipity brought our talented sewer named Hop to the United States... "One day when visiting Hanoi, Hop found a letter lying on the street that had a North Yarmouth, Maine return address. . . " Hop’s coming to America story is a story of romance and chance. After learning English at the University in Hanoi, Vietnam, she graduated to become a high school English teacher in her hometown, Gia Binh. Once in 2006 while visiting Hanoi, she found a letter lying in the street. It had a North Yarmouth, Maine return address. She took the letter to the address in Hanoi it was addressed to but that person had moved on. So she sent the letter back to the sender, our friend in Maine, with a little note. He wrote back. Back then Vietnam didn’t have internet and it took two weeks for a letter to be delivered. Thus began an eight year correspondence. Eventually this correspondence turned into a proposal for marriage and by the next year Hop had moved to the USA, remarkably, to the address in North Yarmouth to which the letter was addressed! Hop credit's her sister for showing her how to make a garment from scratch without a pattern. Since a young age she's developed her own craft while making creations of her own and working for others as a freelance artisan. We were also lucky to meet Hop. Anchorpak desperately needed a talented sewer since making our unique bag is not exactly a straightforward task. Hop says that she enjoys the puzzle and challenge of putting things together. We were amazed to find out she sewed her first bag without even glancing at our complicated pattern's instructions. These days Hop interprets our new designs into reality and continues to triple-stitch seams like a magician. Hop's studio looks out on the woods skirting the headwaters of the Royal River. She has 3 machines and uses different ones for different tasks. Her sewing room is serene and organized, "sewing calms and focuses me" she told me. As in Vietnam the craft of sewing is a valued tradition in Maine. As far as lost letters go, this one made it's way home in good stead.
Real people sew our bags ‑ get seams straight, decipher our geometrically complex patterns, stay up late finishing an order, pay attention to thread tension, seam allowances and fabric placement. Sewn into every bag is a little bit of the experience and story, the skill and talent of each one of our sewers. Their signatures are literally sewn into the bag. Without these skills and the commitment of our team of sewers to bringing you a beautifully hand sewn piece, Anchorpak bags wouldn’t be the exceptional, personal, handcrafted articles they are. We’d like you to meet our team of sewers so you can know the story of your bag: who made it, how they learned their skill, what it means to them to sew beautiful things. On this blog we will introduce you one by one to our sewers.