Hipsters Put a Sack on It

Looking for a new bag? Then sack up! Bindles aren't just for hobos anymore; they're the ultimate earth-friendly way to carry your things. With a little creativity, you can make a unique hobo sack and take one step closer to the simple life. “We're not playing into consumerism with the bindle,” says hobo-sack maker Madeline Williams. “It's forced me to evaluate what items I truly need.”

Hobo sacks allow us to forage for local branches that would otherwise be cleared away and repurpose old textiles that are too ratty for Goodwill. You can literally cut anything into a large square and tie it to the end of your branch—dresses, tablecloths, blankets or even curtains will work. Venturing into more humid climates? Consider coating your stick with a water-resistant sealant and enlisting an old shower curtain.

If you're not the DIY type, there are a handful of Etsy stores offering ready-made hobo sacks. The pricier models run anywhere from $200 to $300, but that means the branch was carefully cleaned, sealed and probably sourced from Pacific Northwest forests. Expensive options are usually paired with a one-of-a-kind designer sack. Makers from hipster clothier On the Road Again set up shop at the Renegade Craft Fair during SXSW and sold an almost otherworldly branch from the Sequoias that was complimented brilliantly by a vintage Hermés scarf in forest green.

They're also perfect for the upcoming festival season. What better way to flatter summer dresses and fringe at Coachella than a bindle to carry all your belongings? Not only can you swap out the sack to match every outfit, but tying a sarong on the end makes for a lightweight towel or blanket. Plus, the branch will make you easy to spot in crowds.

Yet we should mention one aspect that requires more cautionary behavior. “Although the hobo sack doubles nicely as a weapon against aggressive drunks, the smarter, petty criminals have realized that youngsters are now carrying their valuables a foot behind their head and we've had a lot of iPhones go missing,” explains officer Zach Lee from the San Francisco Police Department. In response, bindle makers are working out these kinks by incorporating special knots and phone pockets into their designs. With limitless options, bindles may carry us far into the green future.

Follow me on Instagram: @lp_hastings.

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