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Frequently asked questions

1. How accurate are your colours?

Product colours vary due to the variability of natural dyes. Fabric colours within a single product may also vary due to the variability of natural dyes. We've made our best effort to accurately represent the colour in the product photos but cannot guarantee accuracy due to variations in display screens. If you have any concerns about colour before placing your order, please get in touch here info@chemistryandcraft.com

By the way, our colours don't last forever. Like all good things, they are slowly created and then slowly destroyed. Product colours will gently fade over its lifespan, and we promise that the fade will be beautiful. 

Nothing lasts forever, and, in the words of Stephen Jenkinson, "in a time like ours, grieving is a subversive act."

 

2. How do I care for my bag?

Keep the bag clean by wiping the exterior with a lukewarm wet cloth. The inside lining can be spot-cleaned with mild detergent and cold water. The inside lining is white or light-coloured to increase light and visibility inside the bag. If you've ever had to find your keys at the bottom of a black-lined bag, you'll know why we designed the bags this way. However, the light lining may mean more stains.

Like all things in the great circle, our wax coating doesn't last forever. Re-wax the canvas every few years to maintain water resistance. We will soon carry wax kits with which to do that, or if you need one sooner, get in touch and we will send you one for a small fee info@chemistryandcraft.com. Re-waxing your canvas bag is easy and pain-free, and takes about 20-30 minutes.

 

3. Do you make vegan bags?

We don't currently make vegan bags. Our bags use North American vegetable-tanned cow leather (some of it salvaged), which is a by-product of the beef industry. Our bags also use beeswax, kindly and sustainably harvested by bee keepers on Manitoulin Island. Without these two ingredients, we would typically have to use plastics in their place. Plastics used in textiles (polyester, acrylic, nylon, etc.) may make fabrics strong, durable and lightweight, however they are the largest source of micro-plastics in the oceans. As the plastic fibres degrade over time, they break off during wear or in the wash, and the tiny particles end up in our waterways.

Here's a science-y article abstract.

Here's a slightly less-recent news article.

All that being said, we are researching ways to effectively use heavy cotton or hemp webbing instead of leather straps - and finding an ethical source and wholesaler for this.

We're also curious as to whether beeswax is a vegan or non-vegan product, and whether we should use it in possible future vegan bags. Please weigh in!

 

4. How long do your bags last?

Nothing is permanent and our bags are no exception. Our bags are meant to do their work, and to do it well, for a while, and to please you by being simple, functional and beautiful, and then to wear and show their age, until they can do their work no more, and they will then return from whence they came, hemp and cotton fibres chewed by time until they are, once again, part of the ancestral nourishment that feeds new life.

When things are made to last forever, they clog the cycle, and impede our capacity to grieve well.

We estimate is that our bags can take a minimum of 10 years of regular use and regular care. We can say this because they are made of 55% hemp canvas, which is one of the most durable natural fibres. We can say this because we assemble them with double-stitches using extra-strong thread. We can say this because the two pieces of brass hardware we use for straps are as solid as the ground beneath our feet. We can say this because the 7 oz vegetable-tanned leather we use is the highest quality on the market. And we can say this because we've left zippers and plastic buckles out of the equation.

Please though, if a part breaks before the rest of the bag does, please let us know and we will absolutely repair or replace it.

 

5. Can I come by your shop?

We love visitors! Our workshop isn't open to walk-in traffic, so please get in touch and make an appointment for a tour of our facilities or to view our stock in person. We're located on the docks of Little Current, Ontario, and yes, if you happen to have a boat, you can sail here from anywhere in the world.

 

If your question isn't answered above, please ask us directly.

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