My first Open Sky post: The EnviTote.

Editor’s note: I am no longer an Open Sky distributor. However, I still recommend the EnviTote bag because it’s a terrific product. (More on that below.) You can buy directly from the manufacturer’s website.

When I decided to sign up for Open Sky, a site that combines social media and e-commerce, I swore I wouldn’t write about any products I hadn’t tried myself.

My first at-bat and I’m already breaking that rule. Sort of.

The inaugural product is the EnviTote, a washable canvas bag suitable for groceries, gym gear, garage-sale finds, knitting supplies, recyclables, diapers or whatever.

No, I haven’t used it to carry any of those items myself. But I have something even better than a personal recommendation:

The expert opinion of a family member with 50 years of experience in the canvas industry.

A product that stands on its own

My stepmom, Priscilla Fisher, has been working with canvas since she was a teenager. She and her first husband, who is now deceased, eventually opened their own business, Gene Lockhart & Son Canvas Awnings in Philadelphia.

Priscilla has sewn everything from awnings to shades to firewood slings and she knows quality work when she sees it.

She saw it in the EnviTote.

“Look at the inside: It’s double-lined. You don’t see any rough edges,” she said. It’s made of a good-quality canvas and the sewing met her standards for old-school workmanship.

“This bag will last,” Priscilla told me.

The long sides and bottom of the EnviTote have stiff inserts that let the bag literally stand on its own. Yet it can be collapsed to fit into a briefcase or backpack, and the inserts can be easily removed for laundering.

This product is attractive, sturdy and useful. It would make a nice gift by itself or combined with other items to make things such as:

  • Baby present: Put in diapers, wipes, a receiving blanket or other small gifts
  • Car emergency kit: Flares, gloves, jumper cables, hand cleaner, foam tire sealant, flashlight, first-aid kit, fleece blanket (these can fold really small), pen and paper, fire extinguisher, disposable rain poncho
  • New homeowner bag: Fill the tote with items useful to someone who’s just starting out, such as an extra smoke detector, roll of duct tape, some WD-40, cleaning supplies and six months’ worth of mortgage payments (just kidding about that last)

As stated above, I no longer am an Open Sky seller and do not stand to make any commission from sales. But I can recommend the product sincerely. It’s a very well-made product.

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  1. Sarahbelle

    Thank you so much for helping me start my Christmas shopping early! This will be so perfect for my mother-in-law. Still trying to decide if I need one for myself. I enjoy your blog and hope to see more recommendations 🙂

    • Donna Freedman

      @Sarahbelle: If you get one for MIL, take a good look at it and see if it will work for you. It’s like a free preview! 😉
      There won’t be a ton of recommendations — as noted previously, this isn’t a shopping blog. But I expect to do an Open Sky post every so often, when I find stuff that’s really worth recommending.
      Thanks for your kind words, and for reading Surviving and Thriving.

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