Nothing makes our day like strangers stopping us on the street to exclaim, “I love your bag!” Since we started carrying this astonishingly lightweight wood briefcase from Monacca, this happens constantly, an ego perk that does more for us than all the yoga and skinny lattes in the world. What makes the attention especially gratifying is that this isn’t your stereotypical It Bag. Made of thinned and pressed laminated cedar from Japan, it’s an eco-friendly, stylish way to carry your daily necessities.
The wood for the bags is surplus from forestation projects that keep Japan’s Yanase cedar forests healthy (cedar is a popular building material there). Noticing that a lot of lumber went to waste, the enterprising residents of the village of Umaji decided to put it to use. After some initial tinkering, this wood briefcase, designed by Takumi Shimamura, was born.
Strong enough to sit on and water resistant—it actually floats, and while we don’t anticipate having to use it as a life preserver, we stand by the Scout motto “be prepared"—it’s also thoughtfully designed, with a canvas lining, soft leather handles, two interior pockets, and is roomy enough to hold a laptop and a book or magazine. Smart and good-looking—how could you not be carried away?