The Hand & Eye x Mer Bags Tote

The concept for the Hand & Eye shop was born back when I profiled Rob Nelson of Mer Bags. We hit it off pretty well and we started on working on plans for a collaboration after hanging out for just a few minutes. 

Nelson really embodies what inspires me about the the new maker movement or micro-manufacturing or whatever you want to call it. He’s makes all the Mer Bags by hand in his Brooklyn shop and is totally committed to using American-made materials. He’s self sufficient and is building his own business, and that’s what inspires me.

The original sketch for the tote. 

The original sketch for the tote. 

Nelson is probably most known for his bomb-proof messenger bags (search #carryshitolympics on Instagram!) but we settled on a tote. We decided to go with green waxed canvas because it’s timeless and always gets better with age.

After field testing the bag for a few months, we finalized design details, and came up with the Hand & Eye x Mer Bags Tote. Thanks to the design elements like the truck tarp vinyl bottom and liner, mid-weight waxed canvas exterior and nylon webbing straps, it’s bombproof and, at just over 1 lb, surprisingly light. And of course, it’s made in Brooklyn. 

The Hand & Eye x Mer Bags Tote is available in our shop.

For more info, follow Mer Bags on Instagram and visit