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Two hours north of Boston and just north of Portland lies the very charming town of Freeport, Maine—population 8,000—most famous as the birthplace of L.L.Bean and for the New England-friendly outlet shopping (think Brooks Brothers, Nautica, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo, Bass, and Cole Haan) that's popped up around it. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Freeport is situated on Casco Bay, rife with all sorts of outdoorsy activity, and home to a tourist curiosity called the Desert of Maine.
Tucked into a tiny courtyard across the street from L.L.Bean's monster flagship and in between several big-name brand outlets is the Freeport outpost of Sea Bags. Based just south in Portland where Sea Bags has another shop, the brand produces a series of Maine-made totes fashioned from retired boat sails. Often white or off-white thanks to the recycled dacron, canvas, and Kevlar they're made from, the bags feature nautically-themed embellishments like rope-prints and lobster claws as well as hand-spliced rope handles.
The white-washed Freeport spot is deceptively tiny and—appropriately enough—looks a lot like a clapboard-sided fisherman's cottage from the outside. Inside find a full line of totes in various sizes plus wallets, dopp kits, wine bags, throw pillows, curtains, and any number of sail-fashioned goodies that all scream Vacationland and let you take the sailboat with you even if it's the dead of winter and your a thousand miles from a marina. And for less than you'd probably spend for a tote at J.Crew—just sayin'.
· Sea Bags [Official Site]
· All Maine Coverage [Racked]