Introducing: Sandqvist April 12 2015
During our last visit to Stockholm back in December, we had the pleasure in meeting up with two very friendly chaps, Anton Sandqvist the founder of Sandqvist bags and Knotan, Sandqvist's in house photographer. We shared a couple of brews at their local and chatted about knife making, wild fishing, winter cabins, their recent trip to Norway and of course bags. Anton told us how he made his first ever bag in autumn 2004, simply because he needed one. He wanted a bag that was robust and casual, neat enough for work without being too formal and could comfortably fit a laptop. Almost 30 hours of work later, that first bag was finished. This is how Sandqvist started and it has been growing steadily ever since, with Anton now having been joined by his brother Daniel and their friend Sebastian to help run the company.
Sandqvist Owners - left to right: Daniel Sandqvist, Sebastian Westin, Anton Sandqvist
Today Sandqvist manufactures majority of their products in India, with a growing line of leather items made in Sweden. They use three family run factories across India, one of which was founded by SIDA, The Swedish Development Cooperation Agency. SIDA work on the behalf of the Swedish parliament and government with an aim to reduce poverty in the world by helping poor people improve their lives through various projects. One such project is the factory in Chennai, where all of the machinery came from a defunct Swedish factory, and now almost exclusively produces for Sandqvist. All three Indian factories used by Sandqvist pay their staff fair wages, health insurance and pensions.
"Our growth and influence has enabled the factories to invest in new location with modern working environments, giving the workers better pension funding, health care and increased salaries. When thinking back at the journey I started when I stitched my first bag in 2004, the fact that we provide good jobs for all these people is the one thing that makes me the most proud" -Anton Sandqvist
You can learn more about Sandqvist's production here.
Anton and Knotan were also telling us about their plans for New Years Eve, they were heading to the Sandqvist brother's cabin in Härjedalen, about 600km north west of Stockholm, a small log cabin with no running water, great fishing on the door step in the river Ljungan, miles of hiking trails and so remote, that to reach it in winter you have to ski 2km to get there. This to us, pretty much sums up what Sandqvist are about. This devotion to outdoor life and a childhood spent in rural Sweden has had a deep impact on the Sandqvist designs. Accordingly, their bags are uncomplicated and robust, with a clear Swedish heritage - true modern outdoor classics.
We carry select bags from the Sandqvist Canvas Original and Urban Outdoor ranges.
Shop the collection here.
For greater insight into the Sandqvist story, take a look at this beautiful short film: The Sandqvist Story - From Nordic Landscapes