Inspired by vintage Swedish outdoor backpacks, Sandqvist designs backpacks for nature and the city.
Sandqvist was founded by Anton Sandqvist in 2004. What started out as a design experiment grew. He was joined by his brother Daniel and their friend Sebastian and together they started building Sandqvist into how we know it now: a solid design company bringing a range of minimalist backpacks, suitable for the outdoors as well as city life.
It was exactly these two things that Anton was initially inspired by: on the one hand the endless, unpopulated, forested areas that Sweden is known for. And on the other hand, an urban city lifestyle, one that Swedes seem to handle very well.
The first designs from Sandqvist were inspired by vintage outdoor backpacks and military gear – the type of backpacks that are unbreakable, made for the most rugged landscapes and climates, and will last for years.
When it comes to bag design Sandqvist likes to keep it simple with designs that are timeless, durable and without unnecessary details. They make use of fabrics such as heavy organic cotton canvas and vegetable tanned leather.
Those characteristics, paired with minimalism and newer and technical materials, started to give shape to the signature of Sandqvist.
All of the above results in a range of backpacks and bags that are practical, functional and clean in design: famous principles of Scandinavian Design. The backpacks by Sandqvist are perfect for backpacking light, but minimalist enough to serve as a stylish laptop bag for work.
Sandqvist produces stylish and long lasting everyday bags. They want to do this in a way that is fair for everyone involved, and with care for the environment. This means taking responsibility for the impact of their products throughout their life cycle, on both people and planet.
All cotton Sandqvist uses is organic and comes from India. Organic cotton is farmed without chemical pesticide, artificial fertilizers and genetically modified crops. Through their supplier they are able to buy directly from small-scale producers and can offer the farmers better pay and good working conditions. The Hege and Alva backpack are partly made of organic cotton.
Sandqvist's leather bags are made from full grain, vegetable tanned leather. The vegetable tanning uses natural tannins from bark and leaves, makes the leather firmer and allows it to age in a beautiful way. The Hege and Alva backpack are partly made of leather.
Polycotton is a mix of 65% organic cotton and 35% recycled polyester. It results in a durable and lightweight fabric. All polyester fibres are made with post-consumer PET waste. The fabric is dyed using GOTS approved chemicals and dyed water is fully recycled. The fabric is coated with polyvinyl acetate to increase the stiffness and to increase weather and water resistance. The Dante backpacks are made of polycotton.
Fair Wear Foundation
In March 2016 Sandqvist joined the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF). This commits them to implementing the FWF Code of Labour Practices at their suppliers. This means the compliance of living wages, reasonable working hours, safe working conditions and banning of child labour and all forms of discrimination.
Sandqvist regularly visits their suppliers, to make sure that the working conditions comply with the code. FWF verifies these efforts and publicly reports on their homepage.
We find this worth mentioning, it shows that Sandqvist is honest about its ambitions and aims to be transparent. Something that we wish more brands will pursue.