Here’s Why Sandqvist Is Now as Fancy as a French Atelier Brand
Making things—and in this case bags—last by repairs and resales is one great way of achieving a more circular fashion consumption. Swedish bag maker Sandqvist did trigger our thoughts on this!
We’ve heard (alternative fact alert) that if you buy a, say Hermès Birkin Bag (yes, some people do!), and it breaks, you will get it repaired by the same person who once put 48 hours or so into making it for you. An artisanal prerogative, maybe, however the fact is that this person simply knows your particular bag better then anyone—yourself included. Well, it isn’t exactly the kind of bag you just leave in a dark corner of the closet or throw away if something were to happen to it, so for atelier made luxury bags we’d say this luxe treatment is fairly reasonable.
But, what if brand-managed reparations where a standard thing for any bag? Ok, it would probably not make sense trying to stitch together something that was cheap and poorly made to start with—the kind of thing that obviously wasn’t made to last—but for the other stuff, the quality products… What if getting an in-house reparation was a given, and brands started taking responsibility for the restoration and mending of their own products. As previously stated: who knows a bag better than it’s maker?
What actually made us think of all this is a piece of news we heard about a local bag brand, Sandqvist. And here’s what’s breaking: They’ve just opened up a “repair shop” for bag repairs, second hand sales and redesigns, located in their Södermalm store on Swedenborgsgatan 3 in Stockholm. Just like a dream come true.
Since the start in 2004, Sandqvist’s ambition has always been to make durable, long-lasting, high quality bags that can easily be repaired if needed. In their aim to do so, they’ve been putting a lot of care and attention into choosing the right materials and techniques—enabling long and happy bag-lives.
So, as another step towards circularity, they’re now welcoming customers to bring their bags in to be repaired (for “a reasonable cost”) by in-house tailor Amir. Or, they can hand them in for second hand sales in exchange for a 20-percent-off-voucher to be used at next purchase. Hand-in bags may be remodeled before being resold, and bags beyond repair will be used as spare “body parts” for any of these purposes. Pretty great, right?
And, this is not just a one-shop-thing. Sandqvist will be expanding this to all their stores, and will also be offering costumers the possibility to order spare parts through their online store.
Elongating a products life by repairing, remodeling or trading it will always be the most environmentally friendly approach; it’s all about making use of what’s already there. So yes, what we’re saying is that Sandqvist is now basically Hermès, but just a tad more… accessible. More brands should follow their example.
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