Sandlund Hossain - Härnösand, Sweden & Dhaka, Bangladesh
A Sandlund/Hossain bag is a blend of heritage and innovation. Committed to supporting the communities where their employees live & work, celebrating craftsmanship and providing safe & fair working conditions, Sandlund/Hossain puts ethics, sustainability and compassion at the forefront of business.
To be a great brand you need to be a great company. To Sandlund/Hossain people are their greatest asset, so naturally it´s not only about what they make, but equally important how they make it.
They are committed to supporting the communities where their employees live and work, making sure their conditions are safe and fair. Ethical sustainability and compassion for their fellow humans is actually where the brand was first founded.
It all started back in 1977 when Anders Sandlunds parents, Jan and Inger Sandlund, made a life changing decision. They left the spruce bark tannery and the small village of Böle and joined The Swedish Swallows to work as volunteers in Bangladesh. In their new home, the rural village Bagatipara, they made new friends, among them Atiq and Dolly Hossain. Atiq, a former teacher in Bagatipara, and his wife shared the same ambition as Jan and Inger, to strive for progress and social development, especially amongst the poor and young.
When Jan and Inger moved back to Böle in 1979, the Hossains and Sandlunds stayed in touch. 20 years later the families met again and decided that the best way to bring about change was to create work opportunities. Eventually they started a joint venture manufacturing leather goods in Bangladesh.
Tulin Hossain, Atiq and Dolly’s son, came to visit Böle in April 2006. During his two-month stay he practised at the spruce bark tannery and saddlery workshop to learn the basics of tannery and bag making. It marked the dawning of Anders & Tulin's partnership and the birth of Sandlund/Hossain.
Today the Sandlund/Hossain studio in Dhaka occupies 25 employees. They are a young brand with a clear intent; apart from making the most beautiful, durable and sustainable bags in the world, their mission is to create an enduring brand that takes full responsibility for their people, their partners, their customers and their environment.
Their products touch the lives of hundreds of workers and their families, Sandlund/Hossain are committed to drive positive social and environmental change through their brand.
They are determined to defend clean water, clean air and clean soil. The production of leather accessories accounts for a considerable amount of the total greenhouse gas emissions, as it involves cattle breeding, water waste and use of toxic chemicals like chromium and mercury. In order to change that it needs to be controlled all along its value chain, from methane emissions and conversion of natural ecosystems, to chemicals, water and energy used in the processing. Sandlund/Hossain's goal is to control the supply chain, from raw material to finished product, so they can create the most sustainable process in the world for producing leather goods.
Spruce bark tannin is probably the rarest of many vegetable tannins. Their 1.8 mm thick leather is tanned with quebracho and mimosa bark extracts. It is dyed with EU approved azo free colouring agents and applied to the leather in a drum, not pigmented on the grain.
The leather in their bags and leather goods is full-grain leather meaning that the hides are not sanded nor buffed in order to remove imperfections on the surface (as opposed to top-grain or corrected leather). By keeping the grain natural the fibre strength and durability is preserved. Full-Grain leather is sourced from the outermost section of the hide and is the most sought-after leather for its durability and character.
Only Full-Grain leather is suitable for aniline dying, a process that relies exclusively on soluble vegetable dyes (vegetable tanned) without covering the surface with a topcoat. The result is a rich, luxurious finish that retains the hide’s natural surface grain and achieves a lustrous, individual patina that is enhanced with the passing of time. The only coating these bags get is in the final step, when they are applied with natural leather balm for protection.
Vegetable tanning, also known as bark tanning, is an ancient method of creating durable, water repellent leather. It´s a very slow and mild tanning that gives the leather a unique colour that will get darker and darker with time. It has a perfect surface in a way that only
nature can make it, and it needs no dying. Vegetable tannins used to be the standard before chrome and other minerals became the most common tanning agents. The earliest known example of vegetable tanning comes from Gebelein Egypt, a tannery thought to be over 5000 years old.
Modern tannery chemicals and wastewater have a toxic effect on the environment and our ecosystems. The tanning process involves chemical such as chromium III, lead, and arsenic, it also uses large quantities of water. Fortunately, vegetable tanning is back in fashion.
The lining in a Sandlund/Hossain bag is custom made by a women cooperative in Thanapara village, close to the home village Bagatipara. It is made from ecological cotton that is produced organically without any pesticides and chemical fertilizers. The yarn is
weaved by hand and dyed with vegetable dye, an extract from acacia trees.
Using high end luxury quality YKK metal zippers with polished symmetrical teeth. They are manufactured with upmost care. They not only look amazing but are amazingly smooth to handle as well.