The Cambridge Satchel Company is undoubtedly a household name, whether you saw that Google advert, Vogue’s shout out for the first neon satchel or on the arm of Alexa Chung and Taylor Swift, you’ve certainly crossed paths with the world’s most iconic satchel brand.
As The Cambridge Satchel Company steps in to its 10th year at the forefront of the satchel game it’s without doubt that quality British craftsmenship is what keeps the brand strides ahead of competitors within its field. From its humble beginnings around a kitchen table entrepreneur Julie Deane has refused, rightly so, to say no to reinforcing the power of iconic British style all the way from designing to creating each and every product.
Here at MyBag we always fly the flag for our British made brothers and sisters and with another exciting season with The Cambridge Satchel Company on the way for AW18, we thought what better time to pop down and visit the brand’s Leciester based factory where each product is still hand made today. With the power of the bloggersphere close to the heart of The Cambridge Satchel Co., we met Paige down at the factory to make our very own exclusive satchel and see how making each product really works.
The Cambridge Satchel Company was born with a perfect blend of education and ethical ethos at its heart. Each bag is made from hand tanned vegetable leather sourced 100% ethically in Europe, with each unique style inspired at its source by the traditional satchel. The window on the front of the bag, which now showcases the brand’s embossed bicycle logo, alongside the buckles, straps and sterdy lifelong leather are the key traditional features underpinning what soon became the new world satchel.
After setting about building a prototype from a cereal box and brown paper bags and chasing down every school in the country who still sourced traditional satchels, Julie proves time again that determination goes a long way. After famously hounding the school for some time she eventually found her supplier down in Leicester, where the brands own iconic factory still stands today.
After its pheonemal come up and only a few years in production the brand took a leap and opened its own factory. As the brand approaches its 10th birthday this year, the factory has built a team of 50 dedicated craftsmen and women who ensure every single bag is made to perfection.
This week we joined the team for a tour around the factory and chose our very own bag to build. Beginning in the leather archives, Factory Manager Mark walked us through each leather, with pieces collected from collection collaborations with brands from Urban Outfitters to Comme des Garcons.
New this year, the factory has also opened its very own shop where leftover leathers are made in to one off designs, including coasters, bookmarks, old season styles, end of line styles and limited edition extras to ensure the brand creates as little waste as possible (in the cutest possible way!).
After choosing two of the Cambridge Satchel‘s classic styles to work with, the team lined up the leather press to begin the process of making our very own bag.
I had to choose the Poppy because it reminds me of the war woman… a classic British woman is something I think this brand really represents.
Based on the traditional 1940’s satchel with a curved silhouette, sturdy top handle and a detachable cross body strap, the Poppy is an investment piece to behold. With each piece lined up by eye and cut to size and holes for stitching hand poked, it becomes obvious how much love and attention goes in to every stage of your Cambridge Satchel. As each piece of hardware is inspected, every aspect from the sturdiness of your buckles to the exact three and a half minute wait for the glue to get tacky is executed with utter precision and care.
Check out the video below to get fully immersed in process, its certainly something to behold…