Leather bags that make a difference
Sandlund/Hossain offers leather bags with high quality and elegant design that are made in a sustainable and fair way. They are often described as pioneers and are celebrated by the industry and customers alike.
Sandlund/Hossain’s story begins in Böle, a small village outside Piteå. Right next to the Piteå River, CEO Anders Sandlund’s great-grandfather started a bark tanning business in 1899. At Böle Garveri, now run by the fourth generation, leather has always been tanned according to tradition without machines or chemicals. The tanning process takes up to a year and then leather products such as bags and briefcases are sewn in the studio situated in the same building. The company is a royal court supplier and offers exclusive leather products that have been worn by, among others, several of Sweden’s prime ministers through the ages.
“The starting point for Sandlund/Hossain was to take the unique experience and values of Böle Garveri and make the business model scalable and accessible to more people, but still offer bags with a timeless design and high quality” says Anders Sandlund, CEO of Sandlund/Hossain.
Sandlund/Hossain is a collaboration between Anders Sandlund and Tulin Hossain from Bangladesh. They got to know each other through their parents, who had been friends and worked together since the 1970s. The bags are manufactured at the company’s own factory in Bangladesh, which means that production is fully transparent. Every year, Sandlund/Hossain donates calves to poor families in their home village of Bagatipara in Bangladesh. In addition to the calves, families also receive support and education and thus an income that can mean a route out of poverty.
“For us, our sustainability work is a matter of course. We have always worked sustainably. Because we manage everything from production to sales ourselves and have no intermediaries, we create margins that allow us to give back to the local community where we operate. We believe that it is companies that should take responsibility and not primarily the customer.”
Sandlund/Hossain’s sustainability work puts them at the forefront of the industry. This is an area of special focus that they share with Norrlandsfonden.
“Our driving force from the start has been to show that it is possible to combine profitability with responsibility. The funding from Norrlandsfonden has meant an incredible amount to us. We have had the opportunity to build a warehouse in order to grow and that has been absolutely crucial for us.”
The company is in a phase where it is scaling up and focusing more intensively on sales, not least online.
“The future feels positive, we have learned a lot that we will take with us on the exciting journey ahead. I’m glad we’ve had a positive reception on the market and that customers appreciate what we do.”