Made by Kenya

Inspired by the beauty of our country and the strength and ingenuity of our people, Sandstorm have been making bags in Nairobi for 20 years. You see, Kenya isn’t just where we are, Kenya makes us who we are.

Haste Makes Waste

Haraka haraka haina baraka, a Swahili proverb meaning “hurry, hurry has no blessing” or more directly “haste makes waste”, has guided us from our beginnings as a safari tent maker who decided to turn some left-over canvas into a few bags. We knew we were onto something when we needed to buy more material to meet demand, but as we grew we were confronted with a difficult decision: did we want to make tents or bags?

Made For Safari

So we made the switch to bags some time ago, but we’ve never lost touch with our roots: if you’re on a guided safari in Kenya there’s a good chance your vehicle will be fitted with our seat covers, and to this day safari professionals continue to choose our bags over any other.

Buy Kenyan, Build Kenya

Our bags can only be as good as the materials we use, but where they come from is just as important as their quality. By using Kenyan materials whenever we can, not only do we support our economy, we also reduce our impact on the environment. It’s also why we promote the people who make them. Looking for textiles? Visit Thika Cloth Mills. On the hunt for leather? Talk to Alpharama, a tannery with one of the highest environmental accreditations in sub-Saharan Africa. If you’d like their details or to know more about any of our materials, just get in touch.

Who Makes Your Bag?

From inventory to cutting to preparation to sewing to quality control, there are now 40 of us in the factory, but the way we work has changed very little. One sewer still brings one bag together from start to finish and this brings a unique character to everything we make that is absent from mass-production. And when we create something new, it’s named after one of the team as a way of reminding us that it’s people, not machines, who make Sandstorm.

Time For The Pub

After a few years, when we outgrew our original factory, the simplest and lowest cost solution was to move to Nairobi’s Industrial Area. But this would have meant longer, more expensive commutes; some of us may even have had to relocate. So we looked carefully and found somewhere closer to home: The Double Inn, an old Irish pub in Karen which was the perfect size. We kept the pub sign because we liked it, but step inside and you’ll find us making bags. Karibuni.

Working With Others

Kenya has amazing creative and entrepreneurial energy, and because we enjoy working with people we like and admire, collaborating has grown naturally to become an important part of who we are. Take a look here and you’ll see some examples.
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