Made in Nairobi

Sandstorm makes bags from canvas and leather in Nairobi, Kenya.

But we haven’t always made bags. Our journey began over 20 years ago, making luxury safari tents for camps across East Africa, along with safari chairs and custom seat covers and canopies for safari vehicles.

In fact we produced our first bags as a way to put offcut tent material to good use; we knew they were popular when we ran out of offcut and had to buy extra material to make more, and as word spread about the quality of what we were doing it got to the point where bags replaced tents as the heart of our business. 

We still source our materials in Kenya whenever we can. Brass hardware is up-cycled and hand-cast by independent artisans in Nairobi using reclaimed brass sink faucets, bicycles, and other parts. Lining fabric and lightweight canvas are woven in Thika. Leather comes from a tannery in Athi River with the highest environmental accreditation.

A few years back we moved our factory to the Double Inn in Karen, on the edge of Nairobi. As the name suggests it used to be an Irish pub, and although we had to replace the bar with sewing machines, if you look carefully you might still spot a shamrock on a wall, or even an Irish landscape immortalised in stained glass. If you’re in the neighbourhood, you’re welcome to visit us.

We opened our first standalone retail store at Village Market in Nairobi in 2007. More followed and today we have six locations across the city, in addition to our factory shop in Karen. You can find them here.

And if you’d like to learn more about us, please get in touch.