The bag that comes with adventure
TEXT: ELLA PUT | PHOTOS © MICMACBAGS
Whether it is the concrete jungle of city life, the rainforests in Panama or the outskirts of Canada, MicmacBags are faithful travel buddies that will join travellers on any adventure, wherever and whenever they go.
“We’d like to call it an affordable companion,” Arnout van Nieuwaal, marketing manager of MicmacBags explains. While the company has a long and rich history, in the last few years, the leather MicmacBags are truly taking the Benelux by storm. They aim to keep the quality high and the prices affordable, which start at 20 euros for wallets and clutches. MicmacBags offers bags in all shapes and sizes, including laptop bags and backpacks, both for men and women.
Honouring ancient cultures
Key in the collection is the love and passion for the nomadic lifestyle, therefore, several collections are inspired by the lifestyle of Native Indian tribes by recounting their story and adventures. For example, the New Navajo collection, with its painted shoulder straps and flexible leather materials, honours the tribes in the Midwest of America. “We put a lot of thought into every aspect of the design,” Van Nieuwaal explains. “We make the bags from the same materials the tribes used to use for their clothes and focus on the area they lived in. We want the bags to tell a story and honour a tribe, and the smallest of details can make that link to the tribe that is central in the collection.”
MicmacBags latest addition is the Goldengate collection, which was inspired by native tribes who used to live in the area now known as San Francisco. Furthermore, there is the Everglades collection, inspired by the national park in Miami. “An adventurous destination, because of the crocodiles that live there. The subtle crocodile leather that we used for the bags in this collection was also used by the tribes themselves to make clothes, tents and small bags. They travelled around the area, which links to the adventurous aspect of our brand. We honour their adventurous spirit by creating bags that you can take everywhere you go.”
The adventurous tale of the Micmac
The adventure of MicmacBags itself began in 1949, when the artistic founding father of the brand went on a pioneering journey to several far-flung and – at the time – largely unknown countries. “Nowadays, people travel around the globe all the time. But like with most of what he did, the founding father of MicmacBags was one of the first,” van Nieuwaal tells.
After a long and eventful time travelling, he ended his journey in India, where he discovered the perfect factory for the leather bag he had been carrying around with him the entire time.
“There, in India, lies the root of our bag production. During his time travelling, he had been inspired by the adventurous spirit of Mi’kmaq Indians in Canada. They were, just like him, always on the road. They went from one adventure to the other. The leather bag, which he called MicmacBags, became a symbol of his admiration for them.”
A sustainable journey
Nowadays, the world has become a global village where the possibilities are greater than ever before. “Entering the concrete jungle of city life can even feel like a challenge today, therefore, all bags are made to inspire people to turn life into an adventure and enjoy it. They form a part of it and, with their many functions, the bags can make life easier.” Each bag has a separate mobile-phone pocket, and there are several useful pockets where each user can decide the purpose of it for themselves.
In recent years, the bags have become a growing success after many travellers took the bags with them on their adventures and shared their experiences. Van Nieuwaal: “Because of that success, we have several blogs on our website where our travellers can write about their journeys and the stories along the way.”
Praised for the fact that the price is reasonable and the leather is strong, the products are affordable but last a lifetime. And with that idea, MicmacBags also holds a strong vision for the future. “Sustainability is a key aspect in every product we make. We want to create bags that you never have to throw away. In fact, because we use real leather, it gets more and more beautiful as time passes,” van Nieuwaal explains.
Designed in Holland, but produced in India, the bags go on quite an adventure themselves before travellers can take them on their own journey. Van Nieuwaal: “We are aware of the risk that comes with developing the bags and wallets in another country. However, since the beginning of MicmacBags, we have worked closely with an Indian factory which is highly praised, and certified (LWG and SA8000), for their good labour conditions. We regularly visit the factory ourselves to make sure everyone who is involved in the production process is content. After the production process is finished, the bags are ready to go on their biggest adventure yet.”