Thursday, October 18, 2012
Cambridge Satchel Company: My dream (bag) come true
Back in August I expressed my coveting for a Cambridge Satchel Company satchel bag. The bags have been all over the blogging world, which usually wouldn't have swayed me that much, but this time one bag seemed to tick all the boxes. Good quality, proper materials, ethically made without child-labor or underpaid labor in some third-world country. Not to mention the good looks.
For those who aren't familiar with Cambridge Satchel Company, we are talking about a British company founded by Julie Deane, a mother of two who loved her old school satchel so much that having noticed the lack of such bags, she started manufacturing them herself in Britain. An inspirational story, especially because it was the fashion blogging world that helped the Cambridge Satchel Company break into the high fashion scene. (see this video for the whole story)
I was drooling over the bag for well over two weeks, until D finally got tired of listening to my sighs and told me to place an order. I ordered the 15" batchel bag in beautiful tan leather with my initial S embossed on it. The bag cost me (without shipping costs) 118£ (that's 145 in euros, and 189 USD) which I consider very reasonable as we're talking real leather and proper craftsmanship. It took the company 22 days to make and ship my bag, which is a lot faster than they promised on the website. Usually it takes them a month to make the bag, five weeks if you want it embossed, and another week to ship it so I was extremely happy to get my bag so soon.
So my batchel bag is real leather, and handmade in Britain, and I must say, the quality is truly impeccable. Every stitch is well aligned and after almost a month of carrying the bag along through better and worse (weather) the only signs of any wear are on the buckle straps, but it's only natural for leather to soften over time. Normal vaseline does wonders too, any minor scuffs are gone almost immediately. It's like magic.
As for the size, the 15" bag fits my 13" MacBook with a jacket just fine, and A4 folders and papers fit nicely too. The only thing is that the bag is quite stiff and narrow, thus you can't fit that much stuff in it. But if I leave my laptop home, I can fit a Nikon D80 in it with my wallet and other stuff without any major problems. Also, the bag is surprisingly light to carry, even with a laptop or a camera in. The shoulder strap doesn't dig into my shoulder and so far I haven't noticed any signs of wear, even if I have abused the bag a little every now and then by exceeding the 2,5 kilo limit stated on the website. On that note it's probably a good thing that the bag can't fit that much stuff, otherwise I'd kill it by dragging my whole room around in it.
All in all I am very happy with my new friend, and so is D, he even wanted to order one for himself but unfortunately 15" is the largest size available and Cambridge Satchel Company doesn't offer the possibility to customise the size. Not that we are whining, as we found this out by getting a speedy and kind email reply to our question. Good service and good quality, just what I was looking for!