ABOUT US – Heirloom Quality Leather Bags
Before we started producing our own bags, we struggled to find designs on the market that suited our needs. In addition, our founder, Al, purchased a bag online that resulted in an awful experience. The bag used a combination of genuine and synthetic leather that began peeling after only one year of use, leaving him disappointed. He decided to do better.
We started by creating bags for our own use, but once we’d created a product we loved, we couldn’t help but share them with others. We combine high quality materials with a unique design which gives every item its own place. Instead of throwing everything into a single compartment and making a huge mess, Walklo Leather bags are designed to be neatly organized, with everything inside staying where it belongs in its own pocket or pouch.
We couldn’t just stop with creating an excellent product, however. We wanted to help impact others around us too. Yogyakarta is one of three largest craft centers in Indonesia, known as artisan land. Lately, many of the local leather craftsmen and business owners there have changed professions or lost their jobs due to decreased demand for leather crafts, which was caused by a flood of imported plastic leather products. Despite their high quality craftsmanship passed down through the generations, many leather workers cannot keep up with market trends, global needs, and international trading between countries.
Here at Walklo, we want to help these skilled workers to find new opportunities for work, to get paid what they deserve for their skills, and to achieve their golden age again. Furthermore, 10% of our profits are donated to supporting orphans, so by buying our products, you help them to prosper as well.
DESIGN PHILOSOPHY of Our Handmade Leather Bags and Organizers
In the modern technological age, almost every person has at least one gadget, ranging from smartphones to tablets to laptops. These devices are often as inseparable from people as their own hands. Naturally, this means that people also need gadget carriers and cases: things like wallets, pouches, and bags.
Many creative workers such as content creators, vloggers, designers, artists, and digital nomads can do their job anywhere, even when they’re traveling. To make their jobs easier, they need something to carry their devices with easily. Just grab one of our bags and keep everything organized!
Common bags and pouches are rarely designed for gadget organizing. Everything is just put inside like a big mess. In contrast, our founder thinks with precision like an engineer, and he designs our products specifically based on gadget dimensions and other needs, with a beautiful vintage look.
We use exclusively cowhide leather, never plastic leather or synthetic leather.
Most of our products are designed to be raw and rugged. More than a bag, we offer an experience to customers. Owning high-quality leather goods is a journey where the older it grows, the more beautiful it is (Patina). This experience is essential for an authentic leather product.
Before our founder ever considered selling his products, he spent two years on product research for materials, construction, and sample testing.
Each product can take between two to three months to test properly, requiring daily use to find the best designs. As a small business, we have to take several months to produce every new product at its highest quality.
Even though we’re a small enterprise with little capital, we offer lifetime warranty on all our goods, because we understand that customers spend so much time and energy to find what they need. We stand behind our product and aim to solve any problem or complaint in a professional manner.
The cowhide we use is 90% local Indonesian cowhide leather (Javanese). Most of the Indonesian cattle are used to plow fields so they grow stronger than cattle that are always in cages. This same cowhide from Indonesia is exported around the world to be used in many high quality products.
One of our primary concerns as a business is our environmental impact. That’s why we choose to use 90% vegetable tanned and semi-vegetable-tanned leather. Through our natural tanning methods and minimizing the use of chrome, we contribute to protecting our planet and preventing environmental damage from harmful chemicals.
The tanning is processed and carried out by the finest tannery in Yogyakarta. It was challenging to find a tannery that met our requirements and standards. We needed our leather to have visual character, good texture, durability, and to be processed naturally. Consistency across every piece was key. Our tannery has a lot of experience in producing leathers for domestic use and exportation to places like Italy.
We don’t apply much treatment to the leather, rather we keep it natural. As good leather ages, rather than wearing out, it beautifies, developing a much sought-after patina and unique character that cannot be easily duplicated. Truly, the more you use it, the better it looks and feels.
Patina: The aura or luster that develops in a quality piece of leather with age.
Patches are not flaws, but the unique character of a natural finish. Because even if it comes from the same cow, the texture will not be the same from inch to inch. We do not use skin that is simply painted on the surface, because then there’s no difference between PU leather (synthetic leather) and Leather. To have leather goods is a journey where it will age beautifully, and even more beautiful the older it is.
All of our hardware, including buckles, snap hooks, rings, rind D/half rings and rectangles, is handcrafted using recycled solid brass by a local crafter in Kotagede (Silver City), which is a city district in Yogyakarta, except the supplier can’t fulfill required quantity due to low of production capacity, we have to import from foreign country. Kotagede is the largest center of local metal and silver handicrafts in Indonesia, and its practices have been handed down for hundreds of years.
We only use the Japanese brand Japan YKK for zippers, which are well-known as the strongest and most durable zippers on the market.
The production work for each bag is done in the city of Yogyakarta, which is known for having the best craftsmen in Indonesia. Their crafting skills have been passed down from generation to generation. We seek to always pay them higher than the average wages, out of respect for their outstanding skills.
About 65% of our products are made with a hand-stitch method which is very durable and long-lasting.
MEET THE FOUNDER
Intan Al Azhar (Al) background is in Civil Engineering and he has a Master’s Degree in Urban Development. He worked for a construction company for about 10 years, with his last place of employment being the best Indonesian construction company. His daily work was to design, review and change designs, and to work with precision while under pressure. He enjoys free-hand sketching, hiking, camping, and photography in his free time.
When Al fell in love with his first leather item, he learned about the concept of “patina” which made him understand that leather is not just about the functionality of the item itself, but also about the process of caring for the leather every day to bring out its unique character.
As he learned about the beauty of leather, he was inspired to solve his own problems with everything he had to carry daily. In this journey, he chose to stay away from generic designs where typical bag designers don’t think about what will be inside of the bag, which results in the contents being a mess. Al wants every bag’s interior to be well-organized for the ease of use of its owner. He continues to learn leather crafting so that he can understand the craftsmanship and art needed to make these high-quality goods. Both his background and passion for leather give him the skills he needs to run Walklo Leather with confidence.