KANCHA Backpack “Sonkyl”

Summer has come and we’d like to present our newbie: The first KANCHA backpack. We named it “Sonkyl” after the beautiful, deep blue lake amidst the Kyrgyz mountains. On top of that, it’s our first leather free product – that should make animal loving nomads happy, too.

What makes it special?

KANCHA Designer Jonas Görtz combines convenience with an unmistakably minimalist design language. Our new product – “Sonkyl” features simplicity, is lightweight and in a few steps you can convert it into a totebag. Further, we handwax the cotton with Kyrgyz beeswax to make it waterproof.

As with many of our products, the functionality of  “Sonkyl” is built around carrying your laptop in a secure and stylish way. Perfectly protected inside, there’s enough room to fit your picnic blanket and bathing suit – for a short trip to the lake after work.

Which materials?

The backpack itself is handmade from Kyrgyz organic cotton, woven in Germany. Currently no one in Kyrgyzstan weaves cotton into fabric and the other regional option was using cotton from Uzbekistan (a common source of cotton in this region), however,  we cannot guarantee the ethics behind manufacturing practices there (more often than not child labor is involved). So we decided that for now the fabric woven in Germany would be the better option (we’ve heard rumors that a Kyrgyz weaving company that produces the cotton we need is going to open soon with whom we could reach our own high standards, both in terms of ethics and quality, in Kyrgyzstan). For the small parts we search Kyrgyz Dordoy Market for treasures: such as hand pressed felt to protect the laptop and your back, cotton straps as well as the metal bits and pieces. We’re not completely satisfied with this solution yet, but we have a concrete plan to purchase all these materials in an ecological, ethical and fully transparent way by the end of the year.

The backpack “Sonkyl” is the first KANCHA product to be completely produced in our sewing workshop in Bishkek (usually only the embroidery of our sleeves takes place there). Our three superb embroidery artists Elniza, Kalila and Nazira sew the backpacks by hand. To get production started we also collaborate with another sewing workshop in Bishkek.

How did we come up with it?

We wanted to reach for the stars on the backpack sky with “The Grid”, our crowd funding campaign in early 2016. But soon we realised that our vision was a little too complex at the time. So with our new backpack son kul , we have refined our designs to produce a new product that is sleek, simple and stylish.

An autumn/ winter season version made from cotton & leather will follow soon – after that we are aiming at a larger and more robust model.

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