While footwear has always been the sole of our company, many people shop with us specifically for our bag and accessories range. We take pride in the variety, style and longevity of these products, with many customers bringing bags back to us that they have had and used for over 20 years.
Justin and Amanda’s early focus was on rucksacks and satchels, and while we have since developed a wide range of handbags, travel bags, purses, and wallets, most of our designs have grown from this early focus. The picture below is of a satchel that we still have today, that Justin made while in Thabo Bosiu in Lesotho in 1985. From this initial design concept, we have developed a large range of laptop bags, satchels, briefcases, campus bags and music bags.
Because shoes require you to stock a size curve for each style, while one only needs to stock a couple of bags in each range, bags were one of the early focuses of our business when we still operated in markets and before we set up in the midlands. It was at the Essenwood Road market in the early 1990’s that Justin and Amanda met James Jordan, who was also trying his hand at producing leather goods. The three stayed in touch and, as Groundcover began to grow and focus on footwear manufacturing, Justin reconnected with James about forming a partnership. James agreed to move the Groundcover farm in the midlands, where Justin and Amanda set up a small factory for James to begin manufacturing bags on our behalf, using our designs. To this day, James’ small operation still exists on our farm, his factory is situated 200m away from our shoe site, and still produces only our designs.