Jan Chipchase with SDR Traveller: highly specialized bags for deeply committed journeys

A commitment to geniune, raw, viscerally human understanding—this is SDR Traveller

SDR Traveller makes a specialized set of light, strong, and discreet travel gear for people whose work takes them to diverse and challenging environments. It's a brand born from a world that appreciates a deep and visceral understanding of cultures far removed from our own, and the commitment to raw human interaction required to get there. 

Jan Chipchase, designer, on the development of SDR Traveller: 

SDR Traveller makes luggage and accessories for people who travel extensively, both on and off the grid, and who want to maintain a discreet presence. They are a reflection of my own experience of consulting for clients with a global remit - our studio [Studio D Radiodurans] specialises in working in extreme environments and engaging with difficult to reach demographics. 

On the artistry behind the brand:

Our products enable a very pure form of travel, allowing our customer to confidently belong anywhere without worrying about what they are carrying. We have no exterior branding, no padding, they are designed to deflect attention - it’s a raw experience. Our customers appreciate how they age and consider scars well-earned.

It took three years from first prototype to having a product we believed in, and we’ve been in business for just over a year. Our consultancy has given us the space to figure out what we want to be, find our voice in how we communicate, and feel comfortable that we can deliver consistently quality products and after sales service. We don’t do any pr, marketing and make no effort with social media, and if you read our site we’d rather you didn’t buy our products if you don’t know what you’re buying. It’s part of our philosophy of enjoying the journey (the process) and letting the destination take care of itself. Thus far its sustainable and growing. 

On the inspirations that shape the SDR Traveller world:

- Growing up in London, the Bang Bang Club epitomised a golden era of photojournalism, and shaped my desire to experience the world first hand. The question is not whether anywhere is off-limits, but rather what you are willing to give up to go there.

- Studio D specialises in working in resource constrained communities - slums, shanty towns, favelas and the like. What their residents are able to achieve, with so little is both humbling and a constant inspiration.

- Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures has a rawness that still resonates today. 

Each issue we feature creative entrepreneurs with a sense of artistry, those building compelling worlds around unique brands. 

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