The history of Vadobag
With more than 135 years of experience, Vadobag is a well-known family business with a rich history. Started as a local tannery and our first bags were produced in 1887. Now we supply bags and backpacks to an extensive network of Retail partners in the Benelux and beyond.
Located at Docklands 5 in Tilburg, the Netherlands. With an in-house design studio, dedicated sampling and production facilities in China and our own warehouse in the Netherlands, we have everything under our own control. We know how to turn bags, backpacks and accessories into absolute must-haves for children, young adults and parents. We use this expertise for our own brands, but also for licences and private labels. Besides our own brands such as Kidzroom, Milky Kiss, Skooter and Prêt, we develop complete collections together with licensors and major retailers.
Progress through innovation and opportunity
On 15 June 1887, farmer Cees van Dongen started a tannery in the centre of Rijen, on a site where the business had been until a few years ago. At that time, tanning was mainly a winter activity of farmers, but many tanneries were started especially in the area around Rijen. The presence of forest and water ensured the growth of this industry in that region: water and ground oak bark were important components of the tanning process. At the time, the company mainly produced parts for shoes; demand -but also competition- from the immediate vicinity of Rijen was high.
From tanner to bag maker
In 1953, management decided to focus almost entirely on bags. At that time, more and more 'synthetic materials' based on oil products were coming onto the market, such as skai and, as the management always stood for innovation, they decided to delve into this. In the 1960s, the market grew considerably; the company with the then name 'Van Dongen Van Alphen from Rijen' even made musical instrument cases for a while. Besides shopping bags, the demand for weekend bags for conscripts, the famous pouches, was also growing strongly at that time. There was a lot of production in Brabant, Amsterdam and the Achterhoek region, and the company made several acquisitions there.
New company name
In 1968, the name 'Vadobag' was chosen. The company name 'Van Dongen Van Alphen from Rijen' was good for recognisability, but proved too impractical for promotion at trade fairs and the like. Moreover, the company was already operating internationally, in which case a short, English-sounding name was smarter. At that time, they also decided to stop tanning leather themselves.
Vadobag as international bag supplier
Vadobag was not only innovative with materials, machines and efficiency, the move of production to Asia was also seen as an opportunity early on. At a time when there was no internet -not even fax-, contact was made with possible bag producers via a Dutchman in Hong Kong -which the company still works with today. Opportunities were seen not only on the buying side, but also on the selling side: exports grew through Belgium, France and later other European countries.
Vadobag led the way in licensed production. Building bag brands yourself is a costly activity, so it was decided to contact the owners of well-known consumer brands such as Alfred Jodocus Kwak and later Sesame Street and Disney. Vadobag became the leading player in licensed bags.
Although the company was strong in producing for other brands, Vadobag always believed in the importance of its own design. Ever since the 1970s, the company had its own designers, in those computer-less days still cutting and pasting by hand. This service also added value for licensees: Vadobag went beyond sticking a logo on a bag, the entire collection was given the brand style. The company also led the way in this emphasis on design. In distribution, Vadobag also looked for new possibilities. Whereas bags were traditionally sold mainly in the leather goods sector, Vadobag started offering its children's bags through toy shops. A smart move: hardly any bags were sold through toy shops until then.
2022: More than 135 years of existence!
After more than 135 years, Vadobag is currently still an independent family company. From our office in Tilburg, we work with a professional team and are working daily to create new and trendy collections. It is in our DNA to keep innovating and to seize new opportunities. In 2022, we will have several bag collections under our own brands such as Kidzroom, Milky Kiss, Skooter and Prêt and under licences such as Disney Minnie and Mickey Mouse, PAW Patrol or Miffy.
Transparency and good information about our products are central to our story, so that you as a customer have enough information to make choices. We support our customers with comprehensive customer service and give honest advice. As a customer, you are always at the centre of Vadobag and we challenge ourselves daily to further optimise our customer service.
Vadobag Europe B.V.
5026 SL Tilburg
Chamber of Commerce number: 53130928
VAT NUMBER: NL 850760033 B01
Interested in becoming a retailer of Vadobag? Register here
Would you like to know more about our products and services? Then contact us on +31 13 594 2336, [email protected] or fill in the contact form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.