Meet the makers: Vel-Oh

Zulfi Iqbal and Greta Jankunaite of Vel-Oh tell us about their new Nip Out bag – a funky yet functional musette perfect for a short bike ride, lunch with friends or that last minute dash to the shops

Vel-Oh Nip Out Bag, £60

Vel-Oh Nip Out Bag, £60

Tell us a bit about your new Nip Out bag.

The Nip Out bag is a stylish musette handmade by the Vel-Oh team (Zulfi and Greta) at our studio in London. As the name suggests, it's aimed at the stylish cyclist who's literally just nipping out – to the store, to see friends or a short ride out of the city.

Every part of this bag has been curated to match the wearer’s needs. It can hold your iPad, U-lock, keys, phone, repair kits, waterproof jacket and, of course, your nibbles. 

It’s made from British millerain, leather and industrial-grade webbing. Not only is it one of the most stylish musettes on the market, it also doubles up as a great day bag.

What prompted you to make it?

Our original Commuter bag is great for cycling to work and weekends away, etc, but we wanted to make a bag that we could use to nip out to town, to the park, or to meet friends. The musette is a popular type of bag for most cyclists, so we thought it would be a good starting point. But of course we’ve put our own twist on it and have made sure the contents will be kept dry in the changeable British weather. The musette is comfortable to cycle with, but looks good off the bike, too – the straps adjusts so you can wear it as a satchel or handbag.

Tell us a bit about the design and production process.

The Nip Out starts and ends in our workshop. Zulfi preps, cuts and punches the leather and Greta deals with the fabrics and puts the bag together. We sit alongside each other with our tools, Spotify on in the background, our dog snoozing in between us – and the pile of bags starts to appear! It is so much fun, plus it gives us the opportunity to control the quality and the quantity of what’s made.

What essential kit would you keep in in your musette?

For on the bike – lock, pump, spare inner tube, leavers, wallet, keys, waterproof jacket, maybe a magazine or iPad. Off the bike – make up bag (for Greta) , purse, keys, phone, umbrella, sunglasses, lip balm, gloves, pain killers and headphones.

Anything else exciting in the pipeline for Vel-Oh?

After mastering our manufacturing skills, we suddenly feel this freedom that we could make anything! The next project for us will probably be a pannier bag as we’ve had a lot of enquiries about making one. We’ll be featuring our updated collection at a few cycling shows next year: Spin LDN, Berlin Fahrradschau and a few local bike shop events. We’re also looking to expand and approach the fashion market element next year, as our products are aimed at urban cyclists, but can be used by anyone. Make sure you sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date.

The Nip Out Bag comes in a choice of Moss, Black and Burgundy, £60.

This is a sponsored blog post, created in collaboration with Vel-Oh. Read more about Vel-Oh in the Ernest Journal directory.

Issue four is available to pre-order now!

We're almost there folks! Issue four of Ernest Journal explores the rather eclectic themes of sound, subversion and polar exploration. Read on for more about what's in store – then please pre-order your copy so we can post it out to you fresh from the printers, while it's still warm and inky...

24-page guide to Greenland

Seek out ancient Norse settlements; sail among icebergs while exploring the cultural impact of the great Ice Sheet and delve into Inuit folklore in South Greenland.

Curious histories

Listen to mysterious transmissions on short wave radio; delve into the darker side of tintype photography; investigate an anomaly in the North Sea – a micro-nation owned by a tenacious band of radio buccaneers; and read about Russian composer Alexander Scriabin, whose week-long symphony would bring about the end of the world.


Step into the unconventional home of wallpaper designer Adam Calkin and enter the bizarre and wonderful world of sound design.

Slow adventure

Investigate the psychology of polar exploration; discover the secrets of Schiehallion, the Scottish mountain that helped us weigh the world; and explore the evolution of travel writing from the 'unsentimental journey', through Victorian authors and the Beats to situationism and psychogeography.




Forage for the raw ingredients needed to blow your own glass; meet an automaton inventor and discover the obsessions and frustrations of model boat makers.

Timeless style

Wear woollens inspired by the Heroic Age of Polar Exploration; discover the origins of the trench coat, from the front line to the silver screen; and forage for ingredients to create your own wild dyes.

Wild food

Venture into the marshes of northern Norway in search of elusive cloudberries and master the art of wild meat butchery.


All subscriptions and pre-orders will be delivered at the end of November

Pre-order print issue 4
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The Durand comes to Europe

We caught up with innovative outdoor footwear makers KEEN to talk about their new Durand boot and why this pioneering company believes fervently in the future of local manufacturing

Tell us about the Durand boot…

The KEEN Durand WP is a lightweight, durable and comfortable boot that’s proving a hit with hikers. With super grip and shock absorption, they’re perfect for long hikes in the hills, a pacy trek on mixed terrain or more leisurely low level hikes. 

But can it cope with the British weather? We’ve just started naming storms you know…

Of course! Not only does the boot feature a mesh lined nubuck leather upper, we’ve also used our own KEEN.DRY waterproof membrane, so the Durand will ensure your feet stay comfortable and dry whatever the elements have in store. 

Let’s get technical – what is so special about how these boots are made?

The Durand is a resilient boot with unmatched shock absorption and incredible underfoot support. First off, an integrated heel cushion locks directly into the footbed to support the foot while maximising shock absorption, whilst a dual-compound outsole combines two distinct types of rubber – one around the edges to enhance edging and grip, and another in the centre to maximise durability in high-wear areas. 

One of the core technologies we’ve used is our own unique direct-injection technique, which attaches the nubuck leather and breathable mesh membrane directly to the midsole, using polyurethane. This mechanical bond requires less petroleum-based cements, has no volatile chemicals and also delivers long lasting durability and shock absorption.

Why did you decide to move the production process to Europe?

We understand that buying locally-made products and supporting the European economy is important to our customers, so as of autumn/winter 2015, we’re proud to be moving the production of the Durand Mid and Low WP to Europe along with two other new lines – the Liberty Ridge and Durand Polar. Plus, the new European factory will also double as a learning and test centre, where our R&D team can use modern technology to experiment and create high quality, innovative products.

The Durand Mid WP is £139.99 and the Durand Low WP is £124.99 and are available in men's and women's styles.

This is a sponsored blog post, created in collaboration with KEEN. Read more about KEEN and in the Ernest Journal directory.

A lesson in geometry

We go behind the scenes of the new Geometry collection from Alice Made This, featuring cufflinks, lapel pins, bracelets and keyrings inspired by primary shapes, geometric forms, architectural silhouettes and the Golden Ratio

What is in your new Geometry range?

It is a collection of belts, bracelets, lapel pins and keyring in signature metals paired with precise leather work. These new pieces work with a tailored, smart or casual look.

What inspired the collection?

It dwells on my passion for sculpture, architecture and all things primary. Using geometry as a title, and looking to the masters of their time such as Brancussi, Le Corbusier and Josef Albers, we have worked with our industrial techniques to create wearable objects of desire. 

Tell me more about the Golden Ratio.

This new collection is inspired by primary shapes and graphic forms, looking at the precise maths within shapes. Such precision is also prevalent within nature, particularly the Golden Ratio, which occurs naturally in all manner of plants, animals, and natural phenomena. This ‘perfect’ ratio reflects both the Alice Made This focus on precise and refined pieces, and the geometrical influences behind our latest collection.

Tell me a bit about the milling processes used on your Geometry collection.

Geometry is about shapes, whether flat shapes or three dimensional objects, and so some of our new pieces use the process of precision milling to create block shapes. They are precision milled at Qualiturn, a British company with more than 40 years' experience. Milling is a process that dates back to the early 19th century, with the first appearance of milling machines dated between 1814 and 1818. With the advancements in computer technology, milling became computer controlled, and by the late 1980s even small machine shops used CNC (computer numerical control) machine tools. The most advanced CNC machines operate on five axes, adding two more axes to the original XYZ. CNC machines are guided by a program of codes, operated by a single programmer. Precision milling can be used on either large or small scales, from large aircraft components to a belt buckle.

All Ernest Journal readers can receive 15% off their first Alice Made This order with the code 'ERNEST15'.

This is a sponsored blog post, created in collaboration with Alice Made This. For more information on partnerships and joining our directory, please email

Inside the largest underground temple in the world

Ernest's contributing editor Dr Bramwell explores one of the most fascinating places on the planet: Damanhur, a 1000-strong community who have built the 8th wonder of the world deep inside the Italian Alps.

Introducing a new project from The Odditorium - our regular collaborator at Wilderness Festival, who also produce a cracking podcast exploring the fringes of culture. Odditorium TV is "a unique and genre-defying channel that combines the gritty documentary-style of Adam Curtis with Cyril Fletcher from That's Life."

In episode one, Dr Bramwell visits Damanhur, a 1000-strong community who secretly built The Temples of Humankind - an underground temple complex larger than St Paul's Cathedral. They've also invented a fully functioning time machine, taught plants to sing and they do their shopping in Atlantis.

Subscribe to Odditorium TV on YouTube for the next episode, read the book The No.9 Bus to Utopia, published by Unbound; or visit for more about the good doctor's projects.