Circular economy

Freitag, ‘circular’ bags from the road to the factory

Photo Credit: Peter Hauser

Questo post è disponibile anche in: Italian

“Carry a load and leave nothing behind”: this is the slogan of Freitag, the Swiss brand specialized in ecosustainable bags made of truck tarpaulin.

Brothers Markus and Daniel Freitag, graphic designers, got their inspiration from the rumbling traffic on the Zurich transit intersection in front of their flat.

The first bags were realized in 1993 with old truck tarpaulins, discarded bicycle inner tubes and car seat belts: it was an authentic revolution for the traditional fabric market, an intuition well in advance of the current “circular fashion”. First in Switzerland, then all over the world, Freitag’s messenger bag soon became a must-have for urban cyclists.

The transformation of heavy truck covers into highly functional fabric is a complex process that has been refined across the years. It takes place in 5 phases:

TRUCKSPOTTING: in spite of the huge number of trucks on the road, it’s not an easy task to find used tarps of the right colours.

TARP RIPPING: specialized “rippers” hack and carve the used tarpaulins into standard 2.4 m pieces and free them of eyelets and straps.

WASHING: a crucial transformation from “used” into “patina” and from “old” into “vintage”.

DESIGN: bag designers put their creativity into fashioning absolutely unique pieces, working with cutters and templates.

SEWING: the bags are sewn by European partners of the brand.

Nothing goes wasted in the Freitag plant: the pieces that are not used for bags are recycled, and the four million litres of water per year used to wash the tarps are collected in a specific tank. The “F-actory” is a place of real circular economy, where road waste becomes the raw material for a product whose strength is the union of style, functionality and ecosustainability.

In 2016 Freitag launched a new line, F-ABRIC: no more vintage truck tarps, but rather an ecosustainable textile made of hemp and flax fibres as well as Modal. A local production chain with low water consumption in the full respect of traditional textiles: the product is even biodegradable and can be thrown away in the compost. A new challenge, one step closer to the future.

For further information, visit the website of FREITAG.

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