In 1993, when upcycling was still new, two designers from Zurich started collecting old tarpaulins from trucks. Their plan? To turn them into unique carrier bags. Initially the brothers designed the high-quality Freitag bags just for themselves and their friends, but soon the attractive design appealed to a wider audience.
The stylish backpacks, shoppers and laptop bags are made from old truck tarpaulins. Waterproof and beautifully designed. Each year, the Freitag truck spotters have to collect 800 tons of tarpaulins all over Europe. Suppliers can also supply their old truck tarpaulins. All truck tarpaulins are collected in the factory in Switzerland. When they arrive here, the tarpaulins are all given a number so that they can be traced. All components are also carefully tested, allowing Freitag to guarantee the safety of all its products.
The tarpaulins are then stripped of straps and cut into standard sizes, after which they are washed with rainwater. A plus, Freitag consumes less water this way.
Freitag has four designs of bags that, in addition to truck tarpaulins, incorporate textiles from recycled PET bottles. The Malcolm school backpack, Carter backpack, Jack shopper, Rollin shoulder bag, a Phelps hip bag are all made from the combination of truck canvas and fabric from recycled PET bottles.
To develop the fabric from PET bottles, the Swiss brand collaborates with We aRe SpinDye supplier. The fabric is dyed during the spinning process using the spinnerette technique, which requires much less water, chemicals and energy than the conventional dyeing process.
In addition, the material created from recycled PET bottles is also free of chemicals. For example, Freitag does not use PFC (perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals). These harmful substances are often found in backpacks and raincoats are used because of its water repellent effect.
However, it is perfectly possible to make outdoor products without the use of PFC, as Freitag also proves with its water-repellent backpacks and laptop bags.
Freitag minimalist shoppers, waterproof backpacks and modern shoulder bags contain no animal ingredients.
At its headquarters, Freitag has replaced its hierarchical structure of leadership with self-managing teams in a flatter and more inclusive structure, where employees can define their own roles and thus work more happily. In this way, the company is also setting an example for the future in the social field.
The prototypes are designed in the factory in Switzerland, but the sewing of the bags themselves takes place in Portugal, Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Tunisia and Switzerland. Then the bags come back to the factory in Switzerland where all bags are checked and then ready for sale.
During the production process and when designing, Freitag strives to produce as little residual waste as possible.
Freitag has also established a repair service in Switzerland to restore old bags. You can have your bag repaired for free up to 3 years after your purchase. Of course, not all handbags and backpacks are sent to the headquarters. For example, Japanese bags are repaired at the FREITAG flagship store in Tokyo Shibuya.
If you are tired of your bag, you can exchange it via the S.W.A.P 'Shopping Without Any Payment' system. Just like dating app Tinder, you swipe via the online system until you find a bag you want to exchange for your own. Old Freitag bags and backpacks get a new life!
Unique upcycling shoppers, handbags, backpacks or travel bags. Curious? Take a look at the points of sale below.