|Freitag und freunde|
It was a grey and rainy Friday in 1993. Two brothers sat in their flat overlooking Zurich’s highway. Both of them were designers and both of them were in need of a cool and functional bag. Inspired by the colorful trucks passing by on their way to Italy, they created their first messenger bag. Made of old truck tarp, straps from seat belts and bicycle inner tubes. At the time, the brothers had no idea they had just landed a hit. They were just happy that they could now use this strong bag while cycling through Zurich’s harsh weather.
Fifteen years later Freitag (Friday in German) bags are sold all over the world. Their concept of using recycled materials has been picked up by others such as Ragbag, a Dutch company that started designing bags and wallets out of recycled plastic bags. The plastic bags have been collected by ragpickers in India that belong to the poorest caste. The rags are washed, dried and pressed into sheets of which the award winning products are made. Yesterday I found mixtures of Freitag and Ragbag in the biggest bookshop in town. Not trucks but boats are the material source for Segeltuch tasche that are made of old sails. Vargu bags uses coffee & tea bags as well as advertising flex prints, and motorbike seats in its designs. And then today my friend in Johannesburg pointed out some great recycled bag ventures in South Africa. Like Give-it-bag which cuts up rubble bags in Cape Town and then sews them into funky shoppers. Or Carbon d’Afreeque that uses PVC skins for their designs. All of these labels create functional and superb products combining scrap materials with strong design. Really cool to see how all these initiatives pop-up in different parts of the world.
And the Freitag brothers? I’ll be sure checking out their flagship store built out of containers in Zurich soon!
written by White Line Hotels, February 19, 2010
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