From key rings and cases to journals and travel pouches … The new LITTLE TRUCKIN’ GOODS don’t just make life easier for their future owners but also for FREITAG’s one-off designers. The small stencils fit in neatly between the big ones that mark out the standard bags, meaning that virtually no tarp gets wasted. It’s always interesting to see what other people that have the same last name as you are doing. Its even more interesting if they are doing something cool, and in my case I can point to some Freitag brothers (Daniel & Markus) that are doing something pretty cool in Switzerland. They are making cool, and artistic bags out of recycled stuff (vinyl truck tarps, seatbelts, and bicycle inner-tubes stocklot vinyl). I like two things about the company, first the bags are made out of recycled materials, and second no two bags the company makes are the same. Since they take vinyl off trucks that often have advertisements on them, you get a different design every time.
Individual recycled freeway bags….. in Europe freight trucks are covered with removable heavy-duty vinyl tarps and stocklot vinyl. They are virtually indestructible and display various colors, logos and different degrees of patina. In 1993 the brothers Freitag, graphic designers by trade, had a bright idea and decided to turn one of these tarps into a proto-type messenger bag. The first bag was slightly crude, mis-shapen and born on their kitchen table, but they loved it anyway and the Freitag Bag was unleashed to the world. From these humble beginnings, the Freitag bag has gained a loyal following with the cogniscenti. Like snowflakes or people, no two bags are alike. Each one displays different degrees of wear, patina, colors, patterning, and if you choose, graphic remnants from the trucks they once served.
By transforming lorry tarpaulins into bags, the Freitag brothers sought to extend a product’s life cycle as much as possible. Twenty years later they decided to launch F-ABRIC, a collection of ready-to-wear clothing that rises to a new challenge: how to provide for the afterlife of a product. Clothing made with F-ABRIC can either be composted or recycled into other products. Even the buttons on F-ABRIC clothes, which can be unscrewed and reused on other garments, embody Freitag’s recycling philosophy. Designing a product from the very outset by taking into account what will happen to it after it has outlived its main function is also a challenge from a designer perspective.
Freitag Bag’s makes more than just Messenger bags, they also make wallets, purses, soccer balls, and even lap top sleeves
Far more than one of those thick books with modern layout and strangely-cropped images (which is what it appears to be on first glance). This book is a great read (even though there is only text on 1 out of 5 pages) and documents in photographs and words how the Freitag bag was developed, adopted by the masses, and used. If you want to see a product and design philosophy that is beyond “green”, this is a good place to start. Smart, very smart.