FROM TRUCK TILL BAG
aka the production of FREITAG bags
The recycling of used truck tarps into unique, highly functional bags takes place in five highly complex steps at FREITAG's very own factory in Zurich.
STEP 1: TRUCKSPOTTING
Sourcing the raw materials may for FREITAG may not be Glecnore, but it is still pretty hard-core.
FREITAG's five tarp buyers – also known as truck spotters – have to find and bring back approximately 500 tons of tarps to the F-actory at Nœrd every year. To achieve this they have to be on the phone constantly or on prowl around the trucks stops of Europe, hunting down the best tarps in the hottest colours from trucks, truckers and haulage companies.The moment they arrive at the factory, all tarpaulins are given an ID for traceability and their constituents tested to guarantee the safety of our products.
STEP 2: CUTTING UP THE TARPS
It's not a walk in the park to free tarps from their original form as dirty, bulky truck covers before processing them.
Eyelets, straps, belts and everything else a FREITAG bag doesn’t need – these are the first to be removed. With a sharp eye and sharper knives, the toughest boys on the F-Crew scan through the potential of every tarp that lands on their tables. The scruffy beasts are hacked and prime cuts are carved out, then cutting them into standard 2.5-metre lengths, before getting folded and sent to the warehouse.
STEP 3: WASHING
It might appear the same, but whatever happens in the basement at the Nœrd is definitely different from what you do in your laundry room. Bags obviously have to be clean, but at FREITAG, the real work is transforming “used” into “patina” and “old” into “vintage”. Almost 15,000 litres of rainwater collected is used everyday, together with a secret tarp-wash bath additive. After revealing the inner beauty of the tarps, and as soon as they are dry again, the sheets are sorted according to colour and sent to the bag designers.
STEP 4: BAG DESIGN
The bag designers ensure that FREITAG's one-offs are not only unique but uniquely beautiful as well.
Every single bag is fashioned using templates and their cutters to carve the most beautiful and exquisite designs from the tarps, all while making sure that the rest of the pieces match as well. The tarp pieces are then stacked, numbered and sent to the sewing departments.
STEP 5: COMPLETION
The sewing of each FREITAG bag is entrusted to experienced partners in Portugal, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania and Switzerland who know how to stitch tarps that are often relatively thick. As soon as the bags are back at Nœrd, the bags are thoroughly checked to ensure that everything is in order, then finally selecting the products that will end up in a crate together according to FREITAG's secret colour scheme. Unique products, which will be sold in the online shop, are put on a pedestal and photographed from all sides.