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In 1993, graphic designers Markus and Daniel Freitag were looking for a functional, water-repellent and robust bag to hold their creative work. Inspired by the multicolored heavy traffic that rumbled through the Zurich transit intersection in front of their flat, they developed a messenger bag from used truck tarpaulins, discarded bicycle inner tubes and car seat belts. This is how the first FREITAG bags took shape in the living room of their shared apartment – each one recycled, each one unique.
With their innovation, the brothers inadvertently triggered a seismic event in the world of bag making. Its tremors have since made themselves felt in Zurich and the cities of Europe and spread all the way to Asia, making FREITAG the unofficial outfitter of all urban, bike-riding individualists.
Today the products are available in 24 FREITAG Stores as well as at over 400 resellers around the world. In the FREITAG Online Store there’s an extensive choice of over 4000 unique products.
The first F13 TOP CAT messenger bag has since spawned a full range of over 80 different models for all your carrying needs: from smartphone and laptop sleeves via backpacks and on to handbags, shoppers and travel bags. And since 2009, FREITAG has been paying tribute to the traditional art of bag-making with selective one-offs made from plain-colored vintage truck tarpaulins.
FREITAG has been at home in the Nœrd industrial complex in Zurich-Oerlikon since 2011. This is where the truck tarps we collect are taken apart, washed and cut to size.
In 2014, the bag-makers gave themselves a new raw material to play with: F-ABRIC. Developed in-house from the ground up, the rugged, completely compostable textiles are based on bast fibers that are produced using a minimum of resources within a 2500-kilometer radius of headquarters. F-ABRIC thus more than lives up to the FREITAG philosophy: We think and act in cycles.
FREITAG has not only committed to the circular, closed-loop economy but is also organized in circles: in 2016, the company, which still belongs to the Freitag brothers, abandoned the classical hierarchical structure and replaced it with Holacracy, a form of organization based on self-management.