Headquarters: FREITAG lab. ag / NŒRD, Zurich-Oerlikon, Switzerland
Year founded: 1993
Proprietors: Markus and Daniel Freitag
Number of staff: around 180
Production: around 400,000 products per year
Number of stores: 20 F-Stores, with six in Switzerland (Davos, Flagship Store Zurich, Grüngasse Zurich, Zurich Noerd, Lausanne, Basel), five in Germany (Hamburg, Cologne, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich), two in Thailand (Bangkok, Chiang Mai), one in Milan, one in Vienna, one in Taipei, one in Seoul, one in Melbourne and two in Tokyo
an Online Store based in Zurich-Oerlikon and 450 retail partners worldwide
Materials used: 390 tons of truck tarpaulins, 15,000 bicycle inner tubes and 150,000 car seatbelts per year
Products: around 40 bags, around 30 accessories and FREITAG F-ABRIC workwear
THE FREITAG STORY
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.
The first F13 TOP CAT messenger bag has since spawned a range of over 70 different models designed to carry everything you can carry: from smartphone and laptop sleeves via shoppers and handbags to backpacks in various sizes, as well as the Haute Maroquinerie styles made from vintage truck tarps that has struck fear into the heart of the calf- and crocodile-recycling bag industry.
FREITAG has been headquartered at the Noerd industrial complex in Zurich-Oerlikon since 2011. This is where the truck tarps we collect are taken apart, washed and cut up. FREITAG still belongs to the two Freitag brothers, and, as Creative Directors, they still oversee each new model through to series production.
In 2014, they gave themselves a new raw material to play with: F-ABRIC. Their 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.