Media Overview

From truck till bag


Since 1993, we have been reincarnating used materials in a new context. We like to call this transformation «From Truck Till Bag». If you take a look at the eternal bestseller lists in world literature and popular culture, it is immediately obvious that some of the greatest stories emerged from just such seemingly simple recontextualizations: “From Frog Till Prince”, the Upcycling of Cinderella or “From Gregor Till Bug”, to name just a few.

This was sufficient motivation for us to invite Swiss photographer Joël Tettamanti to the factory for a couple of weeks to capture our somewhat more time-intensive transformation process in all its facets and with all its protagonists using his largeformat camera. The result is an epic pictorial story that begins on the transit route of the Gotthard Tunnel and winds its way through the cutting department, laundry room and design tables in Zurich and tells the moving recontextualization story of truck tarps to FREITAG bags.

Transforming old transport truck covers into highly functional, unique bags takes place in five highly-complex stages at the factory:

1. Raw materials

Anyone who has ever kissed a frog knows that only the best and most beautiful raw materials can be recontextualized into satisfactory R.I.P.s (Recycled Individual Products). And those are rather scarce. A logistical grand offensive is needed to track down so many truck tarps precisely when they are being retired after five to ten years on the road.

2. Cutting the tarps

In our opinion, the Cutting Department at Nœrd is the only place in the world where violence is sometimes the only solution since used tarps are not sold by the yard and you can’t just measure and cut out the amount you need for your bag parts. They are reinforced with buckles, belts and eyelets to keep them on their trucks for years – and all that has to go.

3. Washing

The tarps are beautified due to the accumulation of many layers of snowy slush, acid rain, acrid exhaust fumes, fine dust particles and the usual grime from all over Europe. That all has to be gotten rid of, however, so we need our two gigantic washing machines, lots of Zurich rainwater and our tarp washers.

4. Bag Design

Other designers produce sketches – our designers create bags. One after the other with a sharp knife at the ready. This is where the process takes place that makes our products one-of-a-kind in the truest sense of the word: each one is unique because there is not another one like it in the world.

5. Sewing

The cut-out tarp pieces have to leave the factory in order to complete the transformation. Our longstanding partners’ sewing machines rattle away like crazy until the thick tarps are stitched together. When the finished FREITAG bags and accessories finally return home, they then have to pass a few hard tests.

Please mention the Photo Credit: Joël Tettamanti