FREITAG-Planzer-From-Truck-Till-Backpack
Image
from truck till bag FREITAG

PRODUCTION

 

To produce our bags and accessories, we need piles of recycled truck tarps, which we transform into unique pieces in five separate steps.

 

Every year, our tarp buyers (aka Truckspotter) buy around 340 tons of used truck tarps. We source over 85% of these through our agents. They buy used tarps for us within a radius of 2500 km and send us samples in advance so we can have the materials tested for safety.

 

Tarps suitable for bag production are taken apart by the agents and then delivered to us in Zurich-Oerlikon. Another 9% of the tarps we purchase come from direct suppliers in Germany, whose tarps are dismantled by a local partner. The rest comes from direct suppliers (e.g. freight companies) in Switzerland, Austria, Italy and France. We test the tarps and then take them apart ourselves in our Zurich production facility.

 

Following this step, the tarp sections are washed. At the next stage, the tarps are cut up in the Bag Design section to create unique pieces, partly by hand with a cutter knife and template and partly with the help of a machine, before being shipped to our European producers. There, the individual cut tarp pieces are sewn together with the other materials to form finished products, with producers in Bulgaria, Portugal and Switzerland also handling parts of the upstream cutting.

 

We purchase the necessary accessories and fabrics, such as recycled PET textiles or B-stock airbags, from selected suppliers. The finished items are then checked and photographed. This process is carried out partly by the producers but mainly takes place at our Nœrd headquarters. After that, they are ready for sale.

 

STEP 1: TRUCKSPOTTING

 

Sourcing truck tarp, our most important raw material, is hard work. The recycled truck tarps used for our products are not available off the shelf but have to be actively hunted down by our Truckspotter.

FREITAG FTTB step1A photo tettamanti

Our Truckspotter are always on the lookout for new supplies of old truck tarps.

FREITAG truck on swiss road photo tettamanti

The Truckspotter are constantly combing the roads of Europe for trucks and trucking companies.

FREITAG blue truck photo tettamanti

Certain colors are difficult to find, while others are very common. 

FREITAG at the Noerd factory unloading tarp

Once at the FREITAG factory, the truck tarps are given an ID to facilitate tracking and tracing, and tested for their constituents.

STEP 2: CUTTING UP THE TARPS

 

We remove any parts that are not required from the dirty, bulky truck tarps, transform them into manageable units and sort them in the warehouse.

FREITAG tarp butchering at the factory

The huge tarps are spread out for processing in the cutting section.

FREITAG factory tarp butchering cutting off metal parts

Eyelets, straps and belts are removed from the truck tarps.

FREITAG factory tarp butchering main hall

Each tarp is individually inspected and cut into 2.5-m-long pieces.

FREITAG factory tarp storage

The cut truck tarps end up folded in the warehouse.

STEP 3: WASHING

 

The true beauty of a recycled truck tarp emerges only when it has been washed with rainwater in our giant washing machines, dried, and sorted by color.

FREITAG-factory-trap-washing-tattamanti-3a

The dirty tarps are cut into manageable pieces and stored in the warehouse. So before working on them, we first need to wash them.

FREITAG-factory-tarp-washing-tattamanti-3b

The truck tarps are transferred to two giant washing machines, where a thorough cleansing with rainwater reveals their wonderful patina.

FREITAG-factory-tarp-washing-tattamanti-3c

The sections of truck tarp are hung up to dry.

FREITAG-factory-tarp-washing-tattamanti-3d

The freshly washed truck tarps are sorted by color and sent to the bag designers.

STEP 4: BAG DESIGN

 

The bag designers ensure that our one-of-a-kind products are not just unique but uniquely beautiful as well.

FREITAG-factory-bag-design-tarp-4a

Our bag designers consider each tarp individually to decide which combination of cutouts will deliver the most appealing result.

FREITAG-factory-bag-design-tarp-4b

Using templates and cutters, they cut out the best pieces from the tarp.

FREITAG-factory-bag-design-tarp-4c

The individual tarp parts should form a coherent whole.

FREITAG-factory-bag-design-tarp-4d

After cutting, the bag sections are stacked, numbered and sent to the sewing department.

STEP 5: COMPLETION

 

At the FREITAG factory, we make only prototypes and test bags. Everything else – including your FREITAG bag – is entrusted to our experienced longtime partners, who are committed to complying with our Code of Conduct.

FREITAG-factory-fabrication-bags-tattamanti-5a

Our skilled long-term partners sew the individual tarp sections together to make unique pieces.

FREITAG-factory-fabrication-bags-tattamanti-5b

The finished one-off items return to the FREITAG factory for final quality control and shipping.

FREITAG-factory-fabrication-bags-tattamanti-5c

The finished products are checked, sorted to create an attractive color mix, packed in boxes and sent to our stores and sales partners.

FREITAG-factory-fabrication-bags-tattamanti-5d

Items destined for sale in the online store are photographed on-site and deposited in the online warehouse, ready for shipment worldwide.

FREITAG PRODUCTION AT A GLANCE

 

Our unique bag and accessory manufacturing process breaks down into five main stages with many separate steps. From its time on a truck cruising the roads to the actual sale, a unique FREITAG piece goes through numerous stages in and around our factory.

FREITAG Production Process

1. Truck spotting

2. Truck tarp removal

3. Extracting test samples

4. Testing constituents

5. Confirming tarp safety

6. Disassembly

7. Washing

8. Drying

9. Bag design

10. Shipping to sewing partners

11. Sewing

12. Quality control

13. Photography 

14. Shipping

15. Sale

We keep our carbon footprint relatively low by using recycled materials and short transport routes in our supply chain. We spend time working every day to reduce our footprint. You can read up on the measures we have already implemented and our plan for the future in our Impact Report.

Sign up now for the FREITAG newsletter and, as a personal friend of the brand, be the first to know about unique bags and innovative materials and get lots of love from the F‑Crew.