No Waste Philosophy: Freitag opens the first store in Milan

A few meters from two luxury shopping streets in Milan, Corso Como and Corso Garibaldi, the Freitag store, famous Swiss brand for bags made of recycled truck tarpaulins, will be the first in Italy and will feature even for the high aesthetic impact of the location that in front of the Giangiacomo Feltrinelli foundation, is placed exactly at the crossroads of trade and culture. The store, located in a typical industrial building of the nineteenth century, with granite pillars and terracotta archway, will present 1500 unique pieces amor bags and iconic accessories of the brand, also the biodegradable F-Abric collection entirely produced in Europe with recycled materials and fabrics, made from flax and hemp fibers, yarns even in some Milanese areas. Back to basics, as they say. For the occasion, MANINTOWN met Daniel and Markus Freitag, the two brothers founders of the brand.

So, the first Italian store. How did you choose this location?
It’s been a long and well thought out research. Milan is an electrifying mix, a unique and continuous walkway of ideas, designers, stimuli. We wanted an easy to reach store, both for tourists and also for people living in the city, a place to create some partnership and maybe exhibiting installation, and finally we wanted a space that was close to “traceable” places, museums or things of cultural interest and architecture, just as the Feltrinelli Foundation.

Who are your Italian customers?
Creative, designers, architects, even very young people. We really like the idea that in a place so attached to fashion etiquette par excellence, like Italy, our anti-statement idea, so to speak, our not so mainstream concept of fashion, have been appreciated a lot in these years.

Any plans to propose something limited edition for the Italian grand opening or not?
It could be, but we have not planned anything. First of all we want to bring the entire collection of naturally 100 % compostable. products and accessories as in the rest of the stores in the world. Later, perhaps, given the enormous curiosity and creative spirit that revolves around Milan we will pull out something (they both laugh n.d.r).

What about the materials you use, we know that there are new ideas on which you are focusing.
We started working with recycled truck tarpaulins in the 90s, and today we want to experiment, to explore new territories. The basic idea is based on sustainability and recycling, a trendmark that defines us forever.
Our identity is “devoted” to the ethic and qualitative to the materials we use, methods of processing, production and industrial cycle. We design and manufacture only models of accessories and clothes that we wear ourselves or our team. They are prototypes, often, that require a large investment of energy and money to be developed; we really love Eastern countries because the price of our items there is perceived with no inferences of any kind, they know what it takes to fully realize a bag or an item. To do it all yourself in a sustainable way.

What is the creative process of your work?
We frequently depart from the problems, dilemmas. We did very long brainstorming with our team – the part of collaboration is everything in our company – we talk about the fitting, what is wrong, we raise objections and from there we draw inspiration for new projects, alternatives. We often end up to get very far from the starting point but this is an integral part of the trip, isn’t it? The essential thing for us is to plan our energy, knowing how and where spend it, for example, for the next three weeks. The commitment is rewarding, altghough it is always optimized.

Do you take a lot of work on the mono-material of the trucks tarpaulins?
Not really, a lot less than what we would do. The fact is, especially when it is very worn, that this material can undergo just little and few change, we can not even print it. We will plan to do more, to dare, but it is not always possible. And this is another reason why we want to try and explore other universes stylistic and with the material.

Where does the inspiration for your project come from?
We would say from far away, even from the first trips to India, we were so young. We saw all these people who collected trash from the street and turn it into other. Then we took our streets, in graphic design, art, visual, and we realized how many energy are wasted in that professiona business sectors, today. And Freitag was born just then, along with the awareness to create something that looked to resources and it was really useful and durable. We thought about bike messenger and those who cycled in Zurich, from north to south, to go to work. In time it came the idea of trucks tarpaulins, the first prototypes we did in San Francisco and New York, the mecca for bicycle messenger and gradually, over time and so much effort, the results came. Milan store, in a few days, is another rewarding crowning of our journey.

What is your greatest ambition also in ideal terms regarding to recycling and sustainable living?Instinctively we would say hotels and condos. Design a series of objects and products to live in hotels that make the residence experience itself a kind of experiential path on how and what we could do to be comfortable without producing trash or waste good resources. However, even the biking industry, and accessories to better carry their belongings. We’d like a lot to investigate that area, maybe because we love biking and we know all the functional and practical issues that sometimes can happen.

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