THE BRAND FOUNDERS TALK ABOUT BEGINNINGS AND THEIR PROJECTS FOR THE FUTURE
We all know Freitag. But how was it born? With what intentions? The founders Markus and Daniel Freitag talk to Wait! after the experience at the Milan Design Week.
Many brands today aim at eco-sustainability, trying to make their collections less impacting on the environment. What are the strategies you have adopted to always remain a leader in this field?
For us, from the beginning, it was less a strategy, but a belief. Upcyling arleady laid at the core of our prototype in 1993, long before we heard this term for the first time, and long before the word “sustainability” was on everybody’s lips. Why should we take new material for our bags, when we can give a next life to old, used material instead? It was just natural for us to do it this way – and still is. In all we do as a brand, we try to remain as close as possible to our philosophy of thinking and acting in cycles, whether we give old truck tarpaulins a new purpose as an accessory, design a reusable product packaging or pile up discarded and rusty freight containers to create a Flagship store. I think this consistency helped us to be considered as a pioneer in this field over all these years, with the development of our compostable textile collection F-ABRIC made from European plant fibers being the latest example for it.
You were also protagonists of the Milan design week, with the installation UNFLUENCER – De-sinning the Designer. How was the project born and what was the response of the public?
We thought about joining Milan Design Week with an own installation for quite some time, even more so since we opened our store in the Brera district in 2016. But only this year we were in Milan not only as visitors, but for the first time – together with the Swiss video artist Georg Lendorff – as contributors. But we didn’t feel like staging our latest products. At Design Week, usually everybody talks about “good design” but we wanted to take a step back and stimulate a discussion about bad design, in a cheek-in-tongue way. We are still quite overwhelmed by the reaction of the numerous visitors – people especially loved that moment of getting “unfluenced” in this immersive experience, where you lose the sense of time and space in the midst of the bustling Design Week.
What are the plans for the future?
We always tend to have some projects in our drawers. The concept of FREITAG is not only limited to bags made from used truck tarpaulins, we could already see that our philosophy is transferable to other products and other materials as well. What happens to a product at the end of its life cycle? Can it be repaired? Can we share products in order to harm nature less?” Questions like this are essential to move in the right direction and they will for sure keep us busy for a while!
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