Building a Business Around Reclaimed Materials

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Building a Business Around Reclaimed Materials

In 1993, two graphic designers, Markus and Daniel Freitag, have been searching for a practical, watertight bag to hold their work in, however could not discover one available on the market. The answer, they discovered, was buzzing previous the entrance of their Zurich flat each day. Taking inspiration from the colourful tarps closing the perimeters of flatbed vehicles, the brothers used their condominium as a makeshift studio and created a line of messenger luggage from recycled truck tarpaulins, bike inside tubes, and outdated automobile seat belts. As we speak, Freitag ships its luggage around the globe however the true story is within the firm’s origin: Wanting on the manufacturing course of supplies a novel perception into an organization that has constructed a enterprise on reclaimed supplies. Picture credit score: Freitag

credit score: Migrated Picture

The recycling course of begins with tarps, the identical ones which can be stretched into aspect partitions on vehicles throughout Europe. Life on the street is a tricky one for a tarp and the extreme weathering they expertise implies that truck firms are required to retire them each 5 to eight years. Picture credit score: Freitag

credit score: Migrated Picture

As soon as the tarps are discarded by freight firms, Freitag steps in and collects the scraps. Again on the manufacturing unit, the tarps are stretched out and any unusable components—like straps, grommets, and broken sections of material—are eliminated. Picture credit score: Freitag

credit score: Migrated Picture

The tarps are then cleaned utilizing particular industrial washing machines. These machines draw water from a big under-ground storage tank that Freitag fills with roof-top rainwater collectors. In the course of the very early days, the Freitag brothers washed the tarps of their bathtub, their former roommate reveals (PDF). Picture credit score: Freitag

credit score: Migrated Picture

All the slicing is finished by hand. This is among the causes Freitag just lately needed to construct a brand new manufacturing unit: Will increase in manufacturing required more room for tarps, tables, and storage. As a substitute of constructing a brand new manufacturing unit from the bottom up, nonetheless, the corporate determined to retrofit an current constructing. The greenest construction, in any case, is the one already standing. Picture credit score: Freitag

credit score: Migrated Picture

The tarps are lower to measurement, after which sewn collectively, together with the inside tubes, belts, and labels. Picture credit score: Freitag

credit score: Migrated Picture

As soon as the items are sewn collectively, the bag is finished. It is that straightforward. Typically sustaining simplicity is a big problem. Freitag may be very pleased with its mannequin of enterprise and development—one thing that makes the story about extra than simply luggage. Picture credit score: Freitag

credit score: Migrated Picture

Certainly, the corporate that started in an condominium in downtown Zurich has labored onerous to remain in Zurich. It isn’t nearly conserving a neighborhood enterprise in its hometown—by resisting the push to outsource manufacturing, Freitag has been capable of restrict transport of components, supplies, and completed merchandise. The corporate’s founders have additionally been capable of keep management over the methods wherein assets are used and staff are handled. Picture credit score: Freitag

credit score: Migrated Picture

For instance, the 2 brothers, proven right here, created a plan to partially outsource manufacturing to a producing facility using disabled individuals. Picture credit score: Freitag

credit score: Migrated Picture

The hassle to stay native belies a good deeper philosophy—that of gradual, natural enterprise development. The Freitag brothers level out that they began their firm with out enterprise capital or an exit technique. As a substitute, they’ve targeted on regular, sustainable development. Picture credit score: Freitag

credit score: Migrated Picture

As the companies that survived the 2008 monetary disaster and the recession that adopted wrestle to reestablish themselves, fashions like Freitag are important. Picture credit score: Freitag

credit score: Migrated Picture

Freitag reveals {that a} enterprise can succeed with a plan that emphasizes accountable, sustainable conduct—for the atmosphere, staff, and firm as a complete. Picture credit score: Freitag

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