Freitag Makes Backpacks By Recycling Unused Airbags & Giving Them A New Life!

Dec 16, 2022by Olivia Harper - F&F

In what the brand calls "guaranteed non-explosive news," FREITAG, a Swiss company, has created a super innovative line of backpacks, the F707 STRATOS, made from peculiar materials: the fabric used to make airbags in cars and discarded truck tarps!

Freitag Airbag BackpacksFreitag Airbag Backpacks


The Swiss Company Promises That They Will Not Explode!

Airbag B-stock, the material the F707 STRATOS bags are made of, was initially intended to explode in an emergency and save lives in its function as an airbag. But unfortunately, it very narrowly failed one of the many airbag quality tests it underwent and was taken out of service. Now, FREITAG is giving the material a second chance.

These recycled backpacks are lightweight, and also double as a shoulder bag! “So, while the A–stock stuff the authentic airbag material, has long been packed into a steering wheel, literally waiting for an accident to happen, our B-stock fabric has been living the good life. Not as a lifesaver. Not as an airbag. But, finally, believe it or not, as a bag.” — Freitag

Truck TarpsTruck Tarps


How Truck Tarps Inspired The Freitag Founders To Develop Their First Bags 

In 1993 two graphic designers, Markus and Daniel Freitag, were looking for a robust, water-repellent bag to hold their work. Inspired by the multicolored heavy traffic that trundled past their apartment, they developed a bag from used truck tarps, discarded bicycle inner tubes and car seat belts. This is how the first FREITAG bags – each recycled, each unique – took shape in their living room!

Now, FREITAG has gone for using B-stock airbags also to create their bags, because they’re advocates for cyclical thinking. “Why use a new raw material when there are already more than enough materials in circulation that are no longer needed?” We love this approach and that their products are made of materials that age beautifully!

Backpacks Made From AirbagsBackpacks Made From Airbags


But What Is The Difference Between A Class & B Class Airbag Stock? 

The latest addition to their construction kit, airbags, which were intended to explode in an emergency and save lives, was taken out of service and classified as B-stock. Why? The materials used in airbags need to be extremely robust and withstand quite a lot of heat. So the regulations are pretty strict!

There are several factors that the material FREITAG uses was not allowed to become A-stock airbags and was declared B-stock, either; the material comes from sample production, yarn defects that slightly impair the quality of the fabric, weaving and coating defects, or it doesn’t comply with technical specifications (e.g., tear resistance). Even if it wasn't quite good enough to be an airbag, B-stock is still a first-class material for backpacks!

What are your thoughts on these FREITAG bags? We think it’s in many ways the perfect product, made with recycled materials in their hometown of Zurich, designed and marketed with style! We can’t wait to see more innovative designs that give old materials new life from FREITAG in the future.

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