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Don’t like what you see? DIY!

Swatches | October 1, 2019 | By:

In just a little over an hour, inspired novice designers can create their own one-of-a-kind shopping bag at Freitag’s Sweat-Yourself-Shop. Photos: Roland Tännler.

You see the perfect bag but wish it were just a bit more tangerine. Now Freitag®, the German-Swiss maker of recycled bags, has a proposition that eco-conscious trendsetters can’t refuse: make it yourself.

Freitag came on the scene in 1993 with a messenger bag made from used truck tarpaulins, discarded bicycle inner tubes and car seat belts. Today, it offers more than 4,000 recycled products including travel bags, notebooks and clothing.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for personal innovation. Sweat-Yourself-Shop, Freitag’s new concept store in Zurich, Switzerland, has been transformed into a micro factory where customers can make their own bags with the help of professionals. 

Customers gather the individual tarp pieces for their bags from a conveyor, picking out the front, back and bottom pieces plus the handles and a bold patterned accent. With the help of the crew, they create their own design using the cutter, Plexiglas® template, punch machine and ultrasonic welding machine. Then the crew takes over to sew and rivet the design while the do-it-yourselfers enjoy a drink. 

The result is a one-of-a-kind recycled shopping bag that comes complete with an outer pocket and key holder. For more information, visit

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