The Freitag brothers Markus and Daniel Freitag
The Freitag brothers Markus and Daniel Freitag

20 Sep. 2011


After almost two decades in the post-industrial district 5, Swiss bag brand Freitag moved to a new building in Zurich's district Oerlikon last week. On 7,500sqm, owners Markus and Daniel Freitag, and their crew officially inaugurated the new space called NŒRD.

Already some years ago, Freitag’s hub at the former gear factory Maag-Areal started showing signs of change: Musical stages were set up next door, post-industrial bars and clubs put up their mirror balls. The neighbourhood was not anymore a place for production but consumption, and when plans for the Prime Tower, Zurich’s highest building, were released, Freitag started looking for other locations.

Freitag has been growing every year from the moment the first tarps were washed in the brothers’ own bath tub. The company has come from two to over 130 employees, from one to over 50 different bag styles and from one push cart to eight Freitag stores and over 400 distribution partners worldwide. And all this without any support from investors.
New storage room for the Freitag online store
New storage room for the Freitag online store

“We are very proud of our new space,” said Daniel Freitag, when he and his brother presented the building to about 400 invited guests including clients, suppliers and journalists from all over the world last Friday. The event featured guided tours, macaroni and cheese, wine and a humorous company presentation on a large screen.

The concept for the completely newly built space includes many, Freitag-typical ideas. The Swiss perfectionists are re-using rain water collected from NŒRD‘s roof tops to wash their tarps and are re-using the relatively clean water of the last washing cycles of one load for the second cycle of the next load. Moreover, they are using the temperature of used water to heat up the rain water and are collecting all kind of wasted material in so-called green Bio points installed in the office tracts.
Huge washing machines
Huge washing machines

According to expert calculations, saving water and energy will pay off for the necessary investments in about 18 years. Freitag takes 50% of its heat from waste power plants, uses a lush rooftop garden for inspiration and insulation, and pays a premium for hydro and solar electricity. “Nobody is perfect, but we try our best to save resources and spread the idea of saving the nature,“ explained Daniel Freitag.

To celebrate the new location and say goodbye to the old building, last Friday night, Freitag invited about 1,000 guests to its former location where live bands, DJs, food and drinks created a wonderful and wild party.

Lena Elster

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