When it comes to companies stepping up to challenge wasteful manufacturing models, the Swiss recycled tarp bag company FREITAG has stood at the forefront of this trend for years since launching their sustainably-minded brand all the way back in 1993.
Photos by Fabian Hugo
Taking their mission to an even more extreme—or, dare we say, anti-capitalist—degree over the past week, the company has launched a bold new idea in an age where many companies are fixated on mass manufacturing, growth and profit: an app that allows FREITAG customers to swap their bags with other FREITAG bag owners without spending a dime.
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The mobile platform called S.W.A.P (Shopping Without Any Payment) is designed in a similar fashion as Tinder, allowing you to register your own bag and swipe through other bag owner's gear to facilitate a switch. The platform was designed solely as a way for fellow FREITAG customers to connect with one another and eliminate the complications that come with financial exchange—that way you can come out of the experience with a new bag while keeping old belongings in circulation and, ultimately, out of landfills.
While this concept appears potentially risky within typical business models, it certainly helps FREITAG earn customers' trust in their company while also addressing an important issue in this day and age—our harmful dissatisfaction with the items we own (an epidemic coined as "affluenza").
As described in FREITAG's press release for S.W.A.P., an effective way to fight these wasteful tendencies as a consumer might simply be to make sure a neglected bag gets out of your closet and into the world to give someone else joy: "FREITAG has been thinking and acting in cycles and giving disused truck tarps a new life as unique bags that are so robust and durable there's no need to buy another one right away. But what if your affections disintegrate faster than the tarpaulin and the bag is still willing but you no longer are? If...your old one-off ends up forever at the bottom of your closet and has to make way for a new one, it gets kind of difficult to talk about sustainability and conscious consumption."
You can register to be a part of the S.W.A.P. community on FREITAG's website; simply register your bag model and away you go! Happy swapping.