Dezeen Magazine

Freitag's Sweat-Yourself-Shop is a tiny factory for making bags

Swiss brand Freitag has created a shop in Zurich, which is a "micro-factory" where customers can help make their own bag out of recycled tarpaulins.

Named Sweat-Yourself-Shop, the interactive retail space on Grüngasse was designed by Freitag to take their existing customisation options one step further.

Interior of Sweat-Yourself-Shop by Freitag in Zurich
Freitag bags are made of recycled truck tarpaulins

The 80-square-metre retail space was originally a standard shop for the brand but has been given a factory-style makeover.

"We were looking for a unique pilot retail experience to reduce used truck tarp leftovers from our factory," explained Freitag.

"With the new shop, customers can get further involved by assembling their bag to their own taste and getting involved in the final production steps," added the brand.

"From now on, Freitag is transferring the final stages of production and the entire responsibility for the bag's design to future owners, in our newly converted micro-factory."

Conveyor belt of Sweat-Yourself-Shop by Freitag
Customers can operate a conveyor belt of material

Founded in 1993 by graphic designers Markus and Daniel Freitag, Freitag specialises in practical bags made out of recycled tarpaulins.

Used tarpaulin bought from trucking companies in Europe are cleaned, cut up and fashioned into bags. The material, polyester fabric coated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), makes for durable and waterproof accessories.

Conveyor belt of Sweat-Yourself-Shop by Freitag
The shop is set up as a "micro-factory" for bags

At Sweat-Yourself-Shop, customers can make their own shopper-style bag.

The interiors of the micro-factory are designed to look "functional and industrial", with grey walls and floors. Freitag painted all the machinery in Colour Index industrial green, the brand's signature shade.

WWorkshop of Sweat-Yourself-Shop by Freitag
The shopper bag is fully customisable

A rainbow of tarpaulin panels are clipped to hangers dangling from a looped conveyor belt that runs along the shop's ceiling.

Customers can press a button to power the conveyor belt, bringing more colour choices out from behind windows of frosted glass.

Sewing process of Sweat-Yourself-Shop by Freitag
Customers can watch their bag being stitched

Workshop stations allow them to pick out colours for the main bag and the outer pocket and watch them be cut and stitched together.

"The sheer amount of colour choices for tarp pieces that go into the F718 BUH shopper will probably have our part-time bag makers in the new Sweat-Yourself-Shop perspiring more heavily than the production work itself," joked the brand.

Exterior of Sweat-Yourself-Shop by Freitag
The whole process is visible through big display windows

Large windows frame the shop so that passersby can also watch the process from the street.

Sweat-Yourself-Shop is shortlisted for Dezeen Awards 2020 in the small retail interior category, alongside projects including a tiny bakery in Japan and beauty brand Glossier's Seattle shop that's covered in moss.