Freitag breaks a sweat in Zurich

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Mention the term ‘Sweatshop’ these days and a dark picture comes to mind, involving people working hard for very little money. Put another way, it means exploitation. No such sense will be applied to the newly-opened store in Zurich that goes under the name Sweat-Yourself-Shop.

This is the handiwork of Freitag, the Swiss brand that has shops offering despatch bags fashioned from used tarpaulins of many colours. In this instance, the offer remains modish bags, but the difference is that the shopper is invited to make the bag him/herself, in the store. Practically, this means walking into the store, selecting the base colour(s) tarpaulin fabric to be used from a range on display, using a template to cut the material to the appropriate size and then putting the whole thing together under the watchful eye of a member of Freitag staff.

It’s a simple step back from the matter of selling finished articles and provides an in-store ‘experience’ of a kind.

This sort of thing does not come cheap. The price of manufacturing your own bag comes in at CHF250.