Freitag’s pragmatic retail design feels right at home in Rotterdam

Rotterdam – For Freitag, blending sustainability into all elements of their business is second nature. And for a country like the Netherlands, a retail space that favours pragmatism is the stuff of soulmates. The brand has recently moved into its newest storefront in the Dutch port city, showing off a space packed full of practically designed display. The entrance has been flanked by two winch installations that Corsin Zarn, Freitag’s interior designer calls ‘a reference to local shipping tradition.’

The cult bag brand was started back in the early 90s by Swiss brothers – taking tarps from shipping trucks and cutting them up to make bags fastened with used bicycle tire tubes and car seat belts. Since becoming known for a trailblazing re-use of materials, the company has furthered their message by building sustainability into their retail interiors as well. With an in-house design team they have used concrete and corrugated steel flooring topped with steel support joists to create an interior that appears as an industrial workshop through the shops two-storey glass façade. This holistic notion is furthered by the V30 Freitag Skid, an economic storage system created by designer Colin Shaelli. Made of recycled plastic and cardboard, the system is a mainstay of each store, threading the brands ethos from product to surroundings while providing ample room for over 2,000 bags.

Since becoming known for a trailblazing re-use of materials, the company has furthered their message by building sustainability into their retail interiors as well

Sharing a fondness for circular functionality, Rotterdam happens to know a great deal about both sustainability and cycling. After large parts of the city were bombed in WWII, the open spaces have become places of experimental reinvention. With ambitions for carbon-neutrality in the country by 2050, concept homes are being built to collect rainwater, store solar power and harvest homegrown produce. Although none of these methods are particularly new, the rate and efficiency with which these residences are being built is striking, and among other goals, Rotterdam laid out the plan to have 10,000 energy-neutral renovations to take place by the end of 2018. It is also the city that created the Port Waste Catch, a collection system that traps plastic waste before it can travel further out to sea.

A winch installation mimicing the scale of a boat's mast has been included in the store's design as a reference to Rotterdam's shipping legacy.

This proves that, each in its own scale, Freitag and Rotterdam share the outlook that sustainability isn’t a pipe dream but a product of rationality.

freitag.ch

Location Van Oldenbarneveltstraat 137a, Rotterdam

Billboard: LEEDLeaf - US Green Building Council
Billboard: LEEDLeaf - US Green Building Council

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