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Beauty of the Plastic Bag

It’s a sure thing that waste is excreted in human life. When I see a recycling bin in the fast food restaurant or cafe, it only has a box for food waste or liquid, paper and plastic waste. There’s no vinyl one. At my school, there aren’t vinyl bins. However, vinyl is not the general garbage. Obviously, it must be separated. Because of vinyl’s feature, not only does it not degrade well, but it also releases harmful substances into the atmosphere when it is *incinerated. ‘Freitag’ makes bags using *tarpaulins made of vinyl and is famous for being a recycling brand. Actually, I didn’t know that there was such a brand before hearing the story from the Hongik Tidings’s assistant Lee Sina while working at the Hongik Tidings. Therefore, I would like to hear from the assistant a detailed story about Freitag and her interest in it.

Q. When was the first time that you encountered Freitag?

A. It was when I was studying three years ago. When I saw my friend carrying a Freitag bag, I thought that it was pretty and I felt that I wanted to have it, too. Since I was a student who had no earnings, it was too expensive for me. Therefore, I really wanted to get it, but I couldn't buy it. I thought it was a price I couldn’t afford. However, that year my friend got married and went on a honeymoon trip to Switzerland, which is where the Freitag headquarters is. There, my friend sent me the question, “Blue or red?” in a messenge, but I couldn’t answer immediately because it was too late at night. My friend gave me a red Leland bag as a gift after returning home. It was my first Freitag bag.

Q. Please give a brief description of the bag you have.

A. First of all, Freitag’s bags are completely made from recycled materials. To be specific, the bag cloth is made from tarpaulin. The bag strap is made from a seatbelt, and the trademark is from a waste tire. The bags are made by cutting tarpaulin, so all the bags have unique designs. The sewing of the bag is done by hand, not by machine. Therefore, the finishing of the sewing process is precise, and it makes the bag durable.

This line is now discontinued. I’m very proud to have collected all by size. Every Freitag bag has a name by line and size. To distinguish them by size, we call them Delgado, Pritchett, Dunphy and Bingham. They were a bit difficult to collect. Like France, Japan and the USA, these bags are all from different countries. The name of the first bag I mentioned earlier is Leland. My friends say, “Do not name the bag, maniac!” but I didn’t name it. It was already named by Freitag.

Q. If someone wants to buy your bag at a higher price than the price you bought it at, would you sell it?

A. I can’t sell the Delgado, Pritchett, Dunphy, and Bingham lines, since they are now discontinued, and it took a long time to get these bags. In addition, the process of buying them was also fun. Even if someone offered me expensive high, I couldn’t sell it. Though they are discontinued, first, the good thing about these lines is that the handle is not a cross-section. The Miami Vice model, currently on sale, has some leather because of a cross-section in the handle. In comparison, this line is not pulled out by stitching the cloth in a long length, so not to tear. And I like that the trademark which is Freitag is written on it is at the top center. Now that it has been renewed, the trademark has been changed to a smaller fabric, not a waste tire, and unlike other bags, it has one more line so that we can use it like a backpack.

Q. Was there any fun episode when you collected each bag that you have now?

A. The first bag I bought is a gray Dunphy. I bought the model name ‘Delgado’ on a secondhand website. I kept carrying it thinking, “This is Delgado.” However, I Googled it and realized that it was a Dunphy when I looked at the size comparison picture. Since I had never seen the real thing from this line, I didn’t recognize the Dunphy even after purchasing it.

As the size of a line increases, the price goes up. I thought that I bought well because I got the Dunphy for the price of the Delgado, which is bigger than the Dunphy. As I was carrying it, I thought I should buy another Dunphy because I like the size of the line. There was a notice about selling a Dunphy at the Freitag Café page, so I bought it without hesitation. Receiving the goods, I thought ‘Was Dunphy so big, like this?’ When I compared the size of it at home, it was a Bingham, which was also bigger than the Dunphy. I bought it at the Freitag Cafe, but the sellers didn’t know the exact size of the model.

The other thing was about buying backpacks. The product name of the backpack is Bonanza, which was discontinued about 7-8 years ago. The price of a Bonanza was almost $300, but after the Bonanza was discontinued, there were so many people looking for it. Therefore, it became expensinve. In fact, I didn’t search to buy a Bonanza. I was searching for a Freitag on a secondhand site as usual. Usually, the sellers of Freitag products write down the name of the product such as ‘Dunphy sells’ in the title. But in the advertisement, ‘Freitag sells’ was the title. I clicked on the post, and THE PICTURE WAS BONANZA! The price was $100, which was relatively cheap and the bag was in good condition. I immediately contacted with seller and went to the Seoul National University station that evening to make a direct deal. The seller said that she didn’t know that I could come here in the middle of the night. For this reason, she lowered the price. Since the bag has been discontinued for a long time, I asked out of curiosity where she got the bag. She said that her brother bought it in New York. However, she seized his bag because he did not pay back his borrowed money Thanks to that, I got the Bonanza at a cheap price.

Q. What’s your opinion about the price range of the Freitag?

A. When it comes to recycled bags, they are never cheap. But the pretty design makes me buy them despite the high price. The Freitag bag’s prices vary with their design and color. First of all, when looking at the design, the bags with letters are more expensive. However, in the case of our country, the monochromatic bag is slightly more expensive. It’s a questionable fact that the price changes depending on the color, but it’s because of people’s preferences. In the case of yellow and green, the price is low because people are reluctant to have them. On the other hand, blue, gray and red are more expensive.

Q. What is good about carrying a Freitag bag?

A. When people close to me see someone who is carrying a Freitag bag, they always take a picture and send me a message: There is someone just like you who carries THAT bag!

Q. Do you have any other Freitag products besides your bags?

A. For example, I have a wallet. I always buy things thinking, “This is the last thing I will buy.” However, whenever I feel like that, the pretty Freitag product comes back into my view and I eventually end up purchasing it. I waited in line for a cup of coffee, and I saw a person in front of me who had a Freitag wallet. It was so pretty that I immediately searched for the Freitag wallet on the internet. Fortunately, the wallet was on sale for half price. Therefore, I bought it right after I contacted seller on the same night.

Q. Could you give a tip to people who want to buy a Freitag in the future?

A. Since Freitag goods are products that are designed to use roughly, you should purchase considering the degree of wear of the edges, rather than cleanness. Even if the cloth of the bag is clean, if the edge of the bottom of the bag is worn out much, it is not a durable product.


  1. *tarpaulin: heavy-duty waterproof cloth, originally of tarred canvas.
  2. *incinerated: the destruction of something, especially waste material, by burning.
  3. *monochromatic: containing or using only one color.

Chung Minkyung  pepsisehun@naver.com

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