One of the pioneering innovators in turning industrial refuse into functional gear is Freitag, the Swiss company launched by a pair of entrepreneurial bike-riding designers who decided that dirty old truck tarps would make ideal messenger bags. Frietag blew up quickly from its humble beginnings — it’s easy to love bags that are durable, waterproof, recycled, and one-of-a-kind. But in scaling up, Freitag’s never compromised their commitment to material reuse and local production (in Zurich).

But why stop there? Given their knack for putting a super-hip edge on recycling, they’ve now scaled up exponentially, with a concept retail space made from shipping containers. “Lovingly they were gutted, reinforced, piled up and secured. Zurich’s first bonsai-skyscraper.”

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17 containers comprise the 4 stories of Freitag’s new Zurich store, situated near the transit bridge with roof-top views of the city. Who knew a simple cycling solution could turn into a high-style recycling empire?

Via Reluct

If this weren’t cool enough, Freitag also makes “Patriotic Footballs” (Just in time for the World Cup) from recyled truck tarps. Viva la game!