Freitag – compostable clothing

By Josh Henry.

For many of us, our options when it comes to clothing disposal are fairly limited. Either drop it in the charity bin or send it to landfill. However with only 10% of donated clothes being used maybe it’s time for another option. What if we could compost our clothes? Freitag may have the answer.

Freitag, a Zürich based company,  were looking for suitable workwear for their 130 employees when they discovered that no one was making what they required, a “…tough, sustainably produced and compostable material made in Europe”, so they decided to make their own.

You may have heard of Freitag before. They started out in 1993 when graphic designers Markus and Daniel Freitag developed a line of messenger bags made of used truck tarpaulins. The water repellent and robust material provided for a durable bag that could be individually styled for each customer, as every tarpaulin has a very different colour scheme and graphic. This was their first venture down the ethically sourced material path.


After realising there was a lack of biodegradable clothing, Freitag developed F-ABRIC, a mix of Hemp, Flax and modal grown and produced on European soil.  The major benefit of these fibres are they do not require the excessive amounts of water other fibres, such as cotton, need in order to grow. They’ve also managed to reduce the amount of chemicals used during the manufacturing process, which results in a non-toxic material that decomposes after three months in a compost bin. This is a dramatic decrease from a material like polyester that can take 20 to 200 years to decompose.

At CHF 222.20 (AUD $304.40) for jeans, Freitag is not in the market of competition with giant clothing retailers. However with 60.1% of the worlds clothing being made up of synthetic materials, it’s good to see a company like Freitag taking ethical design seriously.


Feature image credit: Yves Bachmann
Messenger bag photo credit: Oliver Nanzig
YouTube Video: Camera/Edit – Yves Scagliola, Music – Zigitros, Voice – Russell Hergert
Dress photo credit: Oliver Nanzig

All images courtesy of Freitag.

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