Fraenck x Buitenmens
What a cool project. At Fraenck, we are very proud of our latest collab with two great names in the outdoor (sports) world: Bever and Blue Loop! From today on, these Buitenmens collector's items, made of old tents, are available in Bever branches.
But how did this come about? May 2021 we got a phonecall from Ron van der Wiel of Blue Loop: "I checked your website, you are it! Long story short, do you want to design and produce the new collection for Buitenmens? We were quiet for a moment, but then did not know how quickly we had to say 'yes'. This is Fraenck's dream, of course. Recycling materials? Check it out. Great partners to work with? Check. Gigantic challenge? Double check.
We often get phone calls and hear great stories, and this phone call sounded too good to be true. We have been in the business for a while, we know the industry well by now. But there was a lot of momentum in the deal and we soon realised that this was a serious business. The moment we received the materials and the briefing, we knew: we were made for this.
De 'Gearbag XS' van de Buitenmens collectie
The assignment: redesign the most iconic outdoor items, but made of tent material. The tents are collected from all Bever branches (in an oil drum, fittingly) and sorted out at the head office/distribution centre.
Within a week, we had made the first designs and samples. The first samples were immediately included in the meetings, and the decision was made very quickly: the first order had been placed!
It's great to see that a company of this calibre really does something about the growing problem of consumer waste. And does not outsource this to a far-off, low-wage country, but consciously seeks out cooperation with local partners. For Bever, this project fits perfectly: as a promoter of an 'outdoor lifestyle' ("no one is an indoor person") you have to take the lead and bang your fist on the table for sustainability.
Customers hand in their old tents to Bever, and via the distribution centre they are sorted and delivered to Fraenck in Arnhem. There they are further sorted, cleaned and cut up. The good pieces are then processed into gear bags, toiletry bags, laundry bags and backpacks. We try to reuse as much as possible, even the strings of the guy ropes are processed into pullers for the zips. Holes in the tent? No problem: we stitch a nice patch on it. These are materials that are still good for the most part, a shame to throw them away! The mountain of waste continues to grow, something must be done to stop it. At Fraenck, we feel really honoured to be able to play such a great part in this.
It was quite a job to get it right, every tent is different. That has its advantages and disadvantages. The best part is that every item we make is just one of a kind. So you always have a unique item in your hands. On the inside of each item is a short description of what the collection stands for and who made it.
The production was not entirely without its challenges. But as you know, our team is very strong: we go the extra mile every day to meet our deadlines. And we succeed! We are very proud of Team Fraenck who manage to do this time and time again.