I am not convinced this can work but I will give it a try.
TreeHugger has long been a fan of FREITAG (our first post on them dates back to 2004!). Their bags are made from recycled truck tarps and seat belts and last forever. What's not to love? Sometimes the bags outlast their purpose, like mine has; I bought the F11 Lassie to carry my iPad, but it's not big enough to hold my new MacBook Air and I want to get an F14 Dexter, the next size up. The only problem with the FREITAG bags is that they are really expensive. If only there was a way to trade it in...
And now there is, with the latest idea from FREITAG: S.W.A.P. (Shopping Without Any Payment), an online bag exchange platform. They explain the problem:
For 25 years, FREITAG has been thinking and acting in cycles and giving disused truck tarps a new life as unique bags that are so robust and durable there’s no need to buy another one right away. But what if your affections disintegrate faster than the tarpaulin and the bag is still willing but you no longer are? If, as a result of irreconcilable differences, your old one-off ends up forever at the bottom of your closet and has to make way for a new one, it gets kind of difficult to talk about sustainability and conscious consumption.
So they developed a version of Tinder for FREITAG bags; you upload a photo of your bag and then swipe left for bags you don't like and right for the ones you do.
And when it ends in a match, i.e. two people liking each other’s bags, you can get down to the handover negotiations. FREITAG leaves the details as to how, where and whether the swap actually takes place entirely up to the guys involved. The bag makers are happy if the match leads to the creation of two new, sustainable bag relationships and wish everyone a never-ending bag swap craze.
I am not convinced that it will actually work; I wonder how many people out there want to trade a 14" bag for my 11" bag, even if I offer to top it up with a bit of money as FREITAG suggests. It is not like they are running a take-back and exchange program; they say, "Our exclusive role at FREITAG lab is to act as matchmakers. The actual swap and all the fine details are your sole responsibility." I have to find someone with the bag that I want who wants the bag that I have, then work out all the shipping details, but who knows? My family thinks that people who love these bags made out of old tarps are weird; perhaps there are lots of people like me out there who would weirdly get into this.
I will give it a shot and report back when I get my Dexter!