TRAKKE

We are happy to be introducing TRAKKE!! This fantastic company produces some seriously tough bags for cyclists and adventurists! Trakke was started by Alec Farmer who studied Visual Communication at the Glasgow School of Art, Farmer graduated last year (2011) and since then he and Trakke have been ploughing their way through to these amazing heavy duty well designed messenger bags for cyclists and adventurists!  This is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of bags! Tough, strong, durable, built to last and ready for action!

Trakke Bags are designed and made in the UK, British craftsman fashion these bags from high quality long lasting materials which are sourced within Britain.  Not only are these bags great for their super high quality but the functionality of these bags is incredible! Check out the product feature section of the Trakke website and have a look at all the cleverly designed compartments and dookits! Very useful! Trakke prides itself on building bags to last a lifetime so its likely you may only need one Trakke bag unless…you want a different colour or one from their latest range which sees a collaboration between Trakke and Harris Tweed making amazing bags in amazing style!

Alec Farmer the founder of Trakke views the functional simplicity of the bags as a key element in creating these wonderful bags – “When designing the pack, we were looking at a lot of oldschool climbing packs – narrow, simple packs that can take a beating on the mountain and are unlikely to snag on rocks”.  Trakke specialises in cycling equipment but with a bag of this quality and funationality it can be easily used for other activities such as climbing, hiking, skiing, travel bag or a solid bag for motorbike riders.  The Krukke backpack was inspired by the aesthetics of vintage mountaineering equipment with its sleek long profile which makes it easy to carry on your back while cycling and passing through narrow gaps.  This Krukke backpack shown in the image above is the result of a great collaboration between Trakke and Harris Tweed the pure functionality of the Trakke designed backpack is complemented by the beautiful yet simple Harris Tweed textures, pattern and colours.

Trakke bags are vigorously tested to stand up to the wear ‘n’ tear that is expected of their use.  Trakke is conveniently located within a workshop that many0many professional cycling couriers use and so design feedback, improvement and testing is an ongoing part of daily life at Trakke – they have got to keep their core customer happy! If they don’t they are going to hear about it! The bags are tested in the most extreme weather Scotland has to offer, rain, wind, hailstones, sun, ice, snow and that’s just the morning! But what if your not a commuting cyclist or an adventurer? well the bags are great for everyday use. The Mule messenger bag was designed for cycling couriers and adventurers but they are great to carry around your books and beloved high-tech items such as laptops, iPads, phones, kindles, the list goes on… Imagine buying this bag at the beginning of your studies, its the last bag you would ever need, perfect for carrying your course work and keeping the corner of those expensive books dry!

 

Check out our interview with Trakke founder Alec Farmer

 

Pinso: How did Trakke start?

Alec Farmer: Trakke started while I was at uni. I set it up with a friend after chatting to some of the Glasgow bike messengers about their hunt for the perfect messenger bag. At first, we made every bag ourselves, with no set design, using materials we found on the streets or in skips. We used truck tarps, hardware off old suitcases, leather from salvaged sofas. All sorts. We probably made over 100 bags before we began using a ‘stock’ design. At that point we started making bags from some more serious materials. Using cordura (an industry-standard, durable nylon fabric), we launched the original Mule and Wee lug messenger bags. By this point, we were close to graduating, and James (the original co-founder) decided to go and follow a slightly different career path in the French Alps. I carried on running Trakke, but made some pretty serious design changes. Basically, I realised that one of the key elements of Trakke was the ‘Handmade in Glasgow’ philosophy, and sadly, manufacturing in the UK doesn’t come cheap. In  order to maintain a sustainable company, prices had to go up, but I didn’t want the customer to feel like they weren’t getting good value for money. With this in mind, I redesigned the bags using the finest materials I could lay my hands on – custom made Waxed Cotton from a Dundee mill, high quality polyester webbing from the Midlands and stainless steel hardware from down south. Using British materials, I used all of the feedback from the original bags to develop what is, in my opinion, the ultimate messenger bag -the Mule Mk2.

Pinso: Where are the bags made and who makes them?

Alec Farmer: Our bags are made in a small workshop within the Bike Station in Glasgow. We are surrounded by thousands of bicycles, and cyclists pop in and out all day long. The bags themselves are designed by myself, and manufactured in house by our machinist, James (not the original co-founder!), who has an extensive background in sail-making. His skill, and in depth knowledge of material stresses and seam tensions means that our bags are built to the highest possible standards.

Pinso: What have you found to be the most challenging part of running Trakke?

Alec Farmer: I come from a background in design. I’m a creative, not really a businessman. In that sense, running Trakke as a business is always a challenge. It has been a steep learning curve, but I actually really enjoy it. I sometimes get bored of just doing one thing – running Trakke allows me to do everything from designing bags to marketing; organising events to writing press releases, so I am always kept on my toes!

Pinso: Whats next for Trakke?

Alec Farmer: Wow, what a question!

We are currently working on a collaboration with Harris Tweed. Using their fabrics seems such a natural progression – they are a relatively local company, producing some of the finest materials available using an age old, handmade technique that fits right in with our philosophy. We previewed these bags at the Harris Tweed ride, and they’ll be featuring in the Harris Tweed fashion show this week, alongside brands such as Margaret Howell and Duchamp. These bags will be available to buy online in mid-october. As a part of this collaboration, we have also created two new bags in the range – the all new Wee Lug and the Bairn mini-messenger. This is exciting, as these bags should be more fitted for women, while also providing a smaller-capacity for city riders. We’re hoping to get some of these made up in waxed cotton too before christmas, as well as launching a new laptop case.

Next year, we’ll be looking at other sports too. The Krukke backpack has been really popular, and I specifically designed it as a bag that would serve other sports (such as climbing and skiing) as well as cycling, so I’m thinking about expanding the range in that direction too.

Pinso: Where can we get Trakke products?

Alec Farmer: Currently, our bags are available from www.trakke.co.uk, as well as a limited range at the5thstore.co.uk.

If you live locally, you can always pop into our workshop and say hi at 65 Haugh Road, Glasgow, G3 8TX.

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