Scottish outside way of life agency takes daring steps to get again on Trakke – The Herald

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AFTER a difficult two-and-a-half years, Glasgow outside lifestyle model Trakke is “busier and stronger than ever before”, in response to founder Alec Farmer. 

“It is amazing,” he says. “Lockdown was difficult – we make luggage for folks on the go and no-one was going anyplace. It was fairly scary.

“However, after closing for six weeks, we reopened and began to make face masks. For each two we offered, we donated one to somebody in want, which was nice. We might supply a product that was useful to folks and help totally different charities and organisations on the similar time.”

Alec provides: “Now we are busier and stronger than ever before, with lots of exciting things happening.”

Alec began Trakke from a stall in Glasgow’s Barras market in 2010, promoting luggage he designed and made himself from offcuts of supplies collected from skips across the metropolis.

Realising in a short time that should you stay in Glasgow a water-resistant backpack is a smart concept, Alec sourced waxed canvas – a Scottish invention that has its roots within the fishing trade – from Halley Stevensons in Dundee to create a spread of sturdy, fashionable luggage which are additionally naturally waterproof.

The firm is now primarily based at SWG3 in Finnieston – a brand new showroom will open there subsequent month – and it employs 17 employees who work a four-day week. Trakke works intently with native faculties to supply jobs for brand spanking new garment manufacturing and design graduates, and boasts a big abroad market – 50 per cent of gross sales are exports, with 25 per cent going to the US.

“Our focus this year has been on new products and collaborations,” explains Alec.


“Collaboration has always been important to us. We are a small British manufacturer and so we want to work with other small British manufacturers, supporting the wider British economy.
“We’re working with a sunglasses company in Kilsyth – one of only a handful still making sunglasses in the UK – on a range of high-end, plant-based frames, and with Port Glasgow-based Vango, who provide us with waste tent material, which we transform into bespoke pieces. It should launch in July and we’re calling it Past Tents.”

He provides, with a smile: “I love a good pun. “The key to collaboration, I feel, is that we should be producing something neither one of us could do without the other – better than the sum of its parts, in other words.”

Sustainability is on the coronary heart of Trakke’s operations. Since its inception, the corporate has run a restore service, which implies clients can carry broken luggage again to the workshop for mending. Last 12 months, it launched a “buy-back” initiative: Remade by Trakke, the place clients can commerce in an outdated Trakke bag, regardless of its age or situation, and obtain a present card in direction of their subsequent buy.

“We restore the old bags, or – if they are beyond salvaging – turn them into something else,” explains Alec. “I always wanted to make the products live for as long as possible. There is nothing worse than thinking they might just end up in landfill.”


Almost the entire returned luggage have tales hooked up. “I love the fact people tell us all about their backpacks, where they have been, what’s happened to them, when they bring them in for repair,” smiles Alec.

New ranges for this 12 months embody the Canna, a small backpack for everybody, and a micro backpack that they’ve referred to as the Wee Yin.

“It’s lovely, very on-trend, but also perfect for kids,” says Alec. “We are finding that more and more of our customers have children now, and want the whole family to be kitted out with Trakke. Our community is changing, our customers are changing – we have been in Glasgow for 12 years now and while I was 20 when I started, I’m now 33, and my outlook on life has changed too. The business is evolving around its customers.”

Trakke can be engaged on a spread of waterproof luggage constructed from wool woven on the Isle of Bute and bonded with waxed cotton, and has plans for a clothes assortment subsequent 12 months.

“We introduced a jacket in 2020, which was a huge success – we had a limited run of 120 and they sold out very quickly,” says Alec. “So there are many little tales occurring, a number of adventures in cloth and design.

“The main thing is we are still here, still pushing, still developing our sustainability ethos and evolving our business.”


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