Trakke is a Glasgow based manufacturer that produces bags designed to last a lifetime. The brand unofficially began three years ago when founder Alec Farmer, along with a friend, began producing bags to cater to the needs of bicycle messengers working in Glasgow’s often hostile weather. Using this experience, Alec re-launched Trakke in its current form a year ago and the company has quickly garnered both critical and popular acclaim.
Trakke takes an uncompromising approach to quality. Whilst they may initially seem dear, they are constructed from premium materials such as waxed cotton and Cobra buckles – usually seen on military and paragliding equipment. The vast majority of fabrics are sourced from the UK and all of the production takes place in their workshop in Glasgow, resulting in a business model that is good for both local business and the environment. The bags are sewn by a career sail-maker whose expertise ensures that they are finished to the highest standard.
This attention to quality goes hand-in-hand with a focus upon the needs of the customer. Trakke’s workshop is situated in The Glasgow Bike Station, an enterprise aimed at promoting cycling in Glasgow, so they are in constant contact with their customers. Prototype models are extensively tested and even after a design is settled upon and put into production, modifications are made to adapt the products to the changing needs of the customer. On top of this, customers can have their bags adapted to their own individual specifications, whether it be altering the model for a particular sport or using an interesting material to create a unique looking piece.
Aesthetically, the bags straddle the line between form and function; a difficult compromise for some, although Alec doesn’t see it that way:
“I am a bit of a minimalist; I don’t like owning too many things. I don’t like the idea of having one bag for hillwalking, another bag for cycling and another bag if I’m going to a party. Our bags are designed to be functional as well as beautiful – I don’t see why you can’t have both.”
The products themselves reflect this sentiment. The selection of rucksacks and messenger bags are eminently functional yet sport a clean, versatile look that would fit in with any number of styles. On top of the other UK sourced fabrics, Trakke has collaborated with Harris Tweed to produce a number of bags decorated with the world-renowned fabric. These lean further towards style-conscious end of the market, sporting a higher price tag in return for a more elaborate piece. The attention Harris Tweed has given Trakke speaks of the critical acclaim they have amassed over a short period.
Those interested in Trakke can look forwards to an expanded range of products becoming available soon as well as an exhibition about the construction of the bags and the people who go on to use them, opening on the 11th of July at the Lighthouse venue in Glasgow.
You can shop the collection over at trakke.co.uk.