RE-SOURCING: OUTDOOR MATERIALS
The Francli design and make process is about being as resourceful as possible. Discovering creative ways to stop perfectly functional and beautiful materials from being sent to landfill.
Salvaging discarded objects, collecting factory off-cuts and buying dead-stock fabrics; there are many exciting places to explore for all the components of our products. It's an approach that is often inspiring and spontaneous, leading to eclectic materials such as military surplus, discontinued climbing equipment, leather upholstery, boat sails and boat production off-cuts.
These material misfits directly influence the designs and make each Francli rucksack unique...
I collect retired climbing rope from climbing walls and mountain rescue teams across the UK. Because of the strict health and safety regulations, the rope is made redundant after a certain amount of time. This means there’s many metres of perfectly useable rope left over. It may not be safe to carry the weight of a human, but it’s perfectly strong and durable for a life in other outdoor gear such as the draw cord in the Activity Rucksack and Day Pack designs.
Hypalon is a synthetic rubber used for making inflatable boats and foldable kayaks. It’s resistant to chemicals, temperature extremes and UV light. It is also strong and 100% watertight. There’s a local boat factory where 2 skips full of Hypalon off-cuts get shipped to land fill every fortnight. These pieces are too small to be made into RIBs, but can still be up to a metre squared. So I visit the factory, collect the off-cuts and incorporate them into my designs as a leather alternative.
As I make each bag to order, tailored to the customer’s lifestyle and aesthetic tastes, I sometimes get more sentimental requests. Such as re-appropriating a beloved yet un-wearable piece of clothing so it can live on in a new way. Shirts are great for adding a bit of pattern or a flash of colour in hidden linings and pockets of a rucksack.