Alec Farmer from Trakke messenger bags in Glasgow tells us more about where he makes.

As with many small creative industries, Trakke started out in my living room. I use this term loosely, as there wasn’t much space to live. Nicknamed ‘Studio 82’, piles of fabric, tools, hardware and thread dominated, and with work-in-progress occupying any other available space, any hope of achieving the ‘minimal design studio’ aesthetic we had in mind was lost. Shelves, desks and seating were all improvised from discarded items found on the streets of Glasgow. In fact, most of our original products were made like this too. With little money, we scavenged fabrics and tarpaulins from skips, buckles and hardware liberated from abandoned suitcases and leather from defunct sofas. We developed our skills and our designs with virtually no investment, and began to build a brand.

Two years on, we finally moved out of ‘Studio 82’ and moved in with our friends at the Glasgow Bike Station. We occupy the mezzanine level in a 10,000sq ft warehouse, surrounded by mountains of bicycles and people who love cycling. It’s the perfect place to work. With two industrial sewing machines in pride of place, fabric storage and a pattern cutting table in the main gangway, customers can come up and buy a bag or chat about a custom order in full view of the production line. Every step of manufacture is right there in front of them. This transparency is such a crucial part of the ethos of Trakke. Our ‘Handmade in Glasgow’ philosophy centres around the idea that people can come in and speak to us directly. They can suggest changes to the bags, or request custom details, and we can respond to that feedback immediately. We don’t need to call up some distant factory, wait for prototypes and then produce a huge run of products. We can make a change spontaneously, so our product development happens continuously.

So if you are in the neighborhood, come in and grab a coffee with us! If not, check out our latest video below for a bit more insight into the Trakke philosophy.

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‘Where I Make’ invites readers behind the scenes of artists from many disciplines to share photographs and a little insight about where they create their masterpieces. See more from the series here.