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ZURICH — Swiss bag manufacturer Freitag is adding biodegradable jeans based on bast fabrics to their assortment.

The classic slim-waist, “bast-cut” Five Pocket Jeans for men and women are made of in-house-developed F-abric Denim, a robust twill based on flax and hemp that is 100 percent biodegradable. Freitag’s E500 Male Denim is made of 19-oz. denim and available today; the E100 Female Denim, weighing 17 ounces, will be available as of October in Freitag shops, in the online shop and selected retailers at 190 euros, or $217 at current exchange, a pair.

“We continue what we’ve started with our broken twill for last year’s work pant with our jeans that are made of bast fabrics produced in a radius of 2,500 [kilometers] around Zurich. And when they’re worn out, you can take off the buttons, throw them into the compost and they will degrade entirely,” says founder and creative director Markus Freitag.

Ecologically minded Markus Freitag and his brother Daniel Freitag started their company with messenger satchels made of recycled truck tarpaulins in 1993. In 2011, the company launched Reportagen, a magazine focused on stories of investigative journalists. Last fall, a small apparel line made of sustainable, biodegradable F-abric was introduced, expanding the company’s scope of inquisitive and sustainable living.

“Freitag stands for the intelligent and sustainable use of materials. With the bags, we revived what would have been waste otherwise. The F-abric garments are 100 percent vegetal and compostable, they can even serve as ground for new plants — and here, the cycle closes again. We got very positive feedback that encouraged us to further develop our collections in terms of the material and of new cuts, especially for women who have not yet noticed Freitag as a clothing brand,” added Freitag.

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