Vango and Trakke are making bespoke backpacks using heritage tent fabric

tents upcycled to backpacks
Project turns old tents into new backpacks

An historic tent maker has partnered with a backpack manufacturer on an innovative upcycling project.

Fabric from Vango tents is being recycled by Scottish firm Trakke in a limited edition collection called 'Past Tents'.

Both companies are based in Glasgow. Vango was was founded in the west of Scotland more than half a century ago and still has its HQ in the city. Meanwhile, Trakke was started in 2010 by Glasgow-based Alec Farmer, who was hunting for a messenger bag to use while cycling around the city.

The new bespoke backpack range is constructed from recycled heritage tent fabrics, including Vango’s iconic orange Force Ten tent. 

tents upcycled to backpacks

Two Scottish brands in partnership

tents upcycled to backpacks

Some of the 'Past Tents' backpacks

Greener way to make backpacks

There are five rucksack models, from two-litre roll-top pack made from original Icelandic tents used by the Scouts to an orange Force Tote Bag.

The bags are designed to transition from urban and outdoor environments with ease, and the nostalgic 1960 to 80s silhouettes have a functional, modern twist.

Both companies are strong on the environment with Trakke ensuring a low waste design ethos and handmade manufacturing. 

Vango (opens in new tab) has operated a recycled tent platform for more than a decade, as well as a Spares and Repairs service and they have an Earth Collection made from single-use plastics. The company also donates fabrics and sleeping bag fillings to UK-based charity Sheltersuit (opens in new tab), who create sleeping bag jackets for those impacted by homelessness.

All the Past Tents bags have been constructed using end of life tents, giving the kit another life and avoiding landfill. 

Trakke’s founder said: “We designed this collection to capture the nostalgia of the camping trips we took in our youth. 

“We created a range of sizes and styles to suit children and adults alike and added features like wide-mouth front pockets and padded laptop sleeves to make staying organised easier.”

Rob Birrell, Vango’s marketing director, said: “Collaborating with another local business in Glasgow to create the Past Tents range has been wonderful for us to explore more ways to ‘upcycle’ end of life tents, as well as create a bespoke range that fuses heritage with modern day.”

The collection is available exclusively via Trakke (opens in new tab).

Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors (opens in new tab).