2016 was a pretty big year for us here at Trakke Basecamp. The sewing machines have been humming, the phones have been ringing and we’ve been on more adventures than we could ever have imagined. With the new year lurking on the horizon, we thought we’d share some of our highlights from 2016, including some of the projects we’ve been working on behind the scenes.
We kicked off the year by creating a reproduction of our all-time favourite backpack – the Karrimor Whillans Alpiniste. Originally produced in 1964, this piece was part of an archive collection created for Nigel Cabourn & Karrimor, and we were lucky to meet the man behind the original design – outdoor industry legend Mike Parsons. Needless to say, it’s not just a highlight from 2016 – we ticked off a life-goal with this one.
Every now and again, we work on a project simply because we can. Just around the corner from our workshop is the Soul Barber Room – a barber shop that prides itself on expert styling, great chat and a warm, friendly vibe. It’s the kind of place that feels like a community – a rare kind of place where people stop as they walk past to say hi and share anecdotes. We whipped up these ventile and waxed cotton aprons to make sure the team there looked as sharp as the scissors they cut with.
March saw the launch of one of our favourite collaborations of all time – the limited edition Jura Whisky backpack. Drawing inspiration from the wild and remote Isle of Jura and it’s eponymous distillery, we wanted to tell a story with this pack. That’s why it’s 20 litres – exactly the volume of the angels’ share that evaporates from a cask of whisky during it’s 10 year maturation process. Even the colour came from the island, using the lichen that grows there to create a natural dye. The launch blew our minds. We sold out in 8 days – but watch out in 2017 – we’ll be bringing this colour back in the Spring!
Every year, Glasgow plays host to the Glasgow International Arts Festival. Our friends at The Bothy Project invited us to create a piece that was inspired by the city’s industrial heritage and it’s creative revival. Referencing the history of shipbuilding on the Clyde estuary, and the small ‘ditty’ bags a sailor would use to store their equipment, the Makers’ Ditty is designed to store and organise the various tools of the modern craftsperson. These will be available to buy in 2017.
We’d been thinking about finding some ambassadors for a while, but we hadn’t found the right people until May. The Path Adventure crew came to Glasgow for a visit – they had just cycled from London to Berlin in the snow, and as soon a we met them we knew they were the kind of people you’d love to bump into on your travels. They’ve got a thirst for adventure and some great fireside chat, and so they became the first members of the Trakke Pack.
There’s nothing quite like opening a beautifully printed, expertly bound book and finding you’re in it! We were honoured to feature in the With Love Project book – a compendium of some of the UK’s finest makers and manufacturers. The guys behind the book travelled the length and breadth of the country to find the best of the best – an adventure in itself. The official launch was held at Fortnum & Mason, where you can still find our bags today.
In July we said goodbye to our original range and changed everything. We took everything we’d learnt in 4 years of design and manufacture to create the Future Classics range – a whole host of packs that are cleaner, leaner, lighter and better suited for adventure than ever before. We launched the range in waxed cotton only, but in 2017 you can expect to see new designs and fabrics making an appearance throughout the year.
Every summer, Edinburgh hosts the worlds largest arts festival – the Fringe. Comprising of over 50,000 performances, 3000 performances in 300 venues, it’s a month long creative extravaganza. This year, we were invited to create a limited edition ‘souvenir’ with Local Heroes alongside some of Scotland’s most prolific contemporary designers. The pieces went on display at Edinburgh Airport to an audience of over 1.2 million people throughout August. It was a beautifully curated show, and was touted as one of the must-see exhibitions at the Fringe.
Alongside our day-to-day production, we’ve been quietly working away on a collaboration with Scottish indie legends Frightened Rabbit. Grant, the band’s drummer, was in desperate need of a case for his drumsticks that could handle the wear and tear of world tours. Over the last few months we’ve been refining the design with Grant and prototypes are currently being tested by Deathcab for Cutie and Biffy Clyro too – so when it launches in 2017, it’ll be tried and tested by the pros.
We’ve been working hard this year to make our Instagram feed better and better, and in October we undertook our very first Instagram takeover with Canopy & Stars. Heading north to Laggan, we caught some of the best weather of the year and explored castles, canals and, of course, stayed in a beautiful cabin. You can check out our trip-report here, but you can expect much more of this in the new year too.
As if the year wasn’t good enough, in November we won not one, but TWO awards at the Herald Fashion Awards! We are proud to have been named ‘Online Accessory Retailer of the Year’, and we were stoked to scoop the ‘Best Fashion Twitterati’ award for our strong social media presence. We weren’t expecting the win, but we’re over the moon. Thanks to all of you for your support – and if you’re not following us already, join us on Twitter and find out what all the fuss is about!
As the year comes to an end, we wanted to give it a proper sendoff. Working with award winning designer Kestin Hare, we released this limited edition ‘Cairngorm Mountain Range’ Assynt 17. It’s a stunning fabric on one of our most popular packs, and we’re excited to continue working with Kestin in 2017.
Just writing this post has reminded us what a big year it’s been, and no doubt you’ve had a fun-packed year.
Thanks for an incredible 2016, and Happy New Year.
Here’s to all the adventures still to come.