Fly High Bags – an alternative way to use ski jumping suits

Author: Aga Pająk, Published:
Fly High Bags

Fly High Bags is a project created by two girls from Germany – Ilka Temp and Friederike Radina who decided to reuse old ski jumping suit and produce all kinds of bags from it.

How did you meet?

We got to know each other at ski jumping about 13 years ago. Since 2007 we traveled to many ski jumping events together. Fortunatly, we also have many other common interests; for example we love dogs, Scandinavia and have very similar taste in music and – of course – bags. This is how a close friendship is developed, despite the great distance of 400 km. Ilka lives in Berlin and Friederike in Lippstadt. We do completely other things in our everyday lives. Friederike works as a physiotherapist and Ilka is a business economist.  

How did you get an idea to start this project?  

It is difficult to answer. Friederike got the idea about Fly High Bags during a trip to the Mühlenkopfschanze in Willingen. The Guide told us, how quickly the suits are sorted out. We were a little bit shocked. Sustainability these days is more important than ever – especially for winter sports. And so Friederike had a brainstorm and got inspired while staying with a glass of wine. After that weekend in Willingen we got some old suits and tried out the material. 

Who do you get the suits from?  

We get the suits from Ski clubs and active or retired individual athletes (both ski jumping & nordic combined). 

How many times can one use a suit before it’s considered to be waste?  

It depends on the level of the sport where the suit comes from. They can be used only a few times in the World Cup. The World Cup regulation states that the suits may only be a few centimeters wider than the body. The jumpers want to have the largest possible suits (that secures them longest possible jumps). That is why they are usually close to the limit. And thats why the jumpers in the World Cup need a lot of suits every season. Besides the World Cup level, suits can be use one season or more. But since rules and trends change quite often, and new materials come out, suits are often changed without being worn out. It is important that young athletes develop a correct flight feeling. And so they need current and modern material.  

What kind of products do you create?  

All kind of bags: gymbags, purses, sponge bage, make-up bags, phone cases, Laptop/tablet cases, radio set cases, pencil cases and key holders. You can choose colours and imprint individually. They are all handmade unique and so every bag tells a piece of sports history. 

What are your future plans?  

We would like to offer our products in shops and at sport events and we also want to expand our product range. Maybe we can reuse materials from other sports as well.  

Do you have a lot of orders so far?  

Yes. After having a tv and a radio report about us, we received numerous orders. So we are very happy about our order situation. Since we have our own jobs besides this project, we have to organise our time well. 

Who is the designer? 

It is Friederike who has this creative mind.

What kind of materials do you use? Just suits? 

We try to use us much of the suits as possible. But we need some cotton (for the bags’ lining), cord, zipper (sometimes we can use the suit’s zipper) to complete the bags. And it is not so easy to find fabrics that match the suits, because the suits’ fabric is very special.   

Nowadays, when we finally understood we are responsible for the environment, sustainability is really important. We try to reuse things, materials so that’s what Friederike and Ilka did. They found a perfect way to reuse old ski jumping suits which is a perfect example that Zero Waste is not as hard as some people think. We just need to look around and be creative.

You can find a lot of Fly High Bags HERE and order some of them for example HERE.

source: own information
photos: Friederike Radina