New Vaude Production Facility Focuses on Sustainability

VAUDE’s new specialized production facility at its company headquarters in southern Germany, VAUDE Manufaktur, doesn’t look like a typical industrial building with its warm-toned, blond wood façade.  The new 2-million euro production plant built by the outdoor outfitter began operation at the beginning of the year. The role that sustainability plays in the facility  – as in the surrounding buildings – is unmistakable. Plenty of natural wood and energy-efficient strategies ensure a comfortable, healthy working space. 42 employees have finally returned to the VAUDE Manufaktur at the company headquarters and are thrilled with the space. Due to a major fire in 2015, production had been temporarily moved to a rented production plant. Approximately 100,000 bike bags and backpacks are made in the 1,800 m2 factory – utilizing craftsmanship that meets highly technological standards. VAUDE will continue to expand its “Made in Germany” production, which is growing by about 20 percent annually.

"We have deliberately chosen to strengthen production at our company headquarters and to invest in a new, highly specialized production facility which represents our values, our roots and our core competencies. We are proud of our "Made in Germany” products which are in high demand around the world," said Antje von Dewitz, VAUDE CEO. "We are also pleased that we can once again show the visitors on our company tours our own production facility as a highlight. Interest in the facility is enormous."
Since 1980, VAUDE has had its own production plant at its headquarters in southern Germany. Starting out with the production of backpacks, it now primarily manufactures waterproof panniers as well as urban bags and daypacks for the VAUDE segment, Packs ‘n Bags.  After the former production plant was severely damaged in 2015 due to a lightening strike, VAUDE decided to build a new, larger facility at the headquarters in the face of strong growth of its “Made in Germany” products.

"Made in Germany" - environmentally friendly and long-lasting
At its Tettnang headquarters, VAUDE manufactures high-quality, long-lasting products featuring 100-percent waterproofing using high frequency welding methods. Each product is handcrafted on special machines involving about 20 steps. The craftsmanship of these products can be seen in the smallest details throughout the process which involves cutting pattern pieces, HF welding, sewing, quality control and packaging. To leave the smallest possible ecological footprint, production is 100% climate neutral and EMAS eco-certified. VAUDE completely sustains from using environmentally harmful PVC that is found in conventional tarpaulin. Instead, the company uses alternative materials that are environmentally friendly and just as waterproof. In terms of sustainable product development, VAUDE already takes the product’s lifespan and minimization of material waste into account at the beginning of the design phase. Last year, VAUDE initiated a refugee project that used material waste to make shopping bags. This initiative was so popular that it is now responsible for an entire product line. Future upcycling projects are certain to be exciting.

A VAUDE Classic – the Aqua Series
At the same time that the VAUDE Manufaktur began operation, the Aqua pannier line is heading into the new season with a complete re-launch. "Made in Germany" quality is what this successful VAUDE classic stands for.  Aqua panniers made of durable, PVC-free, absolutely waterproof tarpaulin materials are reliable companions for any biking adventure, be it large or small.

Ecological wooden construction for well being
As with its recently remodeled headquarters, VAUDE has attached great importance to a comfortable working environment, excellent lighting and a cafeteria in the new production facility. To achieve its goals, VAUDE decided to build a wooden structure rather than a standard industrial building. "Vorarlberger Holzbaukunst," (Austrian wooden architecture) emphasized Erwin Gutensohn, Head of Finance at VAUDE. The building will soon feature a “green” roof contributing to biodiversity. LED lighting, triple glazing and high quality insulation all ensure high energy efficiency. "We are pleased that we can offer an exceptional working environment for our employees and that we are once again all reunited," said Antje von Dewitz.

VAUDE "Made in Germany"

1980    VAUDE begins production of backpacks and bags at its Tettnang location in southern Germany.

1990    VAUDE begins manufacturing 100% waterproof panniers and introduces high-frequency welding methods. 

1999    VAUDE launches the successful Aqua bike bag series to the market.

2015    Major fire in the VAUDE production facility

2017    The newly built VAUDE Manufaktur facility begins operation        

VAUDE Sustainability Report: http://csr-report.vaude.com/


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