Hermès opens major new plant in Franche-Comté
The house of Hermès has opened a major new manufacturing plant in Franche-Comté, the eastern French region bordering Switzerland.
Located in Allenjoie, the new factory – named the Manufacture of Allan - will employ 260 leather goods artisans, making it a significant local employer seeing as the commune has a population of just 750 people.
The new plant underlines Hermès commitment to developing a craftsmanship hub in Franche-Comté. Beginning in 1996 with a plant in nearby Seloncourt and continuing in 2016 with another in Héricourt.
By 2023, Hermès expects 780 leather craftsmen to be employed at the three sites in Franche-Comté, working with high quality leather to create designs developed by the Paris-based studio of the luxury brand, founded in 1837.
“The opening of the Manufacture de l'Allan demonstrates our dedication to artisanal production and the creation of jobs in France,” said Axel Dumas, CEO of Hermès.
Encompassing 5,800 square meters, the Manufacture d’Allan is designed to be environmentally conscious, with photovoltaic panels on the workshop roofs, rainwater collection points, and thermal solar panels that supply the entire site with hot water in a hillside setting that carefully preserves apple, pear and cherry trees.
Hermès will again work with the École Boudard in Béthencourt, Doubs. It is a training school providing specialist leather working and saddlery programs, where students complete 15-month courses.
“This training enables them [graduates] to master the exceptional know-how necessary to craft a bag from start to finish, in accordance with the “one person, one bag” rule upheld by Hermès,” the house said in a release.
Though quoted on the Paris stock exchange, Hermès is majority-owned by the sixth generation of the founder Thierry Hermès. Hermès currently employs 13,483 people worldwide, including 8,319 in France. While its 3,310 saddler-leatherworkers manufacture saddles and equestrian equipment in leather, bags, luggage and small leather goods at Hermès' 16 manufacturing sites located across France. In 2007, Hermès boasted a nine percent increase in annual sales to 5.5 billion euros.
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