The production effort at Kirn makes jobs in the handcrafted bag sector more secure and strengthens the preservation of traditional craftsmanship in Germany.
In a cooperative venture so far unique in the German leather goods manufacturing sector, the Bremen-based Borgward brand and the traditional manufacturer Braun Büffel at Kirn are breaking new ground when it comes to the design and production of high-quality leather bags “made in Germany”. Since the beginning of the year, the Bremen designer’s specialists have been producing the Borgward bags in the Borgward brandnest integrated into the manufacturing workshop at Kirn. In this way, the two companies are jointly using resources and synergies, thus strengthening the handcrafted bag trade in Germany.
Petra Borgward, owner of and designer for Borgward GmbH, and Christiane Brunk, Managing Director of Braun GmbH & Co. KG, who manages the Kirn-based family business in the fourth generation, share a joint conviction: there is an international market for leather goods “made in Germany”.
The two German entrepreneurs have joined forces and embedded the production of the Borgward collection as an insular brand segment in the Braun Büffel workshop at Kirn. Braun provides the Borgward brandnest with space and machine use for two Borgward handcrafted masterpieces, as well as specialist personnel for specific tasks on a rental and as-needed basis.
Both brands contribute their know-how, knowledge of the industry, and trade contacts to the cooperative venture, and the nearly 135-year manufacturing experience of the traditional manufacturer Braun Büffel underpins the necessary quality level to which both women feel committed.
Borgward, following the tradition of the legendary automobile manufacturer actually based in Bremen, designs an exquisite leather bag collection, which she sells internationally in very small lots or as unique items. “The production of high-quality leather products in Germany is feasible, viable and should be cherished” – a matter of which Petra Borgward is convinced.
“With the Borgward brandnest at Braun Büffel, we want to contribute to maintaining “made in Germany” as a quality seal that stands internationally for innovation, longevity and sustainability”.
The leather goods industry has long since lost its former importance in Germany. There are only very few traditional manufacturers that actually produce articles in this country. One of the exceptions is the Braun Büffel manufacturing workshop, which is one of traditional craftsmanship’s talent hotbeds.
Although the bulk of Braun Büffel leather goods are actually manufactured by contractors in Asia, the proportion of articles produced in Germany has again risen to more than 20% in recent years – a rising trend that is running contrary to that of the industry. Around 20 master craftsmen and other specialists in leather goods production are currently working in Braun Büffel’s manufacturing set-up, and the Company trains 1-2 handcrafted bag-makers annually.
With their cooperative venture, the two entrepreneurs aim to strengthen traditional craftsmanship and contribute to maintaining manufacturing know-how by establishing pools of skilled specialists. “With the Borgward brandnest in our establishment we are strengthening our location and production on a “made in Germany” basis – thus giving our employees good future prospects,” Braun manager Christiane Brunke states emphatically.
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