Hermès opens second leather goods factory in France's Ardennes region
Hermès is boosting its production capacity at a fast pace. After opening a leather goods factory in Normandy in April, the luxury label has officially inaugurated a new site which had been operational since the start of the year, with some 80 artisans working in it. It is located in the Ardennes region, where Hermès is setting up a major leather goods manufacturing hub. The La Sormonne facility, inaugurated on Friday May 12, is Hermès’ 22nd leather goods factory in France. It nestles in the hilly region between the towns of Tournes and Cliron, and has been designed for minimum environmental impact.
The factory’s 5,700 square-metre building, set within an 11-hectare estate, was designed by the Coldefy architectural studio in Lille using a “bio-climatic approach,” with a wooden structure and façades, and extensive use of solar panels. The factory has a “high level of environmental performance,” meaning it produces more energy than it consumes and has a reduced CO2 footprint, as Hermès stated in a press release.
“The Maroquinerie de la Sormonne embodies the house’s sustainable development ambitions, its commitment to the well-being of its employees and its pledge to create sustainable jobs,” said Hermès, anticipating that 260 new jobs will eventually be created at this site.
La Sormonne is the second factory specialised in leather goods that the label has established in the Ardennes after the one at Bogny-sur-Meuse, which has been operating locally for nearly 20 years. Hermès's goal is to create a specific production hub in the Ardennes, which will be completed in 2027 with a new leather goods factory in Charleville-Mézières. The same town where, in 2022, Hermès opened a craftsmanship school specialized in the cutting, weaving and stitching trades, which trains most of the apprentice artisans of the label's leather goods hub.
Hermès, renowned for the Birkin and Kelly handbags, is also in the process of building three other factories in France, in Riom (Puy de Dome), L'Isle-d'Espagnac (Charente) and Loupes (Gironde). Leather and saddlery goods account for 43% of the label's sales, and generated a revenue of €4.9 billion in 2022.
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