13 April 2023
Paris-based luxury goods maker Hermès has opened a new leathergoods workshop, the Maroquinerie de LouvieFrancers, which joins the Maroquinerie de Val-de-Reuil to form the Hermès Normandy leathergoods hub, writes Leatherbiz.
The 6,200 m2 workshop, designed by French Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh, is the first industrial building to earn the French E4C2 label, an accreditation that assesses the performance of a new building according to energy (E) and carbon (C). Level E4, the highest level, means that the Louviers leather goods workshop is a positive energy building, and uses both geothermal energy along with solar power. Level C2, also the highest, denotes the most efficient operation for carbon footprint reduction.
The wooden-framed building was constructed on an industrial brownfield site using more than 500,000 bricks, produced 70 kilometres from Louviers to minimise the impact of construction while showcasing the know-how of Normandy’s brick-makers. The choice of site also proved fitting as archaeological excavations, prior to construction, found a wide variety of flint tools from the Palaeolithic period, attesting to prehistoric leather work carried out in the region.
Employing 260 saddlers and leather workers, in addition to other roles in human resources, logistics and management staff, the workshop artisans will produce small leathergoods and bags alongside saddles and bridles. Being the first equestrian workshop established outside of Paris, saddlery has been placed at the heart of the site in respect to the Hermès origins.
With the opening of this workshop, since 2010 Hermès has opened ten leathergoods workshops in France, bringing the number of saddlers and leatherworkers employed by the group to more than 4,700. Four further workshops are currently being developed: in Tournes-Cliron (Ardennes), Riom (Puy de Dôme), L’Isle-d’Espagnac (Charente) and Loupes (Gironde), for which recruitment and training are ongoing.