VAUDE has been producing backpacks and bags in Tettnang-Obereisenbach since 1980. In 1995 we specialized in the production of waterproof products in this location.
We are using an ultra-high frequency method in which the individual components of the products are joined together with HF energy in the form of an electromagnetic field. This results in 100% waterproof "seams" that do not have sewing needle perforations.
Each product is individually made. About 20 individual operations are required in the process including die-cutting the pattern pieces from the material, welding , finishing, quality control and packaging. Each piece is manufactured by hand on special machines. Our formula includes first-class quality, innovative technology and modern design. The products often last a lifetime.
The entire production site in Obereisenbach is climate-neutral – as is the rest of our company headquarters. How this works is explained here.
On 27 April 2015, during a violent thunderstorm, lightning hit the roof of the production building. The building was immediately set in flames, and although firefighters arrived in large numbers just minutes later, the building wasn't able to be saved due to the large amounts of extinguishing and rain water.
All production had to be temporarily moved to a rented facility nearby and all models continued to be produced there at the same high standards. All materials and resource consumption at this facility was recorded and these figures were used in the climate balance; these products are therefore also climate-neutral. All existing environmental and social standards also apply to this site.
VAUDE has a clear commitment to the production site of Tettnang-Obereisenbach. At the end of 2016, production will return to a new building at the company headquarters and our "Made in Germany" products will continue to be produced. The new production facility, like the remodeled office buildings of 2015, will be built in accordance with strict environmental standards. The optimized production capacities will allow us to expand our "Made in Germany" production.
The former manufacturing building is undergoing renovation and will now host the accounting department, the marketing warehouse and a large space for occupational health management.
Use of materials at the Tettnang-Obereisenbach site
Production output of finished products (t)
Canvas material input (t)
Back panels input (t)
Small parts diverse materials input (t)
Overall input (t)
Material efficiency output/input (%)
During the fire, a large amount of materials were incinerated or rendered useless due to the extinguishing water. Due to the required additional purchasing of new material, the calculated material efficiency for the year 2015 has inevitably deteriorated significantly.
Apart from a few specialized models, VAUDE uses no PVC in the "Made in Germany" range. Starting with the Summer Collection 2017, the specialized models will also have been converted to PVC-free materials.
The reasons why PVC is so problematic are explained here.
Our alternative materials consist of other synthetics such as polyethylene or polyamide. They are just as waterproof, but some have a slightly different, yet very elegant, appearance .
Production waste is also generated at VAUDE – especially material waste left over from die-cutting of individual components. The cutting pattern images have already been strongly optimized so that as much material as possible is used. It's simply not possible to have no waste at all. The die cut waste of polyethylene and polyamide are recycled by a synthetics processing company. The waste materials, especially coated tarpaulin materials, must currently be disposed of. We are constantly in search of new opportunities for recycling these materials.
Currently we are processing only non-renewable materials in Tettnang-Obereisenbach, excluding packaging for all products that are manufactured at the Tettnang-Obereisenbach location: This consists mainly of recycled cardboard.
Climate neutral production
The "Made in Germany" products are made with climate neutral manufacturing at our company headquarters.
Germany has a highly specialized industrial structure and a high standard of living. The traditional textile expertise that Germany had up until a few decades ago, however, has largely migrated to Asia. This relates both to all material preparation activities – in particular of those made from synthetic fiber – and the labor and cost-intensive production of sewn products. VAUDE has these manufactured outside of Germany. How we nevertheless ensure high environmental and social standards are reported here.
With our "Made in Germany" Collection, we are showing our commitment to our production site in Tettnang. As a member of the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF), job security and fair working conditions are not only our concern out in the big wide world, but also right here “at home.”