Responsible production and our desire to incorporate the best possible craftsmanship into our products is an essential part of what compagnon stands for. To show you we're playing for keeps we're taking you to our workshop to give you a chance to actually see where your compagnon bag was made. No actors, no fake scenery. Just a behind the scenes visit, an open talk. Honest. And live.
The compagnon manufactory:
Artists at work
Co-founder Vitalis spends several days at our workshop every couple of weeks, being available to our highly skilled seamstresses and craftsmen to discuss the production process or possible improvements to the manufacturing process. Improving the final product is not the only motivation behind this step. We like to utilize the knowledge and experience our workers like to share and give them the chance to show their expertise. Any compagnon product can benefit from decades of leather craft and sewing experience. To show you which hands made your compagnon and help us bring new prototypes and great ideas into our lineup, co-founder Valentin went along to Cracow this time. And he took his film camera with him:
Cracow offered up all the things that were important to us as well as beneficial to our products. Being close to Austria and Germany and looking back on a central European historic influence, our perception of quality and premium craft was welcome and fully understood from the beginning. Talking with every worker results in a conversation based on appreciation, consciousness of tradition, harmonious working climate and an open mind towards the individual requirements of the other. This by its own suits the compagnon brand perfectly.
Making a compagnon bag, especially as natural fabrics and materials are involved, is difficult and complex steps will come up eventually. Building prototypes several issues my arise that have to be discussed to be addressed in the best way possible. Therefore it's essential for Vitalis to be able to decide in minutes to be there for the craftsmen and seamstresses as the go-to guy.
A product claiming respect and appreciation almost always results from a craft that needs to be cherished in the same way. That's why it is important to us to appreciate our workers and seamstresses and pay them a fair living wage. Our type of manufacturing process leaves room for individual talents and personal requirements of each person. A master seamstress with over 30 or 40 years of experience is not scrapped but cherished for her input and knowledge here.
There's no stopping progress and technology, but tradition deserves its place too. We're obviously using some modern machines in our workshop but the bulk of the work that goes into a compagnon product is done by craftsmen's hands and faithful sewing machines still serving well after several decades. Why would anyone chance a winning team? And if you do, you make sure to do it cautiously. That's what we fairly believe in.
compagnon products offer a large live span, escorting you through several years. Especially as we use natural fabrics and materials it might get necessary to repair a little bug or build a custom change according to customer requirements. If these tasks go beyond the capabilities of our workshop in Birkenfeld, Germany these gifted hands take on your demands.
Designing a bag that looks great and work just as well, that's what we work on all the time. Blending an exciting idea with the compagnon factor is one thing, making it come to life is where these amazing women and men come in. As we test our prototype models ourselves we'll find out which design deserves the name compagnon. Now you know that each compagnon contains the knowledge, abilities and passion of many people. We think that's a delight. And we certainly hope you feel the same way...
About compagnon Leather:
The base for our creations
The leather used for our products is local, natural and unique from the beginning. The hide used come from a field close to our homebase. We can visit the bulls as they get to spend their life on a wide range pasture in pristine, natural conditions. The raw skin may have small scars and imperfections as the bulls get to wander around as it lies in their nature. Being able to see them for ourselves, experience their wellbeing, is an unique base for such a special product.
From the quality of the raw hide on, we wanted to make sure to use the most natural, traditional way of tanning the leather, too. We're partnering with a small, family run tannery close to Lake Bodensee, also close to our homebase. Here leather is naturally tanned to our specifications, without added chemicals or harmful ingredients. The amazing result is a bull leather which will retain a beautiful patina and get more unique with every year of use. As the tanning process is achieved with nothing but craftsmanship, natural oils, waxes and fermented greenery, the resulting leather is all natural and still offers dependable water resistance as long the leather is well maintained.
We're recommending to use an all-natural leather care like our homemade 'the beewax' on your compagnon leather product at least once every 9 months to maintain your bag or backpack in the best possible way.
Because we're not using chemicals, which would be necessary to ensure absolutely stable color tones, our leather tones light brown and dark brown may vary a bit from one batch to the next. These variations are fairly minimal and generally adapt over the time of use.
compagnon bags and backpacks are made to become your best friend and stay on your side for years. compagnon bull leather is perfect for just that. Besides its soft touch, feel and exclusive look, compagnon leather is sturdy and dependable.
Because this material has been made from the start for being outside and being on the go. By nature.