Buddy like us
Once upon a time, the winding machines rattled tirelessly here, on the northern edge of the Ruhr region, and brought the hard coal to the surface. Today, the site of the former Waltrop colliery is home to Manufactum's headquarters, the heart of our company. Today, the characteristic brick buildings with their gables, which are strongly influenced by Art Nouveau, are among the most beautiful preserved mine buildings in the entire Ruhr region. They bear witness to the moving history of an entire region.
We are at home in a place where the search for "black gold" has played the leading role for around 75 years. In the heyday, around 2,800 miners travel here by pit cage down to a depth of 1,000 meters every day. The hard work amid the noise and coal dust shapes their lives and those of their families. Reliability, honesty and community - these are the values that were already important in the colliery's everyday life back then. If you walk through the halls today, you can still feel this spirit.
The end of coal mining is a turning point for the region, which grew into Europe's largest conurbation as a result of the coal and steel industry. In the course of structural change, collieries throughout the Ruhr region are being transformed into cultural sites and locations for new industries. Buildings that once housed machinery are now finding new uses as impressive office complexes. Among them: the Waltrop colliery. After extensive renovation work aimed at preserving as much as possible of the original structure of the listed building complex, the Waltrop colliery becomes our new home in 1998 and, just three years later, the site of our first department store.
When you enter the premises today, you hardly suspect at first that the offices of a medium-sized company are located behind these imposing walls. The award-winning architecture of brick and iron by the architect van de Sant impresses at first glance with its special materiality and aesthetics, and inspires our joint work and product range design anew every day.
We still search here today - without hammers and irons, but with the same solidarity, care and perseverance of the miners of old. Only the "black gold" has become different for us: extraordinary and convincing products that correspond to both our understanding of sustainability and that of our customers. Because even though Manufactum is continuously evolving as a company - our values and the driving force behind our actions have remained unchanged for more than 30 years: We respect people and nature. A responsible and mindful approach to both is therefore the guiding principle of our business activities. The history of coal mining has taught us that every resource requires careful handling and that we must look to the future as well as see change as an opportunity. That's why we pay explicit attention to environmentally friendly production and support companies that maintain artisanal traditions just as intensively as we promote the development of new technologies and manufacturing processes at the same time.
The spirit of community of the former coal mine life - it continues to exist in our work today. We are dedicated to a common goal and lend a hand where it is needed. In this way, together we create an honest and sustainable product range full of good, authentic things that delight our customers and always recognize the achievements of those who produce them. It is this eye for the extraordinary that defines us and connects us to this place. A tradition to which we will gladly adhere in the future.