A story linked to the manufacture of slippers


from Charentaise slippers to Hermès bags

The River Tardoire meanders through the fields where Limousine cows graze lazily. Montbron, in its picture postcard landscape, was sliding into oblivion. The opening of the Hermès leather workshop created over 250 jobs that contributed to the regeneration of this town in the Charentes area of southwestern France. Families are moving back in, a nursery class has reopened, and community activities resumed. A renaissance.
“Montbron, in Charentes, has endured two catastrophic decades. The unemployment rate reached 15% in the late 1990s. Young people moved away, houses and shops stood empty, and the school lost a class every four years. It was becoming a dormitory town for Angoulême. The 300 jobs created since the opening of the Hermès Tardoire manufacture replaced those that were lost. Not all our problems are resolved, but hope is returning.”
Gwenhaël François, Mayor of Montbron

A story linked to the manufacture of slippers

It is a typical town in today’s rural France. One deserted by the businesses that had for generations made it prosperous. Montbron had two strings to its bow: textiles and felt, for manufacturing slippers and to meet the needs of the paper industry. At its peak, the Bricq factory employed 400 people, compared to around 60 today, who now work in textiles for industrial use. Just one slipper manufacturer, DM Production, has survived.

Discover more

  • Living Heritage Companies in tune with the times

    They master crystal and silver, discipline leather, enhance fabrics, and print on ceramics. A dozen Hermès companies are certified Entreprises du Patrimoine Vivant (EPVs, or living heritage companies). This label is reserved for exceptional techniques, outstanding patents and archives, and long-established geographical roots. It is above all a breeding ground for innovation.
  • Silk with a generous quality

    A Hermès carré is more than just a scarf, particularly when it is socially responsible. Limited editions are regularly produced in support of actions by local non-profit organisations. The square takes sides when it comes to women’s and children’s rights, preserving the environment, protecting endangered species, and supporting art.
  • Saint-Junien, fitting like a glove

    Competition and changes in consumption patterns have caused a number of setbacks for the French glove-making industry, born in the Middle Ages in the heart of livestock-rearing regions. Almost a century old, the Ganterie de Saint-Junien, situated on the banks of the River Vienne, is the oldest glove factory in France. Acquired by Hermès in 1998, it has been given a new lease of life.

Our imprint on...

  • Les femmes et les hommes

    Hermès employs 15417 men and women, including 5200 craftspeople, who form the first métier of the house. This land of hand changes and hires nonstop. To train, pass on, develop, ensure well-being, health and solidarity… Our ambition is to stimulate the personal growth of everyone involved.
  • The Planet

    Hermès endeavors to exalt, in twenty or so métiers, the most beautiful materials offered by nature. Our artisans’ skillful hands respect leather, silk, fabric, wood, crystal and precious metals. To preserve, optimize, revalue and draw… Our duty is to achieve the sustainable use of these resources.
  • The communities

    Hermès owns 43 of its 55 manufactures in France and more than 300 stores around the world. Our proximity with suppliers, partners and territories is cultivated in the field. To fertilize, mesh, renovate and be committed… Our role, as an environment-friendly company, is to build sustainable ties.