Discover craftsmanship with Manufacto, the skills factory 

THE COMMUNITIES

Discover craftsmanship with Manufacto, the skills factory 

This programme has just begun its third year of implementation in primary and secondary schools. Together, students and teachers explore three crafts by making objects in leather or wood.
The initiative, launched in 2016 by the Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès with the Paris education authority, the Compagnons du Devoir and the École Camondo, is gaining momentum. Twenty-six classes in the Paris, Créteil and Nice regions have already taken part in the scheme. They will number thirty-four this year, and schools in Lyon will be included.
What is an artisan? How do they work? What gives an object its value, how is it made? Each autumn, a group of around 30 leather-workers, saddler-upholsterers and carpenters from the Compagnons du Devoir network set out on an unusual tour around France to examine these questions about their métiers. This itinerary takes one of them to a year 5 class, another to a year 10 mathematics lesson, and yet another to a sixth form French class.
When Manufacto sets up camp, first of all room must be found for boxes of leather pieces, planks of wood and all kinds of tools. Then the 12 workshop sessions can begin. Through the experience of crafting their own leather pouches and document-holders, wooden lamps, footstools and other objects, students and teachers are brought face to face with the artisan’s skills and perspective, as well as the noble materials they transform.  
Though learning to cut, assemble, sand and finish an object takes the place of their usual lessons, it is a source of many other learning opportunities. Focusing on wood offers a geography teacher the chance to examine its origin or trade, for example. Working hand in hand, students and instructors discover a true spirit of solidarity through craftsmanship, and gain increased awareness of often little-known métiers.
 
“We have accomplished something. It has allowed us to concentrate on making something worthwhile, something tangible, creating a project.”
Sam, 
18, management science and technology student at the Lycée Bergson, Paris
 
“This is a project I will never forget. It has allowed me to see children who have been struggling at school succeed at something, and subsequently be successful in other subjects.”
Catherine Singer, 
Year 5 class teacher at La Motte Piquet primary school, Paris.
 
 

Discover more

 


 
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  • Montbron, from Charentaise slippers to Hermès bags

    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.
     
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    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.
     
  • Saint-Junien, fitting like a glove

    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...

  • Hermès employs 13,500 men and women, including 4,500 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.
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  • 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.
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  • Hermès owns 41 of its 52 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.
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