Sustainability - Commitments 02/03

Precious leather ateliers in Vendôme, France

Louis Vuitton unveils two new precious leather workshops in the French town of Vendôme at the historic Trinity Abbey and the new eco-designed Oratoire.

The inauguration of the two most recent ateliers demonstrate the Maison’s commitment to developing its high-end craftsmanship through local employment, training and upskilling talent from diverse backgrounds. Over time, Louis Vuitton plans on hiring 400 leather artisans for both the ateliers Abbaye Vendôme and Oratoire. By the end of 2024, an additional estimated 1,000 people will be hired throughout 18 ateliers in France, in addition to the nearly 4,800 Louis Vuitton employs today.

Atelier Abbaye Vendôme

Carried out over three years in partnership with the town and under the supervision of the Monuments Historiques, Louis Vuitton completely restored the centuries-old Trinity Abbey, giving it a new lease of life while preserving its patina. Today, the historic monument has transformed into an extraordinary four-story atelier working with precious leathers to create a wide range of the Maison’s models. Reconnecting with the region’s long tradition of leatherwork, Louis Vuitton is committed to preserving and perpetuating this unique savoir-faire locally through the site’s Ecole des Savoir-Faire, an extensive apprenticeship program, and a gallery space with exceptional archival pieces.

The Atelier Oratoire

In addition to the Abbey, across town Louis Vuitton has inaugurated a second workshop in Vendôme named the Oratoire. Architecturally optimised, the appropriate materials were chosen in order to conserve heat or cool air depending on the season, as well as the use of natural ventilation techniques that lower the site’s energy consumption. The use of natural light reduces electricity consumption and ensures a pleasant work environment for the teams. Echoing the Maison’s commitment to preserving natural resources, the use of recycled or eco-friendly building materials have been opted for. For example, the structure is made from 100% recycled metal and FSC-certified wood, ensuring the sustainable management of the forests it comes from.

Responsible Sourcing

The two ateliers, which will mainly produce leather goods from precious skins, are the most tangible outcome of the high standards the Maison demands of its supply chain. By the end of 2022, 100% of crocodile skins used for manufacturing Louis Vuitton bags will come from certified farms that follow standards based on four strict cornerstones: preservation of the species and respect for the local communities, animal welfare at every stage of the animal’s life, respectful working conditions for men and women on the farms, and environmental protection.
The Maison is committed to maintaining local biodiversity, relying on CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), whose strict regulations govern the marketing of these precious hides. This is seen in the integration and control of the manufacturing stages from the sourcing of the hides through to the certification of hides. Added to this high level of knowledge at each stage of sourcing and processing in the tannery is the exceptional craftsmanship that places research and development at the heart of Louis Vuitton's production systems, as well as the optimised use of raw materials.