Contents page 1 — “We don’t suck as a status symbol,” page 2 — “Vegan is the same in a sustainable way” On a page

Manufactum was founded in 1987 – four years after the Greens were for the first time entered the Bundestag. 2008 founder Thomas Hoof has sold the company to the Otto group. Hoof moved now new rights literature, Manufactum has expressly distanced itself from him. In the meantime, buying houses in eleven cities in Germany and Austria, Manufactum, the company also sells products online. Then, as now, it is benefiting from the desire for sustainability and mindfulness. Can improve conscious consumption the world? Or he is at the end of a profitable business? A conversation with managing Director, Max Heimann

TIME ONLINE: Mr. Heimann, even chemical companies, and weapons manufacturers with sustainability reports in the meantime. You can stand out with this word?

Max Heimann: That is difficult. We have, however, advertised never explicitly with sustainability, but with products that are durable and repairable. This is what we understand as sustainable.

Manufactum, managing Director of the Max Heimann © PR: Manufactum

TIME ONLINE: If sustainability is important, why sell it then not only fair trade, organic products?

Heimann: Some certifications are useful, and then we are using them. But many of our suppliers are so small that they would overwhelm the bureaucracy, for these certifications is necessary. We convince us that there are small artisanal businesses, where we can the value chain with a view.

TIME ONLINE: Some customers do not trust organic food because they believe that the Standards are met. Why should they give you more confidence as a legally regulated certification?

Heimann: We try to be as transparent as possible. We show at events, in our stores, how the artisans manufacture their products, for example gloves or a knife. And our bakeries are all open: You can see how the dough is kneaded and in the oven. In addition, we pay our suppliers on a regular basis visits.

TIME ONLINE: In the case of products from abroad, for example, cocoa, I can imagine the difficult.

Heimann: A colleague travelled with chocolate manufacturers all around the world, the entire production process. You can say: trust is good, control is better. But of course, we can control and not each of our 2,000 suppliers permanently.

Zeit ONLINE: Are your products climate-neutral?

Heimann: We will try local products. We want to reduce packaging material. Overall, we are not there but as far as we would have liked to.

TIME ONLINE: they also offer sausage and cheese – although most of the animal products are environmentally more harmful than vegan products.

Heimann: Vegan does not equal sustainable. We pay attention to, for example, very careful what food we use. But in our gastronomy due to the sausage and cheese were vegan would not work. At Manufactum Brot&butter is already in the name. I would prefer to offer a pure product, to use as a alone the vegan Trend. In terms of sustainability, it is more important to us, the customers, the ingredients used in a product.