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august & alfred – Sustainable fashion from the Ruhr area

august & alfred is the name of a new brand jointly launched by steelmaker thyssenkrupp and the fashion label Grubenhelden. This is not a new steel grade, but an extraordinary fashion collection which upcycles cast-off melters‘ coats into streetwear jackets, shirts and accessories.

Ruhr area fashion made from silver coats

august & alfred - Fashion from silver coats

august & alfred stands for really unique Ruhr area fashion. Not only because of the steel appliqués. The collection is made of cast-off silver coats – a special heat resistant work clothes for steel workers who work at blast furnaces. The accessories and cuts for the clothesare 100 percent handmade – in thyssenkrupp’s Inclusion Workshop in Duisburg. The people who work there have experienced special turning points in their lives and have the courage and confidence to tackle their future. The garments are made from the cut pieces of the silver coats by Grubenhelden on its own equipment.

The eternal steel cycle in the Ruhr area

Just as new things are made of steel thanks to its excellent recycling potential; just as thyssenkrupp Steel’s employees reinvent themselves after personal crises, the Duisburg-based steel company is also constantly changing.

The only thing that does not change is the protective function of the silver jacket the employees working at blast furnaces. A personal protective gear, which combines tradition and innovation. “august & alfred is the clear commitment to our industrial heritage and the recognition of the work of the people living in the Ruhr area“, says Frederik Hoffmann, Head of Inclusion Workshops at thyssenkrupp Steel and thus in charge of the production of the new collection. “The label is a homage to the people living in our region – for generations. We are all steel city kids and often also grandchildren of miners“.

Steel Group meets start-up

At the end of the 19th century, August Thyssen and Alfred Krupp already assumed social responsibility in the Ruhr region and with entrepreneurial spirit ventured into new territory in times of industrialization. Today, thyssenkrupp Steel meets its corporate responsibility to society in collaboration with august & alfred. A small project team has developed the social enterprise idea from conception to implementation and then launched it on the market together with the fashion label Grubenhelden.

By developing a long-term and cost-covering concept for the production and the sale of clothes in its Inclusion Workshops (WSL), the steelmaker is also making an internal statement. Frederick Hoffmann, Head of WSL: “The manufacture of products by our Inclusion Workshops outside our spectrum of services increases the awareness and the appreciation for our employees. Moreover, we promote their creativity and personal responsibility and strengthen their networking“.

Continue with august & alfred

Carry on

Since the days of August Thyssen and Alfred Krupp, steel has been part of the Ruhr region and will continue to determine the heartbeat of the region and the people who are deeply rooted in this region. We have always been doers and workers. That’s why the august & alfred collection is manufactured by employees who used to work in the steel mill and who now work in the Inclusion Workshops of thyssenkrupp Steel after having experienced personal turning points in their lives. Responsibility, courage and confidence have always forged a strong bond between people in the Ruhr region. Let’s carry on together.

Preserve traditions

We were born in a melting pot of different cultures where different values exist side by side. We are strong, straightforward and honest. But above all, we are committed to helping each other. When we are going through tough times, we leave none in the lurch.

In the Ruhr region, taking on social responsibility is never a question of decency, but always a matter of the heart. Already 150 years ago, August Thyssen and Alfred Krupp built coal miners’ dwellings that are still home to us today. We preserve their tradition: stand up for each other and stick together – also in the future. As a company. As a brand. As people. Beyond the boundaries of our core business and the Ruhr region.

Hand down knowledge

When we work the sky over the Ruhr region is set ablaze with colors. Under the experienced eye of our blast furnace operators - some of them already in the fourth generation - sparks fly on the melting platform during the tapping process of the molten iron. Like their fathers before them, they hand down their knowledge to the next generation. We pass on proven knowledge and combine it with new.

We always wear our protective clothes – the silver coat – to make sure that we work safely. And once it is discarded, we pass them on to our fashion partner, Grubenhelden, and to you. There is a unique piece of steel history in every piece of august & alfred. A favorite piece of clothing from the blast furnace for your wardrobe.

Think ahead

Just as new things are created from steel, which can be recycled over and over again, we are constantly reinventing ourselves. From the pit to the catwalk. From the Ruhr region to the world. Thinking ahead, changing instead of stagnating – this is us. This is august & alfred. In the workshop, when driving on the highway. We want to look beyond our horizon, discover new opportunities, break new ground. Here and everywhere.

Fashion start-up meets company legend. Opposites attract and are a perfect match. Steel company thyssenkrupp Steel and the fashion label Grubenhelden are collaborating to create a joint collection of unique steel clothes and accessories: august & alfred.

Make a difference

For and with the people in the region – this is the entrepreneurial credo of thyssenkrupp Steel. The company wants to participate in the solution of social challenges, help shape them and take on responsibility as part of society.

We help wherever we can. thyssenkrupp Steel engages in big and small education, innovation and social initiatives at its production sites. A share of the proceeds from the sale of the august & alfred proceeds is therefore donated to charitable projects.

Share the passion

august & alfred is the clear commitment to our industrial heritage and pays homage to the people living and working in the Ruhr region. It is a tip of the hat to the people who call this region home. Across generations. We are all steel city kids. Often also grandchildren of miners. When we make plans together, we are on the same wavelength.

august & alfred is Mogli & Marina. Wolle & Werner. And many other steelworkers & miners, who show an attitude with their passion for their work and pass it on to others. Our products impart a piece of this passion to everyone.

You can buy august & alfred here

  • online in the august & alfred shop
  • local Grubenhelden stores at CentrO, Zollverein and in Gladbeck
  • in the café “Stulle und Stahl“ on the premises of thyssenkrupp Steel
  • sales tour at all thyssenkrupp Steel locations

Three questions for…

Christina Aumann, CSR Officer at thyssenkrupp Steel

Why does thyssenkrupp Steel launch a fashion label in these economically challenging times?

Steel is a product based on teamwork, which has been produced for centuries with a great spirit of companionship and cooperation. This spirit also inspires the employees in our Inclusion Workshops. The fact that we are involved in producing a local fashion collection makes a difference and proves that we take our social responsibility seriously. Our founding companies Thyssen and Krupp were already committed to their workforces and to society, for example, by building company dwellings or a hospital. We continue the commitment at our production sites by supporting projects in the fields of education, corporate citizenship and innovation.

Why silver coats?

The protective clothing worn by our furnace operators is something special. That is why we wanted to help breathe new life into them. This has also an ecological benefit. Instead of disposing of the smelter coats, we turn them into something new. The garments themselves are then manufactured in series by our cooperation partner Grubenhelden. With these unique pieces, each of which evokes a piece of steel history, we express our identity and our attitude and share it with society: Our focus is on the people and our passion for steel.

Why did you opt for Grubenhelden?

thyssenkrupp appreciates the Ruhr region and the people who live there. We carry on their values and traditions and share them with our partners – as with Grubenhelden.

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