23/11/2018 – Mattes und Ammann — auf Deutsch lesen

Always sustainable

Mattes und Ammann has made its mark quietly, through reliable continuity and high quality. Sustainability has always been high on its agenda.


© Mattes und Amann © Mattes und Amann


Nettle – the fibres are so long and soft that it constitutes a perfect raw material for textiles. © Mattes und Ammann


The 45 million square metres of textiles that leave Swabia every year satisfy customers all over the world. Company owner Christoph Larsén-Mattes explains: “We make many investments that are over-proportionately expensive. Investments that would never be approved in a corporation because the return on investment is deemed unacceptable. But because we’re an SME and have been operating in this way for decades, the sum of all our projects has given us a huge head-start and our competitors are finding it almost impossible to catch up.” According to the dictionary, for something to be sustainable it has to have a strong impact over a long period of time. This is ultimately what the company has been doing for decades.

Separating rubbish – and more

The owner-managed family business is located on the European watershed Rhine-Danube and nestles relaxed in the resort Tieringen. All around is nature. That does not necessarily make a company an eco-advocate, but at Mattes and Ammann not only the waste is sorted, but it is too. “It is interesting that in the meantime we have often noticed in our waste separation that even a project that initially costs, turns to a very well profit after a few years," says Werner Moser, authorized signatory and director/sales representative of the company. In 2018, the 24th Corporate Life Cycle Assessment and the 18th Sustainability Report were published. On eco paper. Of course, Mattes and Ammann is certified in many ways and also has the European Union EMAS seal of quality: the world’s most sophisticated system for sustainable environmental management. Nobody forces the company to deal so intensively with sustainability. And yet, the textile publisher repeatedly manifests his intentions and goals, presents changes, reveals developments in detailed tables or describes his major sustainability project Marlene.

Marlene – a nettle with potential

Marlene is a registered trademark belonging to Mattes und Amman. It relates to a special nettle whose fibres are so long and soft that it constitutes a perfect raw material for textiles. Around eight years ago, a project was launched with the ambitious goal of partially replacing cotton – one of the main materials used in its production. Hemp, flax and nettle fibres have been well-known raw materials for centuries. These fibres can be processed successfully on a small scale but Mattes und Ammann supplies textiles in huge volumes to major players such as Deutsche Bahn, Airbus, Daimler and innumerable other industrial sectors. This means that industrial scalability is key. Featured on German television and in consumer and trade media in Germany and beyond, this outstanding project is increasingly edging into the public eye. It is a project that continues to this day and is just one example of what sustainability can mean. If it succeeds in exploiting the excellent properties of nettle fibres on an industrial scale, resulting in top-quality yarns, it could have a profound impact on the entire cotton industry. Globally.