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Community empowerment:
Supporting refugees in Zehdenick

Back in 1993, when trippen started out, civil war raged in Yugoslavia. It was young men from the Balkans fleeing military service who provided much of the energy and the driving force behind our emerging firm; brightening up the daily routine for us and our 4 trainees in our little Berlin workshop. As trippen moved its production hub in 1998, we recruited a number of returning German-Russians who were then being resettled in Zehdenick. We were told we should expect trouble from right-wingers in the community. This threat proved both a challenge and inspiration. Today our workforce in Zehdenick includes over 10 employees with Russian backgrounds who are part of teams in nearly every area of production. Football matches during lunch breaks helped the long levelling process, with recognition and respect literally being won on the playing field. More recently, trippen has taken on 4 Afghan refugees who are living in Zehdenick with their families. We believe language is a big help to integration, so for over a year now we’ve offered our employees regular German courses twice a week.

Awards: Brandenburg Integration Award


Expanding in Zehdenick: Reducing distances by
concentrating production in one place

Vegan shoes:
Finding good substitutes for leather