Downpass interview with Alexander Singer, CEO of Sanders-Kauffmann
How important are innovations for the success of Sanders-Kauffmann?
For us, success means the surpassing of goals that we have set jointly. We define our primary goals in terms of our clients:
- healthy sleep,
- optimal rest and
- well-being at the highest level.
We see innovation as an essential part of consistently expanding our market leadership. Innovation refers both to the further development of our portfolio in order to meet the expectations of the market and to the development of our structures and organisation (in the sense of a “best fit”). We want to set trends. We want to promote innovation by:
- creating a climate to foster creativity and ideas: The working environment should offer everyone the opportunity to contribute creatively and to communicate their ideas openly.
- enabling change: Only if we are willing to face and to implement change, we are able to innovate and develop efficiently.
- seizing opportunities responsibly: We want to seize opportunities that present themselves to us if they are conducive to the company’s goals.
We recognised early on that the perfect climate control of bedding is an elementary component for particularly high sleep quality. Many of our innovations therefore deal with this important topic. One example is the CLIMABALANCE® system, which is patented worldwide: We have virtually “broken up” the homogeneous structure of a down duvet and provided it with ventilation zones that enable sleepers to be relieved of excess heat. At the same time, the moisture released during sleep is removed so that a perfect and healthy climate can develop.
The lightness of bedding has always been a major issue at Sanders-Kauffmann, therefore the development of fabrics with the lowest weight combined with the highest safety and best usability properties has been driven forward in Bramsche. This was indispensable for today’s trend towards ever lighter, yet warming quilts. Our fabrics, which are offered on the market as “Bramscher Tuch”, are produced by a refinement process that has been optimised again and again over many years. The sum of the individual steps is unique and bears the name SanProCare® sensitive.
Last but not least, Sanders-Kauffmann has also focused on innovation in quilted articles – with new trendy and also particularly precious fillings. The latest example of this is the Vicuña duvet. The particularly rare hair of the camel-like animals is sourced from the high Andes of Peru and processed into fine fleece in an elaborate process. The result is a duvet with an exclusive filling that is hard to beat in terms of lightness and softness – of course with all the advantages that nature has given the finest natural hair and cotton, such as natural climate balance and perfect moisture transport – for a healthy sleep, optimal relaxation and well-being at the highest level.
As a European company with headquarters in Germany, you stand for high-quality fabrics and first-class fillings in the bedding market. You have sites in Germany, Ukraine and China. What importance do you attach to the complete traceability of your supply and production chain?
Sanders-Kauffmann is in the focus of national and international comparison as a provider of top quality and takes a pioneering role in various areas. We are very aware of this responsibility. The current discussion about animal welfare has always been supported by our company, and we have already been able to set pioneering accents in the market with a self-defined standard – “Down-Right-Down”. We consider complete traceability and transparency to be absolutely necessary and support corresponding targeted measures to the best of our ability. This is the only way we can prove our responsibility in an ethically sustainable supply chain.
Sanders-Kauffmann prefers to work with natural materials. What can cashmere, camel hair, wild silk and down do better than other filling materials to help develop the perfect product?
In its origins, the company Sanders-Kauffmann has always worked with natural materials. For example, Sanders has always used fine-threaded cotton fabrics for upholstery, which have incomparably good properties compared to synthetic materials. Kauffmann has traditionally worked with feathers and down, and here, too, synthetic substitutes cannot come close to the properties of natural materials; neither from a technological nor an ecological point of view.
A relatively new field in our overall portfolio are quilts, which are preferably also wrapped in cotton fabrics from our own production and filled with fillings such as cashmere, camel hair, wild silk and recently also flax and linen. Each of the fillings mentioned is incomparable in its own special way and impresses with natural properties such as particularly good moisture management, softness, lightness, durability and last but not least sustainability.
Because the fillings are cleaned and bonded by purely physical processes, but are not chemically altered, the fillings and casings can be recycled at the end of the product life cycle by simple separation. In the area of feathers and down, professional bed feather cleaning is an option for processing high-quality down fillings and then allowing them to live another product life. This saves resources and avoids unnecessary waste.
How important are independent certifications for your success and why do you rely on the DOWNPASS seal as a label of animal welfare & quality?
The current discussion on the subject of animal welfare and the end consumer’s desire for the security of a completely clean supply chain make it necessary for the legal and ethical framework conditions that we take for granted to be documented externally by seals of independent institutions. Our company has chosen the DOWNPASS because it is a valuable seal that on the one hand particularly supports animal welfare as a zero-tolerance standard, but on the other hand also emphasises the quality aspect of the bedding that has been labelled. Ultimately, this underpins the high requirements that our customers place on Kauffmann products.
Thanks to its broad network and the large number of audited partners, DOWNPASS offers us good opportunities to query and procure the required down and feather supply in the various regions. The lean but effective organisation of the DOWNPASS team simplifies the handling of the necessary work steps through short communication channels and a high level of competence.
All in all, the DOWNPASS – also due to its increasingly international orientation – is an important building block that contributes to the success of our company.