Felix, what made you decide to bring fitness training back to the market with the ARTZT Vintage Series after gymnastics father Jahn?
When it came to the products, I was primarily concerned with transferring the topic of sustainability to the fitness sector. Wood and leather are the top priority here, so away from plastic and towards proven, durable products that still meet professional standards and look cool at the same time.
With the ARTZT Vintage Series products, training in the living room is just as much fun as in a beautiful training center. And as is well known, the eye also trains.
How did you come up with the idea for the ARTZT Vintage Series?
I was sent the medicine ball, the punching bag and the matching gloves as a sample. Of course, the vintage look that makes our vintage series products so unique was still missing. On my terrace I then experimented with how the products could be allowed to age, giving them the typical look after hard training and sweat. And that's when I had the idea of the hand-fired logo, which makes each piece unique.
We then presented the products to the public for the first time at FIBO 2017 – without even having a large number of them. People loved it, so we implemented our patio idea.
It all started with the classic medicine ball. How many products does the retro style product line include today?
There are currently twelve training tools and in principle any modern fitness device can have this look. The range is constantly being expanded, for example with the leather-covered fascia roller, which is a symbiosis of gymnastics father Jahn's times and modern fascia training according to Dr. represents Robert Schleip.
In addition to our professional training tools, we also offer other items that match the Vintage Series, such as leather bags, t-shirts and hoodies.
Keyword leather: There is currently a discussion as to whether products of animal origin are still up-to-date. It is often advocated to do without leather completely in favor of animal welfare and - as is also common in the sports sector - to use plastics. How is this compatible with the ARTZT Vintage Series?
Animal welfare and resource-saving production as well as sustainability and environmental protection should clearly come first. In my opinion, this applies to every product in every industry. Meat is far too cheap on the market, and of course the quality suffers as a result. Due to the worldwide overproduction of inferior cheap meat, there is of course also a lot of leather, which in principle - as hard as it sounds - ends up on the garbage due to a lack of demand.
Is that why leather is also used as a component for the ARTZT Vintage Series products?
Yes, because when it comes to the cowhide we use, no animal has to die for our products. Leather happens to be a quasi waste product of the, unfortunately, it has to be emphasized again and again, the cheap meat industry. An absolutely unnecessary waste in my opinion, especially since leather is an excellent material for our products and their philosophy: durable, sustainable, natural and therefore also free of plasticizers. If a medicine ball from the ARTZT Vintage Series really breaks down, no microplastics are produced when it is disposed of.
Leather, too, often has the reputation of being burdened. How do you ensure the quality of the leather used?
As customers, we always have the choice of which quality standard should apply to the purchased goods. At ARTZT, we always ensure that the leather used for the ARTZT Vintage Series meets the strict requirements of the European Chemicals Regulation (REACH). We're playing it safe!
We also insist that the leather is tanned without aluminum and regularly check compliance with our standards. In this way, we ensure that our athletes' skin is also healthy.
Each part of the ARTZT Vintage Series is unique, easily recognizable by the original ARTZT Vintage Series branding stamp, which is applied to the products here in the Westerwald. Is that the only action that is made in Germany?
No, our ARTZT Vintage Series products not only get their finish here in the Westerwald, but are actually largely manufactured in Germany. For the great vintage look, all products are finished by hand. We have very special processes for this, in which we attach great importance to producing in an environmentally friendly and, of course, consumer-friendly manner.
What can we imagine by "refined"?
Well, so that the leather looks as if it has already undergone a lot of training, I developed a very special finish together with a leather specialist, a special topping. This production step takes place here on site and in facilities for people with disabilities. For this purpose, a high-quality leather paint is first applied, which is sanded again by hand after drying.
This complex process creates the special vintage look and feel that makes the products so unique. Each part of the series is unique, each visually always a bit different. This is what defines our philosophy and makes the products of the Vintage Series so unmistakable.