HALFAR® Annual Report 2019 – We look back!

Dear customers, dear colleagues,

The year 2019 is slowly coming to an end. Therefore, we want to thank our colleagues and customers, as well as all partner companies for your trust and engagement!

It was an exciting and, above all, an eventful year. Together, we achieved so much!

To summarise, we want to reflect upon our achievements with you. Starting from our range of bags to the certifications and awards; and then onto the issue of sustainability, which has characterised 2019, and the outstanding things that occurred here at our site in Bielefeld during this year: From the insect-friendly roof garden to the new logistics centre.

Products & awards

In this year, exciting new products found their way once again to our selection range. And so 40 innovative products came on board. There was everything from backpack to shopper. We are especially proud of our DIAMOND backpack, with which we were able to impress the jury of the Promotional Gift Awards event. Many thanks for the award!


Also worth mentioning is the new FRAME series and the new Finishing Technology HALFAR FAST LANE® associated with it, which can offer answers to many questions. Overall, our customers could choose from a total of 213 products and 14 finishing technologies in 2019.

Moreover, we were delighted to receive three prizes at the PSI Sustainability Awards. In the “Social Excellence” category, we were able to impress as a particularly staff-friendly and cooperative company and were able to bring the first prize home. We achieved second and third place respectively in the categories “Social Initiative” and “Economic Excellence”. For that, once again many thanks!

The HALFAR® Online shop

In May this year, our new HALFAR® homepage went live, including a modern and intuitive shop. A clear design and an optimised user interface quickly resulted in remarkable acceptance. The combination of interesting facts and a round-the-clock option to obtain samples and goods from stock is increasingly being taken up and enriches our collaboration.

The new HALFAR® shop - optimised for all types of devices

Employees, trainees & young talent

The HALFAR® team experienced strong growth once more in 2019. The team now consists of over 130 colleagues, who strive on a daily basis to make the HALFAR® brand a guarantor of trustworthy products and sustainable management. Thanks to everyone for the team feeling.

In 2019 we can also look back on the 9 young people who started their training in our company. Apart from the six vocational training placements offered previously offered, we also filled an apprenticeship for an e-commerce administrator for the first time. We were also able to congratulate four trainees on their success in passing their vocational exam. The HALFAR® team continues to support three of them. We are so happy that you are with us!

Sustainability in 2019

No subject occupied us this year as much as the search for additional opportunities to work even more sustainably and to make our products even more sustainable.

As planned, we fully compensated our unavoidable transport emissions this year. Together with Insect Respect, we expanded our green space on our company roof by a further 450 m² and designed the roof with green plants, piles of deadwood and other nesting places, thus creating additional, essential habitats for insects.

A further measure for cutting CO2 emissions was the purchase of our first electric company vehicle. It is a good alternative, especially for short trips.

We also support the use of the Job Bike, local public transport as well as the creation of car sharing initiatives. Colleagues “biked” over 5,000 km at this year’s City Bike Event. This employee initiative cut 732 kg of CO2. All these measures can be looked up in the current sustainability report, which was extended in 2019, incorporating the SDGs; the UN’s “Sustainable Development Goals”.


As well as the existing DIN ISO 14001:2015 and DIN ISO 9001:2015 certifications, we were also able to attain GOTS re-certification this year. This means that all products, which carry this seal, continue to fulfil the highest ecological and social requirements along the whole of the production chain.

Modern working space and a new external warehouse

We also experienced strong growth in terms of space this year. The new logistics centre in Bielefeld Altenhagen went into operation in August after only 10 months of construction. It is merely a few kilometres from our headquarters and serves to centralise our shipping processes. Our bags are stored here in a 7,100 m² space. Moreover, a photovoltaic system is installed on the roof, which produces the electricity for our electrically operated forklift trucks, amongst other.

Our fourth construction phase was also occupied, now functioning as a modern office space and work area under the motto “NEW WORK”. At the same time, fruit baskets and water dispensers were introduced to provide healthy sustenance for all employees.

Other 2019 highlights

We supported the Glückstour (Good Luck Tour) for the seventh time this year with our bags, when chimney sweeps cycle through Germany on their bikes, collecting money donations for children with cancer. We made donations, too. School children in Tanzania could enjoy their new bags and backpacks.

After the first Bagground day last year with so much positive feedback, the second one was held this year. On this day, future trainees as well as their families and friends had the opportunity to become even more familiar with our company before the start of their training. Armin Halfar personally took them on a tour through the company.

Thank you for 2019!

At this point we want to thank EVERYONE most sincerely – once again – who made 2019 into what it was. We are already looking forward to a strong year 2020 and wish you all a very Happy Christmas!

Best regards from Bielefeld,

Kathrin Stühmeyer-Halfar & Armin Halfar

Strength and passion – that’s what “HALFAR” stands for

In all the years we have been working as experts for every kind of bag, fundamental values have always been deeply entrenched in our actions. These values include, for instance, being passionate about what we do or dedicating all our energy to developing new and improved solutions. However, what most people don’t know is that all these values are already contained in the corporate name. The decision to use the “HALFAR” name as a brand name is not because it’s Armin Halfar’s family name, but because the values embodied in the name perfectly harmonise with our own.

viking ship

HALFAR sounds like?

If you start delving into the name’s origin, you will find that it comes from Norway. You will also find plenty of explanations as to what it means. The so-called “Hallvarr” was considered the “guardian of the rocks”. Only strong and courageous men qualified for this task. Apart from this, the watchman had to be reliable, since he had plenty of responsibility. Furthermore, in Oslo there lived a patron saint whose name was “Saint Hallvard”.

From the deep north

The first time you hear the word “HALFAR”, you tend to think of Scandinavia and the Vikings. Above all else, these two associations stand for strength and robustness. However, you also think of pleasant people, especially thanks to stories such as “Wickie and the Strong Men”, who are known for their clever solutions and willpower.


HALFAR® has always epitomised these values. We are constantly developing creative and contemporary bags for our customers. Yet, our products never lose sight of their functional and qualitative demands. Because, no matter whether they are used as custom-made special bags or individualisable advertising material, above all else, HALFAR® ultimately stands for one thing: strong bags!


HALFAR® Best of Bags

The vitamin boost is available not just in the Halfar canteen, but also in all four kitchens.

Good things come in threes – how taking a break can be a source of creative potential

Everyone knows the problem from their everyday work: After a few hours, concentration starts to flag. When the attention starts to wander and blood sugar begins to dip, it is time for a break. How to make this break useful and how to support our staff in doing so is what drives us.

For many people, the most popular method is coffee – a caffeine hit that Halfar has always provided free of charge. Since drinking large quantities of coffee over a long period is not healthy, however, we have put in place some more ideas to help our staff get through the day. Many of the ideas originated as suggestions on our notice board and from staff involvement measures.

Measure 1 – Sparkling, still or boiling hot – water for all 

As we are made of 80% water, the element is essential for our wellbeing, our health and our ability to think. But we still often forget to drink enough during a hectic day – especially when no water is to hand. To counteract this, Halfar has now installed water dispensers at four central locations. Be it chilled, filtered or sparkling water or even boiling water for tea, it is all now available at the touch of a button, helping everyone to stay hydrated.

The water dispensers at Halfar can be used not only during breaks, but all day, giving staff an energy boost whenever they need it.

Measure 2 – Dry inside, green outside – fresh air and exercise

As well as the beautifully designed rooms and inviting canteen, our staff also have the option of using the terraces and green spaces around the building during their breaks or for meetings. Exercise in the fresh air stimulates the brain, provides the necessary distance from problems, or simply does us good, especially if the sun is shining. But our colleagues do not let a stiff breeze or the odd drop of rain put them off getting outdoors either.

Halfar employees have also the possibility to go for a walk outside to conduct a briefing or to find new ideas.

Measure 3 – Help yourself – vitamins for all!

Since the end of March, we have been buying fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables from a local organic farm once a week. Filled to bursting, the baskets are then placed in the kitchens and the canteen where everyone can access them. Be it apples, bananas, pepper or other fruit and vegetables, they all have one thing in common: they are packed with vitamins and very popular.

As if that were not enough, the vitamins and minerals they contain are a real boost for concentration. It is scientifically proven that they influence our cell growth and that particularly vitamin C has a positive effect on our brains and thus our concentration.

It is a totally natural way for us to increase our concentration and thus perform better in everyday life. In turn, this enhances our emotional satisfaction and stimulates our creative potential. This “break business” really does have long-term benefits!

The vitamin boost is available not just in the Halfar canteen, but also in all four kitchens. Perfect to take a healthy break!

New Work at Halfar - The new co-working area

„New Work“ at Halfar – The Future Today

On Friday, 22/02/2019, everything at Halfar was aligned to the motto of “New Work”. Following a few years of vacancy, the new working area space was inaugurated in our building’s 3rd construction phase. We have succeeded at creating a state-of-the-art working area that is ahead of the times.

New Work at Halfar - The new co-working area

But what does “New Work” actually mean?

In the present day and age many things are in flux. This also holds true for our work. A desk, swivel chair and office used to be typical in the past. Today, work is done wherever we feel like it. We are seeing a trend toward greater independence and responsibility, as well as more flexible working hours and workplaces. Your boss is no longer merely your superior; much rather, he or she is like a supportive coach. Here at Halfar, we have understood this, and we are already setting our sights on the future today.

This is why we need new concepts. In cooperation with our architects, a highly-innovative office surface has been developed and realised. With its open-plan design, it epitomises transparency, rapid information exchange and agile working.

Since noise is a major issue in modern and open-plan office landscapes, we focussed our attention on reducing noise and selected the flooring, ceilings and walls accordingly, so as to support this objective.

Communication alongside digitalisation

Direct communication is becoming increasingly more important in times of digitalisation. This is facilitated with large open spaces with only a few walls. Since some tasks require particular concentration, lounges or small rooms are available for working in quiet and without any disruptions. As is already the case at all other workplaces with seated activities, we only use height-adjustable desks and ergonomically-designed chairs in the new offices. Today, meetings are no longer hosted in the classic, seated conference room format, but at the sideboard, while standing in a modern room, or even while taking a walk. Therefore, we believe New Work to mean being connected and working intelligently within a group.


Benefits for All!

At the end of the day, all these innovative ideas benefit not only the employees but also the customer. Thanks to improved and, most importantly, accelerated communication between the graphic design, product design, product management, marketing and e-commerce departments, our customers benefit from more rapid capturing of their wishes with the new development of products and services.

We at Halfar are convinced that this has successfully opened the door to the changing working world, and we believe this will motivate us even further to continuously improve both ourselves and our products for our customers.

Halfar Jahres-Rückblick 2018

HALFAR® Annual Report 2018 – We look back!

Dear Customers, Dear Colleagues, Dear Friends,

We can look back on a colourful and busy year 2018, which was fully dedicated to our joint, sustainable work for the HALFAR® brand. Together, with determination and know-how, we also turned 2018 into a successful, “strong” HALFAR® year!

Therefore, we particularly thank our customers, partner businesses and of course our colleagues for their trust, confidence and commitment. Neither do we want to miss the opportunity this year to both summarise the year with some numbers, and to remember some of the highlights:

HALFAR® 2018 in Numbers

(and more) good reasons to celebrate

We were able to enjoy another first Place at the PSI Sustainability Award once again this year. Many thanks!

We were especially pleased about being awarded the CSR Prize OWL, which aims to make the social commitment of businesses better known in the local area, as well as to promote further sustainable economic commitment. We are convinced that a sustainable way to conduct business needs a broad foundation and a large lobby. Therefore, many thanks to all who change their thinking, join in and make an effort!

We also want to explicitly thank our partner prosigno®. In 2018 we were able to celebrate together with you 5 years of successful collaboration. We are looking forward to many more successful years!


Our junior staff

With more than 100 employees, HALFAR® has a strong team. And in order for this to continue, we currently are training 13 young people in 5 professions. From media designer to specialist in warehouse logistics, wholesale merchant and export trader, industrial manager to textile operator, we teach our youngsters their profession from scratch.

We therefore congratulate our 5 successful graduates most sincerely, as they were able to conclude their training very successfully in 2018. We are proud of you!

Once again we give a warm welcome our four new trainees, who started their training with enthusiasm in August. Together with you, we started our “family bagground day”. In future on this day, our prospective apprentices, together with their parents, will be able to be introduced to our company even before their training starts.

Also in 2018, our cooperation with Gerry Weber started to train textile and fashion tailors. Young technicians from both companies now have the opportunity to learn about internal company manufacturing processes as well as those of the partner company.

And also quite a lot has happened as far as the little ones are concerned: 3 “company babies” were welcomed to the world this year.

All the best to the young parents – we are happy for you!


For the sake of completeness, the certifications gained this year should also be mentioned:

Sincere thanks to all colleagues for your engagement; for further background and the reasons behind it all, we refer here to our second sustainability report, which was published in May 2018.


The new ones in the promotional bags range

We also look back at an eventful year as far as product innovations are concerned.

30 innovations introduced at the PSI scored points because of their natural materials such as soft Jersey, robust canvas or sustainable organic cotton as well as their anti-theft compartments or options for combination use. The year got into full gear with the premiere of further product lines midyear. 12 new models were the starting point for our autumn-winter collections, which will be an annual event.

We were able provide a sneak preview of the year 2019 at the WELCOME HOME, for during which we received many guests in Bielefeld once again this year. We are always very happy about the great interest shown in our work and in us!

Apart from all these measurable factors, there are a few emotional highlights of the year, which we should remember:

HALFAR® 2018 enthusiasm

Our team not only works well together, the team spirit does not rest outside the office either. Whether watching football together, climbing or swimming, our colleagues deploy their talents for the sake of the community. In order to strengthen and support this, HALFAR® has been participating in talee since April. Our environment is also characterised by active people who make an effort. For example, a committed group of visitors, which has been supporting children suffering from cancer for many years, made a stop at our company in the course of the “Happiness Tour”.

Our gallery of pictures is also growing ever more in the in BLOG column “HALFAR® around the world – bags on tour”. We are happy about the enthusiasm with which colleagues and customers are sending photographs of HALFAR® bags from around the world and allowing us to participate in their journeys! Our trip together to Leipzig will also remain one of the best memories. Joined by FARE – our sister company – we celebrated the crowning conclusion to an exciting year.

Even though not all events of this intensive year can be mentioned here, we want to express our most sincere thanks for every contribution once again!

We wish you a wonderful festive season and a happy new year.

Together, let us look forward to a new, strong HALFAR® – year 2019!

With this in mind: Christmas Greetings from Bielefeld,

Kathrin Stühmeyer-Halfar & Armin Halfar