Korsetten- en lingeriefabriek Schellebelle
THE ABANDONED FACTORY IN BELGIUM
‘Hélène des Champs Lingerie’ and ‘Korsetten- en lingeriefabriek DéWé’ are two lingerie factories in Schellebelle, Belgium.
The ‘Korsetten- en lingeriefabriek DéWé’ was a producer for quality ladies underwear. With brands like Perle and Bugatti they were a known name in Europe. The firm started in 1897 with the name AW, named after Achiel De Waele, the founder. The name is changed to DW after the sons of Achiel took over the business in 1903. The next years the factory grew, new workshops were added to the factory. During the First World War the factory was closed. Just after the Second World War the old buildings were demolished to built a brand new modern factory. These buildings were abandoned in 1998, after 101 years of producing lingerie.
Close to the abandoned DéWé factory there is another lingerie factory. ‘Hélène des Champs Lingerie’ specialized in bigger sized, quality lingerie. At the end of the 1990s this factory went bankrupt. In the factory worked 20 employees. In 1999 the factory was taken over by the Schauvliege textile company. Schauvliege started in 1976 with the production of working clothes. In 1997 they started producing sleepwear and not much later the company ‘Velba’ was incorporated into the company. That company has been known since the 1950s as the specialist in lingerie.
Around that time the three sons of father Schauvliege joined the business. The new company produced brands like Juliette, Marlies Dekkers and the classic Hélène des Champs. Production was moved to a new factory. In 2014 the old factory buildings were demolished. I took these photos of ‘Hélène des Champs Lingerie’ in 2008. I visited both factories in 2008.