In June 1988, the shareholders and management of Deutscher Fachverlag marked the 30th anniversary of the "TextilWirtschaft Forum" by announcing to the distin-guished guests assembled at this annual event the launch of the company's new foundation, the "Wilhelm-Lorch- Stiftung". The Foundation is very consciously named after Wilhelm Lorch, the publisher and founder of "TextilWirtschaft", and hence Deutscher Fachverlag itself, who died in 1966. Upon its establishment, the Foundation received an initial endowment of DM 300,000 from Deutscher Fachverlag.
Today, the Foundation has assets of approx.
2,85 m. Euro (as at Dec 2017).
The purpose of the Foundation is to fund vocational training programmes, as part of which it provides financial support for students, and of furthering scientific research in textiles technology and related fields. Young and up-and-coming talents from all areas of the fashion and textile business are provided with support enabling them to enrol in training and further education programmes. The Foundation fulfils the aims enshrined in its charter by awarding prizes in acknowledgement of work completed for final examinations/degrees or in the form of doctoral dissertations on issues of current interest from all areas of the garment industry and fashion business, e.g. creation and design, business/marketing, sourcing/procurement, logistics, textile and apparel technology, and communication. Also eligible for consideration is work on interdisciplinary issues such as ecology or new media.
In line with the purposes as set forth in the Foundation's charter, financial support may also be granted to institutions, schools, colleges, and places of vocational training and education that have displayed a quite particular dedication to the task of nurturing young talents. Such support may, for example, take the form of help given to institutions seeking to acquire equipment required for specific training projects, etc.
The Wilhelm-Lorch-Stiftung, a foundation incorporated under civil law, is an exclusively not-for-profit organization providing direct funding for benevolent and non-commercial purposes. The Foundation received confirmation of its status through approval granted by the chief officer of the regional administrative district of Darmstadt on July 13, 1988, and was recognized as a not-for-profit organization through a certificate issued by the tax authorities in Frankfurt am Main on August 1, 1988. Domiciled in Frankfurt am Main, the Foundation has its office on the premises of Deutscher Fachverlag at Mainzer Landstraße 251. The Foundation bodies are the Foundation Council, the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors.
The Foundation Council is entrusted with the task of managing the Foundation's assets and deciding how to use the income earned by the Foundation. Decisions relating to the conferral of prizes and awards are made by the Board of Trustees, on which the members of the Foundation Council, the respective editor or person with overall responsibility at TextilWirtschaft, the Board of Directors and a further ten members sit.
Deutscher Fachverlag meets all costs arising in connection with the operation and administration of the Foundation. Members of the Council, Board of Trustees and Board of Directors perform their duties on a non-remunerated basis.
Since its establishment in 1988, the Wilhelm Lorch Foundation has awarded prizes equivalent to total funding of 1.598.264 Euro (as at May 2017), and has thus made a major contribution to the task of providing training and further training opportunities for young and up-and-coming talents from the textile industry in the widest sense of the term.
Prizes are awarded at the TextilWirtschaft "Forum", an event staged each year in Heidelberg by Deutscher Fachverlag, to which top names from the garment industry and fashion business are invited. Having the presentation ceremony at such a high-profile event means that prizewinners are given exposure throughout the industry, the persons who gather in Heidelberg being influential figures from all sectors of the fashion business, retail trade and textile industry research.
The Foundation is greatly indebted to a number of companies and individuals who, some of them on multiple occasions, have supported the Wilhelm-Lorch-Stiftung through the generous donations they have made.
Quite particular affirmation of the thought that originally inspired the Foundation and the work that it does today, was provided by the absorption into the Foundation of the Bernd-Freier-Stiftung. This was the idea of Bernd Freier, founder of the s.Oliver Group and former chairman of the Bernd-Freier-Stiftung. The step to amalgamate the two foundations was approved by the competent regional administrative district in Darmstadt on May 5, 2011, whereupon the Bernd-Freier-Stiftung was fully incorporated into the Wilhelm-Lorch-Stiftung.
By the end of 2017, the value of the total assets held by the Wilhelm-Lorch-Stiftung had thus risen to approx. € 2.85 m. The income earned on these assets will continue to be used to discharge the Foundation's duties in the most effective manner possible.
Finally, the Foundation would like to thank those persons who are directly involved in the Foundation's work though their voluntary engagement on the Foundation Council and Board of Trustees. The work done by the Foundation to the benefit of the fashion and textile industry would be inconceivable without their expert knowledge and personal commitment.
Board of Directors