the now abandoned Cellatex SA was a French company founded in 1981 but from a company based on the site established in 1902 in Givet France which went into administration in 2000. I understand that company went through various changes in its name following historical mergers, acquisitions, restructuring and shareholder changes.
For hundreds of years companies had sought to emulate the natural production of silk, the process in which a silk worm feeds on mulberry leaves (cellulose) and its body transforms it into a viscous product which is then secreted and hardens into silk thread.
As a result of changing fashions and the introduction and rise in popularity of other man-made fibres the artificial silk market saw a rapid decline which ultimately led to the closure of Cellatex.
The closure itself sparked global media interest as 17 ex-employees occupied the site of the factory threatening to use 56,000 litres of sulphuric acid and 90 tonnes of sodium hydroxide to blow up the plant and pollute a nearby water supply. This action was the result of the workers losing out on their redundancy package.
Shockingly the workers followed through on their threat and acid was poured into the Meuse, thankfully no long term effects of the pollution were found and the government stepped in to compromise with the workers and offer them a fair redundancy deal.
Visited this derelict factory with Matt Kriegaffe Hampshire, Scott Darby of Darbians Photography and Andy K of Behind Closed Doors, if memory serves me well this location wasn’t on our map for the trip. I think we passed this place just driving around and decided to nip back and take a look after exploring another possibility… I’m glad we did decide to nip in an have a quick wonder around this one, the staircase was pretty nice and worth a couple of photos along with the corridors upstairs featuring the glass block windows. Enjoy the photos:
If you’ve made it this far… thanks for reading / checking out the pictures. Leave me a comment below or hit the like button to let me know you’ve enjoyed the shots and to encourage me to keep posting more
Canvas prints and regular prints are available for all of the images above just ask me about prices.