Thread torn: "It was never my intention to deliberately donate defective masks," writes Illbruck
Photo: Daniel Karmann / dpa
The founder of the textile company Global Tactics leaves the group.
Tom Illbruck announced on the specially created website zstn.de that he had asked for his employment relationship to be terminated "with immediate effect", "on Tom Illbruck's statement".
The company had manufactured the corona masks in 2021, which the influencer Fynn Kliemann advertised as "fair" and "made in Europe" - although some of them were made in Bangladesh and Vietnam.
Illbruck denies the allegations pointing to fraud.
He only accepts errors in communication: by concealing the fact that masks intended for major customers came from Asia instead of from our own production in Portugal and Serbia, he “only caused the allegations in the room”.
In essence, however, they are wrong.
At the same time, Illbruck is asking for understanding: You have to "review the situation at the time," writes Illbruck on the site.
It was "an extraordinary time" in which the prices for masks had risen immeasurably.
In camps for refugees, where masks were donated, every form of protection, "however small or short-lived it may seem," helped.
Illbruck blames the producer Adrian Ahrens for the shortcomings, who – mediated by Kliemann – found the additional production in Asia.
Illbruck "only trusted Adrian Ahrens' word" to ensure good and fair working conditions there.
The idea of donating defective masks came from Ahrens.
According to Illbruck, the only error known to him was a different pattern that he considered unproblematic.
Global Tactics did not request or receive donation receipts for defective masks.
Illbruck only found out about the extent of the defects through the research published by ZDF Magazin Royale in early May.
He explains his silence to this day by saying that he first wanted to get an accurate picture.
Some of the business partners are examining legal claims against Fynn Kliemann and his network.
Irrespective of the outcome of the proceedings, the damage to the image of the entrepreneurs, who appeared as down-to-earth doers with a social streak, is already enormous (read more about this here).
Several companies have stopped working together.
Still intact, "really bomb," but the private friendship with Kliemann, Illbruck had said last.
He sticks to the skater motto: »Ride together, die together.«