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Where is OiOi made?

Where is OiOi made?

Designing

Lisa Bennetts, the founder of OiOi, began designing & sourcing manufacturing partners for her nappy bag range in 1997.

Prior to founding the business, she worked as a Fashion Buyer with a number of leading Australian and International accessories brands. In the 1980s and 1990s, she grew up working in the Australian “rag-trade” being mentored by her grandmother who worked as a pioneering Fashion Buyer into her 70s. Lisa travelled extensively in her 20s to find the most talented craftsmen in fashion, including accessories and jewellery, discovering new technologies and material development in Asia, UK, Europe, USA & Brazil.

Lisa Bennetts

This training & experience has equipped Lisa with extensive knowledge on quality materials, compliance, manufacturing, product development and sourcing.

Her daughter Isabella grew up in the world of OiOi. As a little girl, she would use fabric samples to make outfits for her teddy bears and at the age of 16, sold clear zip purse samples to friends at school to use as exam pencil cases! Many a carton was shipped to major department stores with Isabella’s drawings on them, the boxes certainly kept her occupied as a toddler as her mum packed all the orders. Isabella grew up visiting our manufacturing partners in Korea and China - the same team of people who she now talks with daily as we develop new products & receive photo updates on production. Naturally, as a Gen Z, Isabella is especially passionate about the environment & sustainability and has been working with her mum step-by-step to minimise our impact as a fashion business on the planet.

Lisa & Isabella

From the get-go, OiOi has partnered with boutique manufacturing partners that are the best in their field to source and create quality products that will last for your whole family. It is such a buzz to see our original OiOi nappy bag designs that are over 20 years old out & about or on online Marketplaces being resold. We believe that one core part of minimising your impact on the planet is to design quality, timeless pieces that with love & care can be used for a lifetime.

In this blog article, I will detail our processes, recent changes & commitments so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing from us. Each member of our team has made a personal commitment to constantly educate ourselves and critically review our processes on our journey to minimise our impact. We welcome feedback and are making changes step-by-step.

Where are OiOi products made & are the people who make it paid a fair living wage?

Our design process is closely linked to our 15+ year relationship with our current boutique manufacturing partner, who runs their office in Korea and two factories in Qingdao. Our team is spread between Korea (sourcing the most innovative materials for our designs) and Qingdao (working alongside the talented craftsmen & craftswomen that produce our designs). They are leaders in producing quality & innovative products that we are all very proud of.

The factories are independently audited every two years to ensure the working conditions comply with Ethical & Safety Regulations. The people who make our bags are paid a fair living wage - they work 8 hours a day with a lunchtime break between 11:30am and 1:30pm. The factory that produces our Authentic Leather range we have worked with since 2005 and is run by mothers. The factory that produces our Faux Leather & pram accessory range we have worked with since 2017.

Further, our Factory Agreement requirements include:

  • Disclosure of all production locations, including sub factories used for production of any part of the final product.
  • Any corrective actions required in cases where a third-party audit was performed, shall be fully and promptly implemented by the factory, followed by an improvement evaluation.
  • No goods can be made in a prison or correctional facility.
  • All labours involved in manufacturing OiOi products must be voluntary. Slave, child, forced, bonded or indentured labour is prohibited. Worker’s age shall be calculated in whole years from the calendar age of birth.

We source materials that are both REACH & CPSC compliant, meaning that no toxic levels of chemicals are used in the manufacturing process of our nappy bags.

designing

Do the materials that OiOi accessories are made from contain any harmful substances?

We have independently tested all materials (incl. glues, nylon lining, water-resistant coatings and PU) with a third-party called Intertek which is the industry leader for quality assurance.

They have passed on levels of lead & its compounds, BPA, formaldehyde, 9 types of phthalates and additional substances.

The PVC pouch is phthalate free.

We do not use any PFOAs or flame retardants in the water-resistant coating.

For further quality assurance, we occasionally spot-check production at local-labs in Melbourne.

Where is your leather sourced from?

Over the past 18 months, we have taken our time to responsibly source the finest quality, pebble-grain leather certified by the Leather Working Group.

Leather Working Group is a non-for-profit organisation responsible for the world's leading environmental certification for the leather manufacturing industry. Since 2005, LWG has identified environmental best practices in the industry and to become a member, tanneries must adhere to a strict protocol – this audit focuses on energy and water usage, waste management and the control of harmful chemicals.

For our new Leather nappy bag range, we are very proud to be working with a supplier that is a member of the Leather Working Group.

In addition to this, the leather sourced for this range is a by-product of the meat industry, meaning we only use animal skins that would have otherwise gone to landfill.

leather supplier

How do you provide quality assurance?

OiOi does not compromise on high-quality materials. We have sourced YKK zips, high-quality faux leathers and so on for our designs.

Each production is independently checked by a third-party and must pass the inspection report prior to being shipped. Products that did not pass the inspection report, for example there may be a stitching issue or faulty zip, are reworked by the factory to minimise waste.

As an example of a product-specific QC process, each new Faux Leather Nappy Backpack production run includes the following steps:

  • Faux Leather peeling strength test: 1.8kg - 2.0 kg 0.3/3cm
  • Faux Leather abrasion resistance: grinding wheel with 750g weight 1200 times
  • Confirmation of compliance with international quality standards REACH169 and EN71-3
  • QC checked by third party & again at our warehouse before dispatch

Will my order be delivered to me in eco-friendly packaging?

All of our packaging materials are sourced from local Victorian family businesses.

Postage Boxes

We work with a leading Victorian manufacturer of corrugated cardboard packaging that is FSC® and PEFC™ CoC accredited.

Our cardboard partner is committed to an environmentally safe manufacturing process which includes sourcing sustainable paper materials for the manufacturing process.

The materials used to manufacture our corrugated cardboard packaging are considered 100% recyclable and can be sent to any recycling facility to be made into renewable fibreboard liners and/or corrugated cases.

Further, the materials are also biodegradable and will break down easily back into the environment.

Postage Tape

We are excited to be using Ubis 4700 ECOline Kraft Paper Tape customised with the OiOi logo, sourced from a supplier just around the corner from our warehouse.

This environmentally friendly tape has the following features:

  • Natural rubber adhesive
  • No chlorine, whitening, silicon or plastic polymers and pigment free
  • Can be recycled with the postage box

Compostable Mailers

We post smaller items, such as our bamboo baby clothing range, in compostable mailers. They include a double-adhesive strip so that they can be re-used.

Certifications:

  • Australia: Home Compostable (AS5810) and Commercially Compostable (AS4736)
  • International: Home Compostable (EN13432) and Commercially Compostable (EN13432)

Marketing Materials

We work with a pioneering eco-friendly printing company in Castlemaine, Victoria.

All of our marketing materials are printed on 100% post-consumer recycled card with non-toxic inks.

OiOi Packaging

How do you manage freight?

Current research shows that shipping by sea is still better than air freight. Further, we ensure that every container & carton is packed to the brim to ensure no wastage.

New container ships are currently in production world-wide and with the Paris Climate Agreement, we should see some vast improvements in the sustainability of these ships.

In fact, we are already starting to notice a number of our shipments have been delivered in eco-friendly shipping containers with bamboo flooring.

What steps are you taking to minimise textile waste?

Many of our fabrics are exclusively printed for OiOi, so we work with a supplier who is able to create the exact quantity needed for our orders.

We do have some left-over archive fabrics from 10+ years ago, however in May 2022 we are excited to be releasing a range made with some of the leftover yards so that none end up in landfill. Stay tuned!

What other socially responsible initiatives is OiOi currently engaging in?

Two key partners that we have worked with in the past 12-months are:

Thread Together

Thread Together’s mission is to deliver new, good quality clothing and shoes to people in our community who are doing it tough.

They have a fleet of mobile wardrobes that are filled to the brim with a wide range of styles so that people can choose clothing that they love. This program is about more than just supplying clothing but also instilling independence and enabling dignity.

Our first donation included 100 brand-new nappy bags which were distributed to families in need, and we are looking forward to making more contributions seasonally.

threadtogether

St Kilda Mums

One of our charity partners of many years, St Kilda Mums’ mission is to redistribute essential nursery equipment for babies.

We regularly make donations of brand new nappy bags & pram accessories which they sort and redistribute to families, in addition to donating prizes to their fundraisers.

Learn more

To learn more about OiOi before you make your purchase, read our brand story here or contact us.

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