Where is OiOi made?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 from a tannery that is a member of 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.
The leather sourced for OiOi's leather range is a by-product of the meat industry, meaning we only use animal skins that would have otherwise gone to landfill.
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