Nook Nook

Nook Nook8

Nook Nook means “Lots of fun”

 

Profile of CONTIGO’s partner Nook Nook

Products

Chiang Mai to Göttingen (Source: Google Earth)

  • Soft toys: FUNimals (playful animal dolls in patchwork look), PettiPets (dress up animal dolls)
  • Home decor and home textiles

Location

Chiang Mai, Thailand – distance to Europe: 8,300km

Founded in 2007

History

  • Since 2000: Vaniché is established by members of the Vanichmongkol family in Bangkok, production and export of Thai silk products, cushions, interior accessories
  • The silk market collapsed in Thailand due to increasing competition by China and India
  • 2007: Company is restructured, development of soft toy ranges and modern textile accessories, all women from the former textile department are employed in the new company
  • 2009: Development of the FUNimal range under the brand name “Nook Nook” (Thai: “Lots of fun”) by the sisters Saipin Vanichmongkol and Ying Sainamphung
  • 2010-2015: Participation in international trade fairs
  • 2010 CONTIGO meets and visits Nook Nook
  • 2011: First order of FUNimals arrives in Germany and is a huge success
  • 2012: Office in Bangkok closes, production in Chiang Mai is relocated to a larger building, new showroom
  • 2014: Nook Nook is selected to be part of Thailand´s first design week in Chiang Mai
  • 2016: Worldwide economic crises affects Nook Nook, global sales drop considerably
  • 2016-2018: Focus on developing the domestic market (duty free shops, hotels, resorts)
  • 2017: New product brand N2 is taken to the domestic market, lifestyle products in traditional Indigo fabrics
  • 2019: Restructuring of the company by reducing the work force, streamlining the production processes and relocation of office and showroom

Cooperation with CONTIGO since 2011

Structure of the business

Number of employees:

  • Main workshop in Chiang Mai:
    • 2019: cut down to five women in core working fields : prototype making, production management and quality control, administration, marketing, material purchase
    • Directed by the founders Saipin (CEO) and Ying (designer)
    • Daily staff for distribution of materials, collection of ready made products and packaging
  • Work / production at home:
    • 2019: six seamstresses instead of 28 “subcontractors”
    • Two ladies for machine cutting of fabrics
    • Ten ladies for decoration, embroidery, stuffing, hand stitching

Nook Nook5Work environment:

2019: relocation in a rented building:

  • Ground floor: office
  • First floor: showroom and meeting area
  • Second floor: sample making (3 professional sewing machines) and storage
  • Third floor: private rooms

Organisation of workforce:

  • Main workshop:
    • Administration and product development
    • Central purchase of raw material, storage
    • Production of prototypes
    • Preparation of material packages for home production
    • Quality control, final packaging and export
    • Training for outdoor workers whenever new products are introduced, if needed training is also given in the villages by the sample maker and the production manager
  • Women work at home:
    • “Subcontractors”: collaboration with highly experienced women stipulated by contract, they work in the outskirts of Chiang Mai and in the Karen villages in the mountains north of the city, they are in charge of complex sewing and machine cutting of the materials
    • Outdoor workers for stitching and embroidery: single mothers, former employees with toddlers, young women with other jobs, who want to earn an extra income after-work; they have a network of neighbours and relatives who can join to work in peak times
    • Outdoor workers receive piece rate, depending on complexity of work and expenditure of time

Sales

  • Home market (30%): Products are sold via duty free shops in Bangkok
  • Exports (70%) to Germany, France, Belgium, South Korea

Goals

  • Nook Nook6To consolidate business after reorganisation of the company
  • To support single mothers by providing them work at home
  • To grow the domestic market

Special features

  • High proportion of women in the production process
  • Capacity building by regular trainings
  • Support of „The World´s First Elephant Hospital“ through donations and FUNimal sales (this private initiative nurses injured elephants which became victims of landmines, as well as elephants with skin and eye diseases)

Why does CONTIGO work with Nook Nook: The ladies at Nook Nook are highly skilled and creative. Fruitful cooperation, excellent mutual understanding, ingenious toy ranges which create work, income and perspectives for young women with little education. Nook Nook means “lots of fun” and CONTIGO has the impression that everyone at Nook Nook lives according to this motto.

 

Fairtrade classification

FTA PLUS = Fairtrade Approved PLUS

 

Fairtrade aspects

Nook Nook complies with the following Fairtrade Principles:Nook Nook1

No child labour

No discrimination

No discrimination due to gender, disability, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political orientation, or infection with HIV

Fair wages

  • Average wage in the sector/region (Chiang Mai): THB 300/day (THB = Baht)
  • Wages at Nook Nook:
    • Minimum: THB 367/day
    • Average income at Nook Nook: THB 527/ day
  • Salary is paid out to bank account (on 1st day of the month), extra income (overtime, home work, lunch fee) is paid out to bank account on 15th of the month
  • Higher wages in case of overtime and work on the weekend
  • Bonus paid out annually on occasion of Chinese New Year (variable amount)
  • Yearly salary increase (due to inflation)

Humane working conditions

Working hours:

  • 8 hours/dayNook Nook11
  • 1 break
  • 5 days/week

Social benefits:

  • Payment of contributions to governmental health insurance and social security system, employer and employee pay each 5 % of the salary as contribution
  • New work clothing is provided every two years
  • Paid holidays (max. 31 days, depends on seniority of employee; special feature: 1 extra holiday for Chinese New Year)
  • Continued payment of wage in case of sickness or accident (30 days)
  • Maternity leave: salary of 1,5 months before birth is paid by Nook Nook, salary of 1,5 months after birth is paid by social insurances
  • Free potable water
  • Lunch fee, daily THB 25

Educational opportunities:

  • Regular trainings for departments in-house (e.g. for the accountant) and trainings for women groups in home work
  • Participation in safety courses (fire protection, first aid courses)

Transparency

  • Work contracts are available
  • Payroll is available
  • Pay slips are available
  • SAR (Self Assessment Report) was duly submitted to CONTIGO

 

Monitoring

  • Personal visits in Chiang Mai (2010, 2012, 2016, 2019)
  • Feedback interview during serveral visits in Germany

 

Country information

See Encyclopaedia Britannica: Thailand

 

Photos

Visiting Nook Nook in Chiang Mai (2016):

 

Visiting Nook Nook in Chiang Mai (2012): 

Nook Nook10 Nook Nook9

Nook Nook3 Nook Nook4 Nook Nook2

Video

Author: Janina Lange on 6. January 2020
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