Nook Nook

Nook Nook8

NOOK NOOK means “Lots of fun”


Profile of CONTIGO’s partner Nook Nook


Chiang Mai to Göttingen (Source: Google Earth)

  • FUNimals are funny colourful stuffed and decorated animals
  • Accessories made of cotton fabrics


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

Founded in 2007


  • Since 2000: Family company is established by the sisters Saipin and Ying Vanichmongkol with the support of their uncle
  • Production of silk products, cushions, interior accessories
  • The silk market collapsed in Thailand through increasing competition by China and Vietnam
  • 2007: Company is restructured; development of soft toy ranges and other modern accessories
  • All women from the former textile department are employed in the new company
  • New collection “Nook Nook” (Thai: “Lots of fun”)
  • 2009: Development of the FUNimal range
  • 2010: Monika und Greta Herbst from CONTIGO meet Nook Nook for the first time. First visit to the company follows immediately
  • 2011: First order of FUNimals arrives in Germany and are a huge success
  • 2012: Office in Bangkok closes, relocation to Chiang Mai to a larger structure
  • 2014: Nook Nook is selected to be part of Thailand´s first design week in Chiang Mai
  • 2014/2015: Participation in several international trade fairs in order to expand customer base
  • 2015/2016: Product range is expanded from kids to fashion and home decorative items

Cooperation with CONTIGO since 2011

Structure of the business

Number of employees:

  • Main workshop in Chiang Mai: 16 employees
    • 14 women: in sewing workshop, cutting, quality control, administration
    • 2 men: packaging
  • Work / Production at home
    • 28 seamstresses (small groups of 2-4 women), so-called “subcontractors”
    • 100 decorating workers for stitching

Nook Nook5

Organisation of workforce:

  • Main workshop
    • Administration and product development
    • Central purchase of raw material, storage and cutting of material
    • Production of product samples and complex embroidery
    • Preparation of material packages for home production
    • Quality control, final packaging and export
    • Trainings for homeworkers (when new items and ranges are introduced)

Women work at home:

  • “Subcontractors”: collaboration with different groups of women stipulated by contract, groups work in the outskirts of Chiang Mai and in the Karen villages in the mountains north of the city, in charge of complex sewing
  • Manual workers for simple stitching and embroidery. Single mothers, former employees with toddlers, young women with other jobs, who want to earn an extra income after-work
  • Workers receive piece rate, depends on complexity of work and expenditure of time

Work environment:

  • Well equipped kitchen is located on-site where lunch can be prepared
  • 2 common rooms for lunch break
  • Fire protection
  • First aid facilities and relaxing room


  • Home market (10%): Products are sold via own shops at domestic airports
  • Exports (90%) to Australia, U.S.A., Germany, France, Belgium, South Korea and Sweden


  • To support women who work at home by providing more workNook Nook6
  • To establish more own stores

Special features

  • High proportion of women in the production process, regular trainings
  • Nook Nook successfully set up a bank account for every permanent employee
  • Women of the Karen ethnic minority work at home. Thereby they can make a living and take care of their children at home
  • 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 FUNimals are ingenious and have been very successful. They 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)
  • Salary at Nook Nook: THB 367/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 (1 month salary)
  • Yearly salary increase (due to inflation)

Humane working conditions

Working hours:

  • 8 hours/day
  • 1 break
  • 5 days/week

Social benefits:
Nook Nook11

  • 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)


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



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


Country information

See Encyclopaedia Britannica: Thailand



Visiting Nook Nook in Chiang Mai (2016):


Visiting Nook Nook in Chiang Mai (2012): 

Nook Nook10 Nook Nook9

Nook Nook3 Nook Nook4 Nook Nook2


Author: Janina Lange on 29. June 2016

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