Ovae: About the Makers
Where: Made in Indonesia. Leather sourced from Indonesia, Italy and New Zealand. Designed on the Mornington Peninsula, Australia
Founder/Creative Director: Jackie Jennings (Australia)
Products: Bags, wallets and accessories. View here
Materials: Cow, sheep and goat leather, vegetable-tanned where possible
Values: Slow fashion, ethical production, transparancy, sustainability, quality materials
"Ovae is committed to always respecting and valuing our artisans, suppliers and customers, and in the development of our creations minimise any negative impacts on people or the environment."
- Ovae's Ethical Mission Statement
Ovae Founder & Creative Director, Jackie Jennings
Ovae, formerly known as Caravana, is the brainchild of Mornington Peninsula creative, Jackie Jennings. Her decade-long job as a buyer for "an iconic Australian 'Hippy' company" involved frequent visits to places including India, Nepal and Indonesia. While her travels were a huge source of inspiration, it also meant Jackie saw the exploitation that is rampant in the fashion industry with her own eyes.
Jackie began Ovae with the goal to create beautiful, well-made pieces that empower rather than exploit the people who make them. Transparency throughout the entire supply chain is extremely important to the brand.
Ovae visits their leather and cotton traders regularly. The leather is mostly sourced from ISO-certified tanneries in Indonesia, Italy and New Zealand. The business aims to know exactly where their materials come from and who is making them. In cases where visiting the trader isn't possible, Ovae relies on their local suppliers for information.
The Ovae team also visit the workshops in Indonesia where their bags and accessories are made. Many of the artisans have been working with Ovae's suppliers for a number of years. Ovae believes in fair payment for their workers and a safe work environment free from discrimination and harassment.
Some of Ovae's suppliers hold certifications, however many of the people they work with operate very small businesses. Certifications are costly therefore they are often not accessible for grassroots maker communities. By visiting their artisans regularly Ovae can ensure their suppliers are meeting their standards for ethical work.
Who Made My Bag?
Meet some of the artisans from the workshop in Indonesia
One of Ovae's core values is to minimise harm to the planet in their production process. They stay true to this value by taking a number of actions to prevent waste and pollution in their supply chain.
As a slow fashion brand, Ovae aims to create timeless, well-made products, crafted from premium materials. By using high quality leather, their products will not only last for many years to come, they will actually improve with age as the leather develops its own unique beauty and character.
The leather Ovae uses is a by-product of the food industry. Where possible Ovae uses vegetable-tanned leather, a sustainable alternative to chromium-tanned leather that often leaches toxins into the water supply. To utilise all of the animal hide, Ovae incorporates leather offcuts into design features such as the 'Ovae' logo and thonging for woven straps and fringes. The offcuts are also used to create samples, even if they aren't the correct colour for the new design. Working with small-scale leather workshops in Indonesia means that Ovae can avoid the massive waste and emissions created by larger factories.
"Our intentional production process involves small runs and realistic timelines, to allow the time needed to carefully craft each piece and avoid wasteful overstock."
- Jackie Jennings, Ovae Founder
Shop Ovae's stunning collection of bags, wallets and accessories here.