The first idea
In 1988, Gerhard Feyferlik – still working for the Austrian embassy – was transferred from Hungary to Canada. He moved with two little kids and his wife to Toronto, where Sigrid Feyferlik first experienced a modern alternative to traditional muslin nappies.
The first “nappy house” arises
She was impressed by the nature-friendly fitted nappy, and decided to bring the product to Austria. The young couple was looking globally for suppliers and finally found them in Japan, Canada, and the USA. In 1991, without any experience in sales, but with the help of a few lucky coincidences, they opened two popolini “nappy houses” almost simultaneously in Vienna and Graz.
The reaction of their customers was overwhelming: their first stock was sold out immediately, and a large number of newspapers reported about the new eco-nappy. It almost seemed like everyone had waited for the modern cloth option.
Still, the Feyferliks had to find out that the imported goods lead not only to high shipping costs but also meant an enormous tax burden. The conclusion was obvious: Why not produce in Austria? A small sewing factory in Melk supported their plans and soon, increasingly more nappies could be labeled “Made in Austria”. The production was also adapted to controlled organic materials only and even received the precious GOTS certificate
The own production
The increasing demand forced them to also start producing in a Hungarian family business close to the Austrian border. In Tiszalök, a village with only 6000 inhabitants, they finally found optimal conditions for long-term production of their goods: Only recently, a considerable textile business had fired 1300 employees for moving their business to Asia. A stroke of luck for popolini as the skilled workers were already familiar with manufacturing baby clothes.
With the help of their language skills from Budapest times, the Feyferlik couple finally founded their own factory. Not only did it help to produce certified cloth nappies, but it also enabled them to develop their children’s clothing brand “iobio”.
Today, our customers find a complete range of sustainable baby items in our popolini shops. We guarantee to have only fair and ecologically sustainable products while being a companion to our clients. Not least because of that, the very first popolini babies are now changing our cloth nappies for their own children as well.