Why Are Our Wipes Made Overseas?

Why Are Our Wipes Made Overseas?

We believe in providing our customers with the very best. That’s why we carefully select premier manufacturing partners with pristine safety records, who not only have the capabilities to meticulously craft the exceptional products we create, but also share our vision of creating a better world. We’ve learned very quickly that having these very comprehensive, high standards means exploring within and beyond our borders to find best-in-class partners.

Making a great, safe wipe may seem like a simple task, but our wipes are above and beyond and the only manufacturing facility willing and capable of making them ended up being in China. We scoured all US, Canadian, and EU manufacturers, and they declined our project because it was too high cost, highly labor intensive, and would need re-tooling and upgrades in equipment and services.

One thing that really baffled us in our search was manufacturer’s inability to speak in detail about the core ingredient of wipes - water! Purity of this ingredient is essential, because any pathogenic impurities can quickly lead to contaminated wipes (those convenient sealed packages can become breeding grounds for bacteria). Our manufacturing partner in China has one of the most state-of-art system we’ve ever seen amongst manufacturers. The water goes through exhaustive purification methods to ensure high purity, usually used in pharmaceutical applications. Here are some of their systems used: Ultrafiltration (UF) Reverse Osmosis (R/O), Electrodeionization (EDI), Ultraviolet (UV), and 6 Sanitary Sampling Ports.

Of course, as mentioned above, it’s not just about making an amazing product - we ask A LOT from our partners. They, like us, have to go the extra mile when it comes to things like safety, sustainability, worker conditions, logistics efficiency, labor practices, and more. And, after visiting the facility and meeting with executives and staff alike, we’re confident in our partnership. We’re also happy to give our business to a company that sets the bar high and can help evolve industrial practices in a country that’s often cited for poor working conditions, poor product quality, and deleterious environmental impacts. Our world-class manufacturing partner that has over 85 customers worldwide and exports to over 45 countries. They’ve been in the business for over 12 years and have over 200 employees.

Essentially, they have achieved every relevant industry certification, association, and registration possible:

  • cGMP - cGMP refers to Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations enforced by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety and efficacy. This certification also means the FDA inspects the facility annually and can drop in anytime for surprise inspections.
  • GMPc - This is a European Union set of regulations for Good Manufacturing Practices as being in line with the European Cosmetics Directive (76/768/EEC).
  • ISO 9001: 2008 - The ISO 9000 family of quality management standards provide guidance for companies who want to ensure that their products and services not only consistently meet customer’s requirements, but that also ensure that quality is consistently improved.
  • SGS - SGS provides industry leading inspection, verification, testing and certification services – all over the world. (We hear from those who’ve undergone their scrutiny that they are t-o-u-g-h!)
  • British Retail Consortium - The BRC Global Standards are a leading global safety and quality certification program, used throughout the world by over 17,000 certificated suppliers in 90 countries through a network of over 80 accredited and BRC recognised Certification Bodies.
  • FSC - Forest Stewardship Council certification ensures that products come from well managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.
  • Nordic Swan - Nordic Swan, also known as the ‘Nordic Ecolabel’, is a voluntary ecolabeling system that evaluates a product's impact on the environment throughout the whole lifecycle, looking at energy and water usage, the kinds of chemicals used, recycling and reuse of waste products.

In addition, we have established an exhaustive Quality Control Protocol with them and are slated to regularly meet, visit their offices and factories, obtain 3rd party oversight, and exchange a constant stream of communication around Inspection Reports and quality.

Safe, effective, quality product? Check.

Commitment to the environment? Check.

Superior service and responsiveness to our demands? Check.

Quality workplace and fair labor practices? Check.

Amazing product? Triple Check!

The final piece of the puzzle we’re working on is fulfilling our own commitment to sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint of importing a product from China. To bridge that gap, we’re currently looking to fully off-set our impact. Our goal is to have something in place in the next couple of months.

Want to know anything else about our wipes? Let us know! As always, we want to hear all your thoughts. Send us a message to wipes@honest.com.

Thanks again for trusting us, and supporting The Honest Company.

This post was revised as of 10/7/2015. 

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.