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A child with a backpack. Frequently Asked Questions

General

Here at Dabbawalla Bags we’re all about fun but we’re also serious about our commitment to offer an array of durable, reusable and fully washable Lunch Bags for kids of all ages and Backpacks that are sized specifically for pre-school and early-elementary aged kids. We are a small, mom-owned business with a goal of offering wholesome, colorful designs that are free of cartoon characters and made with eco-friendly materials.

Designed in Seattle, WA our bags are made in Taiwan at a small, family-owned sewing facility that is committed to responsible labor practices. We visit regularly and are pleased to have found this dedicated specialty work force that stitches each bag individually. Subtle differences in each bag add to their unique charm.

Our Lunch Bags and Backpacks are made from a unique synthetic foam textile that is an environmentally friendly alternative to neoprene. Completely degradable, the material is also 100% toxic free including free of PVC, BPA, lead, and phthalates. Only water based adhesives are used so it is solvent free and contains no residual VOC’s.

Lunch Bags can fit a small to medium bento box and a 16 fluid ounce water bottle. The inside usable dimensions (inches) are 9H x 10W x 6D however our bags are soft and can expand to accommodate a wide variety of containers.

Backpacks are sized specifically for pre-school or kindergarten children. It will fit a lunch, toys and enough gear for an overnight trip. The inside dimensions are 11" High x 9" Wide and 6" Deep. The backpack will only hold a folder by cutting down the folder by 1 inch or slightly rolling the edges. 

 

Our bags are water-resistant but not waterproof, thus, if you are toting a wet swimsuit or spill a bottle of water, the moisture will seep out through the seams. If you are caught in the rain, the exterior of our bags will repel the raindrops.

To increase the lifetime of your bag we recommend hand-washing on an as-needed basis and drip drying. For stubborn stains and simple convenience, our bags can be machine washed in a front loader machine, use cold water and avoid washing with items containing Velcro. If a top loading agitator is what you have your Dabbawalla Bag should be placed in a lingerie bag to help protect it during the washing process.

Due to the degradable nature of our bags, the more they are washed the shorter their useful life will be. For these styles we recommend limiting machine washing as much as possible and never placing your bag in the dryer.

Oops! Inevitably spills will occur while using your Dabbawalla. Don't panic, Dabbawalla Bags are crafted from a foam textile and completely washable. It is important to wash your bag as soon as possible after a spill and completely air-dry it to avoid potential mold issues. If you can’t wash your bag right away, turn it inside out so that the interior can dry, and then be sure to wash it when you get the chance.

To help prevent this, it is very important to remember to air dry your bag each day after use, especially if something has leaked. Common culprits are water bottles and ice packs that sweat. For best results, you can turn your bag inside out to ensure it thoroughly dries. If you use an ice pack, we recommend wrapping it in a napkin or paper towel each day to absorb the condensation that inevitably collects on ice packs

In the unlikely event you do develop a mold issue, we recommend soaking in an Oxiclean solution of ½ cup of Oxiclean to 2 gallons of warm water for 2 hours or 1/4 cup of bleach to 2 gallons warm water for 30 minutes, which will kill any mold spores and help remove staining. If small staining remains, we recommend treating with a spot treatment cleaner such as Spray and Wash or making a paste out of Oxiclean.

Then hand wash with mild detergent, rinse and completely air dry inside out.

Ordering

Yes, to order by phone call us at 877.500.2708 during office hours Monday–Friday 8:30-4:00 PST. Because we do not directly accept credit cards over the phone due to security issues, we will email you a link for secure payment. Alternately, you may purchase through our online store.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email us at sales@dabbawallabags.com.

Yes, in keeping with our eco-conscious goal, we gift wrap our Dabbawallas in sweet, fabric bags that can be reused. In addition, we will include, at no charge, a custom gift card. If you would like gift wrap, please choose this $3.00 option when ordering and be sure to include your personal gift card message during checkout.

We offer in-house embroidery, which allows us to offer a quick turn-around. Choose this option on the individual page for each product you want to order. You will be asked to type in the name or monogram you would like embroidered on your bag. Include up to 10 characters and double check for spelling and case sensitivity. You can also choose a matching thread color and font style. We will embroider your bag on the BACK side of the bag. Please note that embroidered bags can not be returned.

Since all of our bags are individually sewn and not mass-produced, there are invariably some bags that do not meet our exacting standards. To view the outlet bags that we have available please visit our outlet page. These bags are available at a 40-50% discount due to slight flaws including small stains, creasing in the fabric and stitching errors. Outlet bags are not returnable. If you have any questions about outlet bag sales please contact us.

Shipping

We do our very best to process orders the same day they are received and ship via UPS and USPS from our Seattle headquarters. Please reach out to us if you have an urgent need for travel or a special event so we can be sure your bag arrives in time. Once your order has been processed, an email with your shipment tracking number will be sent to you. US Domestic orders under $40.00 have a flat rate of $3.95 shipping and US Domestic orders over $40.00 will receive free shipping.

We ship to all 50 states and Puerto Rico.  We also ship to Canada at a flat rate of $12.95 via both UPS and USPS/Canada Post. International destinations are shipped via DHL and rates vary widely. Please note Canada and international customers are responsible for any local duties, taxes and brokerage fees that are imposed for which we have no control.  

Returns

We want you to be completely happy with your purchase and offer a hassle-free return system. In case you need to return one of our bags, please call us at 877.500.2708 or email us. For orders shipped within the United States, we will email you a shipping label to return the bag and a $5.00 flat fee cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund. Unused bags in original condition can be returned up to 30 days after purchase. Returned merchandise should be unused, undamaged, saleable, with original tags attached. Return orders must be packed in the original packaging or an equivalent packaging that the item can fit in without being folded or creased. For our Canadian customers, due to the expense and requirements of international shipping, we are not able to provide a shipping label. Please contact us before shipping your item to us. As soon as a return item is received we will refund the cost of the bag. Please note that embroidered and outlet bags can’t be returned.

Our bags are made to last and we will replace any defective bag for up to one year from the purchase date, regardless of where you purchased your bag. Please contact us to receive complete details on the process for returning a faulty bag for replacement.