Frequently Asked Questions

If you prefer video, we have our most commonly asked questions available to watch on YouTube (click here).

General

We ship just about anywhere. Please see our Shipping page for more information.

The Swag's manufacturer is certified by SEDEX for Ethical Trading practices and SEDEX also review the Supply Chain. SEDEX conduct an audit of the factory every year and post the results on their website.

SEDEX is an international body empowering sustainable and ethical supply chains
www.sedexglobal.com.

We are an Australian-owned business that manufactures out of a SEDEX-certified, female-led team in India. It has been our dream to make our hand-made products here in Australia, and we tried very hard to do so. Sadly, this is what we discovered:


The cotton grown in Australia is sent offshore to be milled and a small amount is then purchased back from the foreign mills. We spoke to over twenty textile manufacturers in Australia as well as the leading textile wholesalers. Our very first order would have taken one year to make the number of bags we required(!).

The small number of textile manufacturers who exist in Australia today do small runs of clothing/designs for boutique clothing labels and were simply not geared for volume and were not interested in sewing our products.


As well, most of the manufacturing being brought back onto Australian shores is largely automated, where machines have replaced humans.


As our products are hand-made, this makes manufacturing very labour intensive, therefore our prices would increase substantially for Australian-made - in other words, The Swag would not be affordable.


Having said this, we are researching a number of initiatives available through the Australian government, in order to be able to manufacture in Australia in the future. We recently onboarded a strategic advisor who helped lobby the Australian government to bring in a new law targeting business that uses modern-day slavery in their supply chain. You can read more about it here: https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en/knowledge/publications/06a565ee/modern-slavery-act-what-businesses-in-australia-need-to-know

Swag products are made from unbleached, unseeded cotton. It is cotton fabric in its rawest and most natural state. The Swag is housing your food, so it’s important that you can trust that it’s non-toxic (The Swag has been Australian Standard Lab tested).

Originally we thought bamboo or hemp may be our answer. During our mission to find the best non-toxic fabric, we discovered that the process of turning a stick (or wood) into a piece of fabric requires wood chipping and then, unfortunately, a toxic mix of chemicals that negate any environmental or sustainable claims. Leading wholesalers of ‘eco-fabrics’ went on to tell us that if they were to house their families' food in a piece of fabric, they’d choose unbleached, unseeded cotton every time. 

After spending three years investigating the best non-toxic, enviro-friendly fabric on the market, our research always led us back to unbleached, unseeded (greige) cotton. 

Our original goal was to launch with certified organic cotton. What we encountered is that certification has to be done at every step right from growing and ginning, to spinning, till the product reaches the end user. India and China produce the bulk of the world's cotton. The cost of certification is very high which made it cost-prohibitive for many farmers who grow cotton out of India and China. We also discovered several factories or mills paid (illegally) for the organic certification however their product supplied was not organic nor certified. We didn't want to sell a product that we were not 100% confident was 100% organic.

We have since sourced a mill that sells GOTS certified cotton materials and we endeavour to make a 100% Certified Organic range in the near future. 

Choosing unbleached, unseeded cotton was the safest and most natural path and in the scheme of things, a far better option than using toxic plastic bags and containers.

Why? Plastics are made via a process called polymerisation. There are always chemicals that aren’t 100% set into the polymeric structure and can easily ‘bleed’ from the original plastic source.

70 of the chemicals of greatest concern to our health are used to make plastic.

The Swag is made of three unique layers of 100% natural unseeded, unbleached cotton materials (Australian Patent No. 2015221423, South African Patent 2016/06336, International patents pending).

The Swag is housing your food, so it’s important that you can trust that it’s non-toxic and non-allergenic. The Swag is both non-toxic and non-allergenic (Australian Standard Lab tested).

Originally we thought bamboo or hemp may be our answer. During our mission to find the best non-toxic fabric, we discovered that the process of turning a stick (or wood) into a piece of fabric requires woodchipping and then, unfortunately, a toxic mix of chemicals that negate any environmental or sustainable claims. Leading wholesalers of ‘eco-fabrics’ went on to tell us that if they were to house their families food in a piece of fabric, they’d choose unbleached, unseeded cotton every time. After spending three years investigating the best non-toxic, enviro-friendly fabric on the market, our research always led us back to unbleached, unseeded (greige) cotton.

Therefore, choosing unbleached, unseeded cotton was the safest and most natural path and in the scheme of things, a far better option than using toxic plastic bags and containers. Why? Plastics are made via a process called polymerization. There are always chemicals that aren’t 100% set into the polymeric structure and can easily ‘bleed’ from the original plastic source.

70% of the chemicals of greatest concern to our health are used to make plastic.

Please see our Returns page for more information.

Using The Swag

The Swag is made out of three different/unique layers of 100% natural, unbleached, unseeded cotton materials (Australian Patent No. 2015221423, South African Patent 2016/06336, International patents pending).

For more information, see our How It Works page.

An information booklet is included and rolled into each and every Swag.
To view a PDF version, click here.


HOW TO USE THE SWAG:

When used correctly The Swag will not only keep your fruit & veggies fresh for 2+ weeks*, but you’ll also waste less food, spend less on produce gone bad and help protect the planet by reducing plastic. Follow the steps below:

BEFORE USE:  Cool machine wash The Swag, preferably with a plant-based detergent. Hang to dry in full sun if possible (avoid the dryer as it will shrink!). This critical first step relaxes the fabric and activates it water-absorbing superpowers so please don't skip it! Your Swags have been purposely oversized and as they’re made from 100% natural fibres, therefore they will shrink approximately 1cm on the 1st wash. Hang your Swags out to dry in full sun if possible. Avoid the dryer as they will shrink quite a lot when exposed to heat (again, they’re 100% natural). If you prefer or need to use the drier then the good news is, once they have shrunk the first time, they won’t shrink further.

Next, before storing The Swag into your crisper, wipe out your fridge and crisper with white vinegar to remove any nasties.

HOW TO USE:

1. Soak your produce in a sink full of lukewarm water with a splash of white vinegar for 10-15 minutes to reduce germs and bacteria. Pat dry. This step is not required; however, is recommended for best results.

2. Dampen your Swag under the tap, and massage the water into the middle layer, wringing out any excess water.

3. Place your produce in your Swag and then into the crisper of your fridge for best results.

4. Machine wash every 2-3 weeks or as needed.

The Swag Pro Tips

* Cut fruit and veggies thrive in your Swag without the need for plastic wrap. Simply place them in your Swag and they’ll stay fresh, without those slimy edges.

* If you notice your Swag starting to dry out, sprinkle or spray water from the outside to add moisture. This can be done while your Swag is sitting in the crisper full of produce.

* If you’re short on crisper space and need to place your Swag on a fridge shelf instead, simply add extra moisture to it as it will dry out quicker than if it’s in a crisper.

Most fruit and veggies can be mixed together in your Swags, however we’ve included a few extra tips on getting the very best out of certain produce:

Mushrooms + Okra: Dust off and place into a DRY Swag and store in the crisper. Don’t wash mushrooms until you’re ready to eat them.

Potatoes, Onions, Garlic: Place into a dry Swag in your pantry. Once you’ve cut an onion or potato and wish to save it for later, place it into a different damp Swag in the crisper.

Corn: Remove husk & place into a damp Swag in the crisper. If you want the husk for barbecuing, just loosen the husk around the corn slightly.

Fruits: Store fruit in a dampened Swag. Gradually move unripe fruit from The Swag into the fruit bowl, giving them a day or two to ripen fully. Once ripe, if needed move fruit back into your dampened Swags to
slow down the ripening processes and give you more time to enjoy it at its best.

Berries: Nestle baskets/punnets of berries around your dampened Swags in the crisper.

With proper care, The Swag is proudly built to last years. At the end of its long, prosperous life The
Swag is 100% compostable.

If you’re unable to put your Swag into a crisper, the Swags can happily be stored on your fridge shelves. However, you'll just have to dampen them a lot more, and more frequently as they tend to dry out faster when not in the crisper (where the humidity is better controlled). Whenever you open the fridge, check your Swags and if they are dry, run them under the tap so they are damp.

Remember, if you’re just reapplying water, you don’t need to take everything out, your can simply drizzle water over the exterior of the Swag while they are filled with produce.

Read our blog, Storing The Swag: The Crisper vs The Shelf, where we dive deep into the cold abyss of the fridge, and explore the purpose and functions of the crisper. Plus we share ideal storing options for your Swag and some best practices that'll keep your produce fresh and crisp for longer! 

No – absolutely not – there’s no need to wrap them… they stay fresher for much longer that way! Unless it’s an onion and you don’t want your Swag to get a bit smelly however I know heaps of people who still put their cut up onion in The Swag with everything else. Also, any really ripe fruits as discussed below in “What doesn’t work well in The Swag”.

When dampening a clean dry Swag, dampen your Swag before you put your fresh produce into it. Make sure you dampen your Swag from the outside layer only and really wring out excess water. The inside of the Swag should be dry in parts and not noticeably wet. Too much dampness is not good for your fruit and veggies so, if you’re not seeing the results you’re expecting, then you’re probably applying too much water to your Swag.

Whenever you start to feel the outer layer dry out then it’s time to reapply water. You don’t have to take all the contents out – just sprinkle it with water from the outside. You don’t even have to take The Swag out of your crisper just sprinkle it with water over the top of The Swag whilst it’s sitting in the crisper. As you’re not wetting the whole Swag, you can afford to sprinkle a bit more water on The Swag so that the top flap and surrounding edges can be a little more moist than usual.

If you’re not seeing two weeks of optimal freshness (on average) then your Swags are either to dry or too damp, so have a play with the hydration levels.

For any questions please contact us at info@theswag.com.au for a chat.

Small Swag – Width: 37cm X Height: 38cm (opened up and including flap height) 37cm x 24cm not including the flap.

Long Swag – Width: 52cm X Height: 38cm (opened up and including flap height) 52cm x 24cm not including the flap.

Large Swag – Width: 42cm x Height:52cm (opened up and including flap height) 42cm x 38cm not including the flap.

We also sell Swag Starter packs and Swag Bundles to help you get started quicker and also as great gifts for friends and family!

Maintaining Your Swag

We recommend a cold machine wash when you first receive your Swags and hang on the line to dry.

Wash as needed or once every two or so weeks. When washing, turn The Swag inside-out and wash in cold/warm wash up to 30 degrees.

If you're using a harsh chemical washing powder we recommend dousing your Swags in cheap white cleaning vinegar (no-frills) and run on an extra rinse cycle. This process removes nasty soap residue and is a natural sanitiser. Whilst inside-out dry in full beaming sun. The sun is a natural bleacher and sanitiser. 

We recommend an express wash when you first receive your new Swags. Wash as needed or every 2 weeks. When washing, turn The Swag inside-out and wash in cool wash under 30 degrees.

As your Swags are made from a natural fabric, a small amount of shrinkage may occur even with correct handling. (We’ve made our Swags bigger to compensate for this). Washing your Swags on a cool gentle wash will help reduce the chance of shrinkage - and avoid the dryer!

For the best results, whilst still wet pour some white vinegar over your Swags and run on a rinse cycle to remove soap residue. Dry in the sun if you can. (The Sun is a natural bleacher and sanitiser).

Read our blog, The Three Most Common Steps Missed When Using The Swag. Chances are, you've missed at least one of these steps - but that's OK - we're all in this together and this will give you the help you need to get into your Swag groove!

Your Swags are proudly built to last years with proper care. However, if you’ve gone on holiday and left rotting produce in your Swag, then we highly recommend turning your Swag inside-out and washing. Then, whilst still wet, pour a cup of white wine vinegar over the stains on The Swag and then put it through an extra rinse cycle. Vinegar is a natural antibacterial agent and will also remove the soap detergent/chemicals from your Swag. Whilst still inside-out dry in full sun.

A note on mould:

It is very rare, but your Swag can grow mould – it is a natural product.

Read our blog, Has Your Swag Grown Mould? to find out what can cause fridge mould to grow on your Swag, what you can do about it, and best practices to prevent it

Contact info@theswag.com.au for more advice.

Fruits & Vegetables

The temperature in your refrigerator should be 1°-4°C (34°- 40°F ). Pathogenic (disease-carrying) bacteria thrive above 4°C.

Below 4°C, spoilage bacteria can still grow on foods - affecting their taste and smell - but they're not generally harmful.

If the temperature is too low, vegetables can freeze.

Yes! Each fruit, veggie or leafy green will breathe and take in water at its own pace – that’s the beauty of The Swag and the unique layers which keep your fresh produce fresher for longer! Some people say you shouldn’t put everything together in a container or bag however the vast majority of our customers are doing this and are loving it! You can of course experiment with separating your fresh produce - the colour coding of the Swag trims help with this. 

It also helps to place harder produce at the bottom of The Swag; start with carrots, cucumbers, capsicum, broccoli, apples, pears, oranges, and then add on top your zucchini, tomatoes, squash, avocado, and finally the light stuff (think lettuce and herbs).

Head to our blog, How To Store and Keep Leafy Greens Fresh For Longer, where The Swag founder, Peita Pini, shares her best tips; you won't beLEAF how long your greens will last!

As a rule, only put UNRIPENED fruit in the Swag and as needed, move to your fruit bowl to ripen for 24-48 hours - your fruits will then be ready to eat. Most fruits such as non-cherry stone fruits, avocados, tomatoes, mangoes, melons, apples, and pears will continue to ripen if left sitting out in a fruit bowl. Once they’re ripe, try not to put them into the Swag, just eat them!

Why? When fruits approach maturity, they release Ethylene. Ethylene promotes the ripening of fruit however it can also cause premature ripening and even damage in some fruits and veggies. For more information, see “What doesn’t work well in the Swag?”

Below is a list of Ethylene producing fruits (in alphabetical order):

- Apple

- Apricot

- AsianPear

- Atemoya

- Avocado

- Banana

- Cantaloupe (Rock melon)

- Cherimoya

- Crenshaw melon

- Custard Apple

- Durian

- Feijoa

- Fig

- Guava

- Honeydew melon

- Jackfruit

- Kiwi fruit

- Mamey sapote

- Mango

- Mangosteen

- Nectarine

- Passion fruit

- Peach

- Pear

- Persian Melon

- Plum

- Prune

- Quince

- Papaya

- Plantain

- Rambutan

- Sapote

- Sour

Berries are best left in their punnets for protection from getting squashed! Instead, nestle the punnets in and around your dampened Swags in your crisper of your fridge.

The environment The Swags will create within your crisper will help them stay fresh for longer. 

Bananas? Leave them out at room temperature in a fruit bowl. Should they start to go brown take them out of their skin and freeze them – perfect for smoothies! 

Our Swags work incredibly well for mushrooms however remember: DO NOT WET The Swag. 

Instead, put your mushrooms into a dry Swag and into the crisper. If you’ve bought mushies in cling wrap they can often look or feel slimy so wherever possible buy your mushies in brown paper bags and avoid plastic - they’ll stay much fresher for longer in the paper bag or The Swag.

Head to our blog, How to Keep Mushies Fresh for Longer, where The Swag Founder, Peita Pini, shares how she shops for, stores and preps her mushrooms to stay fresh for longer!

The Swag works great for root veggies, think potatoes, onions and sweet potato but remember: DO NOT WET The Swag and DO NOT put it in your fridge! Instead, add your root vegetables to a DRY Swag in your pantry… they’ll stay much fresher for longer.

The Bread Swag

The Bread Swag is designed to stay dry and to store Artisanal or Sourdough bread loaves, rolls or sticks.

Artisan sourdough uses pre-fermented techniques that take time and many commercial or mainstream bakers simply don’t have the time and resources to ferment the yeast and ‘feed the mother’ over days, instead they cut corners by adding chemical additives. 

If you typically purchase bread that comes in a plastic bag we recommend that you continue keeping it stored that way as this is how those bread companies have designed their bread to be best stored for longevity.

Processed bread (with chemical additives) will go hard quicker when subjected to air. Artisanal or Sourdough bread love The Bread Swag as it can breathe. 

Therefore, if  your favourite bread is baked using true traditional artisan methods of baking (without chemical additives) then that’s the bread that can go in The Bread Swag.

Please note; The Bread Swag does not get the same results the Fruit and Vegetable Swag delivers of 2 + weeks of amazing freshness, however it may give you an extra day or two of freshness, the main benefit is that your bread is not sweating in toxic plastic.

For more information and expert advice on best ways to store your bread, read our interview with leading Aussie baker, Anneka Manning here.

Have a question?

If you didn't find an answer to your question, drop us a quick note and we’ll be in touch shortly!