- What is your Shipping Policy?
- What is your Return Policy?
- How do I choose the right size and strap length?
- How do I clean my Nature Bag?
- How long can I expect my Nature Bags to last?
- Nature Bags can be composted at the end of their long lives
1. Our Shipping Policy for Retail Orders | Back to the top
Our tiny warehouse is in Des Moines, Iowa, in the United States. We ship worldwide within 2 U.S. business days. (Generally, we ship on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.) Expect delivery within 2 to 7 days from shipping date to destinations in North America, and within 10 to 14 days to destinations outside of North America.
If your country charges an import duty or tariff, those charges are your responsibility.
Most shipping containers are biodegradable and designed to be reused at least one time with second use sealing material already applied. Others are made entirely of recycled material, are themselves recyclable or are Cradle To Cradle Certified® for their ecologically-intelligent design.
2. Our Return Policy | Back to the top
We are passionate about our project and products made from JungleVine® organic fiber. Nature Bags are made in the homes of hundreds of artisans in remote jungle villages; no two are identical. We pride ourselves in our excellent customer service, and we hope you will love your Nature Bag products as much as we do. That said, RETURNS ARE EASY.
If you are not satisfied, we are happy to offer you a refund on merchandise that is returned in its original condition within 14 days of receipt.
All returns are processed for a refund. Should you need an exchange, please order your items online. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you are returning. Ship to: JungleVine® Foundation, ATTN: Returns, PO Box 1822, Des Moines IA 50305, USA. Include your name, contact information, and order number inside the package.
Please note that returns have a processing time of up to 14 business days from receipt at our returns facility. Returns lost in return shipping will not be refunded.
If an item is damaged or defective, please email or call us immediately for instructions. Damage claims must be filed within 2 days of receipt of goods. Claims for defective items must be filed within 30 days of receipt of goods.
3. How do I choose the right size and strap length? | Back to the top
Minimum Tote Bag Dimensions
Mini - anything smaller than small
Small 25 x 15 cm 10 x 6 in
Small-Deep 25 x 25 cm 10 x 10 in
Medium 30 x 20 cm 12 x 8 in
Medium-Deep 30 x 28 cm 12 x 11 in
Large 35 x 25 cm 14 x 10 in
Large-Deep 35 x 33 cm 14 x 13 in
X-Large 40 x 28 cm 16 x 11 in
X-Large-Deep 40 x 36 cm 16 x 14 in
Jumbo 45 x 30 cm 18 x 12 in
Jumbo-Deep 45 x 38 cm 18 x 15 in
Centimeters are our primary unit for measuring. Inches are approximate and may be rounded up or down to the nearest inch.
The first measurement is the width of the opening at the top of the bag. The second measurement is the depth of the bag from the top opening to the bottom seam.
We size tote bags by laying them out on a sizing board with an outline for each of the primary sizes. When a bag is a centimeter or more too small, it gets put into the next smaller size category. So it's possible, for example, to have a medium that is almost-but-not-quite a large. The same goes for every size.
Why so many sizes?
We work with artisans in more than 40 isolated, remote villages. The artisans don't use a written language. Frequently, when we ask artisans in one village if they'll create some items, a visiting auntie from another remote village will hear about the order and excitedly return to her home village to tell them all about it. The precise dimensions we request get lost in the communication chain, and the pieces we see come in sometimes vary quite a bit from village to village. We are committed to helping all of the artisans sell their items.
We began with just small, medium, large, and extra large. Sometimes we'd receive a bag far, far larger than extra large, so we created a rarely-seen jumbo size. Soon we had such an array of sizes coming in that we had to devise a way to differentiate bags that were substantially deeper than others, so we added the "deep" designation for buyers who were seeking a deeper bag.
As the years go by, we find that the artisans are tending to produce fairly consistent sizes, which is remarkable given that not a single piece we sell for the Khmu has ever seen the inside of a factory. But we may always have a broad range of sizes; it just depends on what the artisans do.
Crossbody Strap Length Minimums
Mini / Small 120 cm 47 in
Medium 100 cm 39 in
Large / XL / Jumbo 92 cm 36 in
The bag's size adds to the drop length, so suitable crossbody lengths vary based on the bag's size. For example, a 92-cm strap works well for crossbody on an Extra Large bag, but it is too short for crossbody on a Medium bag. See strap lengths illustrated.
Because of the varying structural characteristics of the bags, physical dimensions do not sufficiently indicate the carrying capacity of the bag sizes. Each bag stretches, but to varying extents and in different ways. The best means of choosing a bag according to your carrying needs is to look at the photos demonstrating capabilities you can expect from each size. As a base line, the medium bag will hold 4 2-litre containers of beverages (as they are commonly sold in North America).
On a practical basis, a medium or large size bag is best for most people who use their bags to carry lots of different things. The bags will hold a number of large objects, and there almost always is room for additional medium or smaller size objects. “Filling” a medium, large, extra large or jumbo sized bag with heavy objects usually will result in an overall weight that is greater than the average person wants to carry.
The ratios of height to width can vary substantially. The Khmu prefer the bags they use to be wider rather than taller. This profile causes bags carried on shoulders or around the neck to tend to curve around the torso of the carrier rather than protruding forward or backward when loaded.
It also lessens the need to stack cargo items on top of each other. We like the rationality of this shape, but to conform to style expectations created by the conventional taller and narrower shapes of paper and plastic bags commonly used in most of the world, the Khmu also produce bags with greater height/width ratios.
4. How do I clean my Nature Bag? | Back to the top
The JungleVine® resists dirt and stains. Blot with a clean damp cloth or gently wash with cold water. Air dry. In order to ensure the bag retains its shape, add weight and hang to dry.
If you wash your bag and it shrinks, it can be stretched while wet or dry, but damp is best. Fill the bag as much as possible by both volume and weight and hang it to dry, making sure that the strap is open to its full width and not twisted or folded. Leave it to dry and stretch overnight.
5. How long can I expect my Nature Bag to last? | Back to the top
Nature Bags are remarkably durable and strong and you can expect them to last for many years with regular use. JungleVine® Purses will last for a couple of years; the zippers in some are likely to fail long before the purse itself does.
The original Nature Bag received by the project’s sponsor was used for years before some of its holes were sufficiently large that they required lots of extra time while loading the bag so that small cargo did not slip through. Some of the coloring has faded, although the black bands and other parts of that bag appear pretty much as they always did. A slight grayness in JungleVine® tone can be discerned if you examine that bag next to an unused one. Nevertheless, that original bag remains for display in our Luang Prabang headquarters and could be used to carry large cargo today if we chose to have it do so.
If you ever snag your bag, the American sponsor feels your pain. Some Khmu producers made a special bag for him as a gift, and he was quite taken both by its unique beauty and the thoughts behind the expression of gratitude that it represented. But on its first use, he tried to cram the stuffed bag into the overhead storage bin on a small airliner. He knew that it would fit, so he kept pushing harder and harder, eventually discovering that a small aviation rivet that had not been properly set snagged the bag and his force resulted in a small rip. He felt like crying.
What did he do? He continued using the bag. The rip did not grow larger until after several years of regular use.
6. Nature Bags can be composted at the end of their long lives | Back to the top
You can bury the bag or add it to your compost pile at the end of its useful life. That’s what many Khmu do. Because it is organic, buried JungleVine® will decompose naturally, turning its material components back into nutrients for the soil for future plants to use.