Looking for a gift for the girl or boy in your life who seems to have everything? Get them a present to hold all their stuff! Seriously though these fun, functional bags from Dabbawalla are a great gift for kids and their parents will thank you too.
I received one of their fast track-styled backpacks and an opportunity to speak with their inspirational co-creator — and now declare myself an instant fan. Both my son and I love the race track and race car design. And I really appreciate how well designed it is for his preschool needs and sensibilities – easy straps with no hardware to chew or break off and machine washable to undo all those gooey food items he hides on me for days. I instantly thought this had to have been designed by a mom!
Dabbawalla Bags are the inspiration of Susan Givens, a mom/world traveler who formerly worked at the Museum of Natural History and currently resides in Seattle, WA. She partnered with her sister, Carol Mack, a clothing designer, and they share a commitment to providing children with bags that are functional, fun and free of commercial hype. “You’ll find no cartoon characters or action figures, no utilitarian oversized styles that mimic adult packs – just simple, European inspired colorful designs that kids of all ages can relate to,” says Givens.
They offer three different sized bags all made of an eco-friendly, neoprene-like material with adorable designs like monkey, frog, apple, spaceship and ladybug.
The Lunch Tote, retailing for $30, is conveniently sized for use as a stroller bag, large lunch bag or carry tote for daily outings (13”h x 12”w x 5”d) The Backpack, priced at $40, is designed for preschool and early elementary school children with sturdy grip handles, wide zipper openings, outside and inside pockets and cushioned adjustable straps (12”h x 11”w x 6”d) And the Lunch Sacks, available for $28, is sized just right for lunch or snack and small enough to fit inside a backpack or briefcase. One interior mesh pocket holds additional items such as a water bottle and ice pack (10”h x 9”w x 4”d)
Dabbawalla Bags are designed in the USA and sewn in Taiwan by a sewing facility that supports fair wage practices and social responsibility. Susan and her sister went to great lengths to find a manufacturing facility that meets their definition of worker friendly. Upon learning that their original site would not allow them to visit, they immediately stopped production. After much research and travel, they discovered a family-owned sewing shop run by a widow in Southern Taiwan. The sisters visit the facility twice a year and are impressed with the owner’s philosophy of paying real living wages and the friendly, family atmosphere. Susan also picked the mind of another socially-responsible Seattle neighbor, Starbucks, for pointers on manufacturing globally. She also works with a consultant in Taiwan to understand the cultural differences and how to navigate responsibility while manufacturing a quality product abroad.
Dabbawalla Bags are available at specialty retail stores through the United States, Canada, Asia, Australia and Europe. For more information, visit www.dabbawallabags.com
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. That’s IT Mommy received a Dabbawalla backpack free of charge in order to facilitate this review. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.