The Swag

Fresh Produce Bag

Peita Pini – Inventor of the Swag

Peita Pini grew up in Kenthurst, North West of Sydney, Australia. She lived with her extended family on acreage surrounded by nature. They lived largely off the land, it was here Peita developed a deep love of nature and animals.

At that time, Kenthurst had no public transport, traffic lights or even a garbage collection service. Her family had twenty-two chickens, ducks, dogs, goats, several horses, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, fish, birds, a pet wombat called Norman and a wild six foot python called Monty. Her family had a huge veggie garden where the off cuts and left overs fed the animals and their manure fertilised the veggie garden. They had a worm farm; a compost heap and the family were all conscious of the waste they brought into the home as they knew it was their responsibility to dispose of. Most of their waste was paper, cardboard and glass bottles. The bottles were dropped off at the nearby bottle dump for recycling, the paper and cardboard went into the worm farm and the rest was incinerated.

In her twenties, the lights of the city drew Peita into a fast-paced environment of advertising and media where she spent well over twenty years in sales.

Now a wife and mother, with encouragement from friends and family, Peita set out on an adventure that would take her back to her roots and her belief in zero waste; doing what’s right for our family, our community and the environment we live in. However, the truly defining moment was when Peita watched two minutes of an unbearable documentary on human trafficking that rocked Peita to her core.  It motivated her to register the business and start The Swag business (Sway International).  This was the start of Peita’s journey to make a small step towards making a difference in caring for our planet. The Swag provides regular donations to help people trapped in human trafficking.

Peita discovered when fruit and veggies are sealed in plastic, the condensation inside the bag or container results in nutrients leaving the fresh produce. Each hour or day it’s trapped in plastic it’s dying quicker and loosing nutrients, it’s suffocating in the plastic.

After years of trial and error, research, development, design, company set-up, trademarks and patents The Swag business was born in August 2016. The Swag is a non-toxic, environmentally-friendly, sustainable, machine-washable, breathable bag, meaning fruit & veggies stay fresher for much longer – naturally!

On the 24th of August 2016, Peita launched The Swag through her personal Facebook account using a basic video. This video quickly became very popular, very quickly. Within the first hour Peita had over sixty orders, mostly from complete strangers who had viewed and shared the video. These people had clearly identified with the problem of wasting fresh produce and fully embraced the solution Peita had developed.

The Swags Patented 3-layer design allows the fresh produce inside the bag to breathe and hydrate so it stays fresh and nutrient rich for much longer. All three layers are made from 100% unbleached, unseeded cotton which after doing research, Peita believes is by the safest material to have in contact with our food. Swag international has been granted patents for The Swag in Australia, South Africa, USA and has ten international patents pending.

Peita and her team are incredibly proud The Swag bags are built to last years, in line with their zero-waste philosophy. The Swag also removes toxic plastic from around food, therefore helping customers and their families become healthier, not to mention saving them money…. in fact, approximately $1,400 per annum in food waste for the average Aussie family.

The Swag is ethically manufactured in India by hand and with love. The Swag manufacturer is monitored yearly by SEDEX to ensure people involved in the entire supply chain are ethically treated.

Since July 2018 a portion of every Swag product sold goes to Destiny Rescue, rescuing children from human trafficking.

In July 2018, Swag Australia scored a deal with The Richards group on Channel Ten’s program Shark Tank and was a finalist of Westpac’s Businesses of Tomorrow in 2016.

In October 2018, Swag Australia became a proud partner of 1 Million Women in the fight against climate change.

Even though Swag Australia’s products are built to last, when they finally come to the end of their life, they can simply be composted or dug into the earth, where the worms and bacteria will break them down within months, with zero impact on our beautiful earth and wildlife.

The Swag

Do you wish your fruit and vegetables would last longer, instead of continuously throwing them out?

This ingeniously designed Swag Produce Storage Bag will keep your fruit and veggies fresher and nutrient rich for longer.

What makes these fresh produce storage Bags unique is the breathable multi-layers of unbleached natural cotton.  The outer layer preserves the moisture within the middle layer to protect your lettuce, carrots, tomatoes plus more.  The middle layer is a thick absorbent layer to hold the bulk of the moisture and assists with keeping it away from the fresh product, yet still keeps them hydrated.  The inner layer provides a dryer protection barrier to keep your produce hydrated but not completely wet.

Engineered to be 100% natural, non-toxic, sustainable and environmentally friendly, say goodbye to plastic and hello to natural freshness

See the full Swag Range HERE

Download the  TheSwagBooklet a guide to keeping Fruit and Vegetables fresher for longer

Another reason to love swag……

Swag Australia are Proud supporters of Destiny Rescue

While I was on maternity leave with my second child, I watched a documentary on human trafficking. Just five minutes into the documentary, I was sobbing uncontrollably. It had such a profound and lasting impact on my soul. I couldn’t watch any more, those five minutes were so horrific, I literally jumped off the couch, went into our home office and registered The Swag trading name, purchased the URL, set up the company and started the patenting and trademarking process. It has always been my goal and passion to create a revenue stream to help with this global issue. I’m proud to announce that since the 1st July 2018 Swag Australia donates a portion of every product sold either direct or through our wholesalers.

Since 2011, Destiny Rescue have rescued over 2000 children enslaved around the world, helped keep hundreds more from entering the sex trade through their various prevention programs, ensured justice for those who have been wronged, and raised awareness to untold numbers. Their five step approach to tackling this global issue is why we have chosen to partner with Destiny rescue. Here is a snapshot of the great work they’re doing;

1. RESCUE THE SEXUALLY EXPLOITED AND ENSLAVED

Destiny Rescue rescues children from red light districts, brothels and sexually abusive situations.

2. RESTORE THE ABUSED

Destiny Rescue provides rescued children the intensive care and love they need to recover from the traumatic effects of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. We provide them medical help, counselling, schooling, vocational training and all daily needs required to be integrated back into society successfully. In addition, we provide a safe protective place for them to live, grow and experience unconditional love– a place where they can feel valued and esteemed; a place where they can be kids again.

3. PROTECT THE VULNERABLE

Destiny Rescue offers programs that help at-risk children and families reduce their children’s chances of being sold, lured or trafficked into the sex-trade.

4. EMPOWER THE POOR

Destiny Rescue believes in empowering the poor and giving them a hand up in life, not a handout. Our philosophy and goal is to help them become self-sustaining through one of our many assistance programs. Simply put, we don’t want to create a welfare system where children and families become dependent on our organisation, but rather have a chance to become profitable through hard work and common sense.

5. BE A VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS

Destiny Rescue is committed to being a voice for the sexually exploited, vulnerable and poor who, in most cases, can’t speak up for themselves. We believe everyone has a right to be heard, especially those crying out for justice. Many times they are overlooked or tossed aside by society, but we are determined to be their voice – motivating and inspiring influencers to get involved and make a difference in the lives of the voiceless.

Questions about SWAG

  • Why use unbleached seeded cotton?

    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 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 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.

    90% of the chemicals of greatest concern to our health are used to make plastic.

  • How do I use my swag?

    Everyone has a different way of using their Swags and you’ll find your ‘groove’ in no time at all. they’re really incredibly easy to use.

    Firstly, you MUST machine wash your Swags BEFORE USE as the inner layer plumps up and works much better after machine washing.

    If possible, when you get your beautiful bounty of fresh produce home from the shops, we highly recommend filling your kitchen sink with cold water and a BIG splash of vinegar (apple cider or white wine) and let them bathe in it (potentially for hours) give them a good rub and take off those horrible stickers that are also having an hideous and unnecessary impact on the environment. For best disposal of these stickers, stick them onto an object or material that’s already in your general waste bin. By doing this, you’re stoping insects/bacteria from becoming stuck to the stickers whilst in landfill. Instead these insects/bacteria can go on loving and breaking down our humungous waste.

    If possible chop off the ends or stalks of your produce so they can breath and hydrate better (just like cutting the ends off flowers for a vase)

    FYI – ‘furry’ fruits such as peaches and apricots don’t like a long bath – they like a quick plunge and dry!

    If you are not seeing two weeks of life (on average) out of your fresh produce then your Swags are either too dry or too damp. Simply play with the hydration levels. If all else fails, please contact us at info@theswag.com.au and we’ll work with you until you crack the sweet spot of at least two weeks of freshness!

    Personally, I tend to put all of my freshly purchased fresh produce into my large Swags and I move the older produce into a small Swag (red trim) therefore I know the red trimmed small Swag is the one I need to use the produce out of first (the colour coding trims are key here).

    For best results dampen your Swag with filtered water from a jug or filtration system.

    For the VERY passionate people…. I only put UNRIPENED fruit in The Swag. And as needed, I move the UNRIPENED fruit from The Swag into the fruit bowl for a day or two and these fruits are perfectly ripened and ready to eat. For more detailed information on this go to question “What doesn’t work well in the Swag?”

    Some people like a separate Swag for fruit, veggies or leafy greens. Others throw everything into one Swag. Personally, I like to divide my produce up as follows;

    Leafy greens and salad stuff (lettuce, herbs, capsicum, tomatoes, avocado and cucumber etc) in one Large colour coded Swag, another colour coded Swag for all veggies and another for fruits. Then I have a small Swag with a combination of all of the older fresh produce that I want to use first.

    The colour coding trim makes it easy to identify what’s in each Swag.

    What I LOVE about this system, is that when I’m cooking a stir fry – I pull out The Swag with the colour trim that has the veggies in it and everything I need to prepare my meal is all in one Swag. No multiple trips to the fridge and no need to rummage around to find things! If I’m making a salad I pull out the Swag containing the salad stuff and If I’m doing the kids lunches I pull out both Swags… the one with the salad stuff plus the one with the fruit. I pop the relevant Swag on the bench, use what I want/need and put the half cut up things straight back into The Swag – no need to wrap them in plastic… they’ll stay fresher for much longer when nude (unless it’s a very ripe tomato or avocado – you may want to wrap these)

    Remember, The Swag doesn’t ‘need’ to be in the crisper of your fridge. The Swag not only saves money – it saves time! Less rummaging through your fridge and less trips to the shops!

    Most fruits such as Non-cherry stone fruits, avocados, tomatoes, mangoes, melons, apples, and pears will continue to ripen if left sitting out on a counter top in a fruit bowl.

    Once they are really ripe – try to avoid putting them into The Swag – Just eat them! Why? When fruits approach maturity, they release ethylene. Ethylene promotes the ripening of fruit. However, Ethylene can also cause premature ripening in other fruits and veggies, plus in some fruit and veggies ethylene can actually cause damage.

    It’s best to put these fruits into The Swag WELL BEFORE they’re ripe. If you put these fruits into The Swag before they’re ripe (while still firm and giving off no sweet/pungent smell) then The Swag will significantly prolong the period of time before they start becoming ripe and producing ethylene. Then as, and when needed, fill your fruit bowl with the unripened fruit and within a day or so, your fruit will be ripe and ready to eat. If you can see that the fruit has ripened within the Swag – then remove it and either eat it ASAP, put it on a shelf in your fridge (away from other fruits and veggies) or put it in your fruit bowl. Ripe Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, pears and many other fruits will freeze well and you can use them later in delicious smoothies.

    So to summarize; put your UNRIPENED fruit in The Swag and as needed, move the fruit from The Swag to your fruit bowl for a day or two and those fruits will then be perfect to eat.

    For best results;

    – Fresh corn, take it out of the husk completely whilst in The Swag – corn will stay fresher longer this way.

    – If you chop the dry ends off things before you put them into The Swag then they will be able to breathe and hydrate more efficiently.

    – Please leave Bananas in the fruit bowl. When freezing bananas take out of the peel first. Cut watermelon/pineapple/rock melon etc is probably best cut up and put into a container however if it’s a whole watermelon, pineapple, rock melon that is not too ripe then they’ll most likely love being in The Swag and will stay fresher for longer that way.

  • Do I have to cling wrap stuff i’ve cut up?

    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”.

  • How much and how often should I dampen my 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 on average then your Swags are either to dry or too damp, so have a play with the hydration levels.

    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.

  • What sizes does the swag come in?

    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!

  • When should I replace my Swag?

    We recommend replacing your Swags perhaps once every two years or as needed. However, if you’ve gone on a holiday and left rotting produce in your Swag, then I would turn it inside-out and wash it. Then whilst still wet, pour a cup of white wine vinegar over the stains in your Swag and put it through an extra rinse cycle. The vinegar is a natural anti bacterial agent and will also remove the soap detergent/chemicals from your Swags. Whilst still inside-out dry in full sun. The sun is a natural bleacher and sanitizer.

    However, if you’ve left your Swag to the point of mould we highly recommend removing them from your fridge immediately and composting them, as mould spores are often difficult to kill and can be toxic. If it the mould is dealt with quickly (using clove oil concentrate) then there is often no contamination and The Swag can go on being used.

    Let’s face it. The Swag is saving Aussie households thousands of dollars (in food waste) per year PLUS we’re removing harsh, toxic chemicals from their lifestyle. The Swag is an investment and totally worth the effort of caring for correctly.

  • Is Swag a Fair Trade product?

    The manufacturer of The Swag 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