Sick of buying lunch bags which are designed to attract your (and your child's) attention in the shop - but inevitably break down horribly not long after - I started thinking of options. Even when they don't break down - their impractical shapes (like a kitty face built in to the front) are difficult to clean.
Most moms would have just junked these out and bought new ones each year - or each term, but not this one. How many crappy lunchbags are thrown out by we wasteful moms, I thought? There has to be a better way. I could sew them myself - but they would look handmade, which would make my kids feel different - they want to fit in.
First idea: I could ask Ginger Pye (two NZ sisters that make cool patterned lunch wraps in NZ) to custom make a rectangular lunch bag with a zipper but in the same resilient cotton and foodsafe plastic as their lunch wraps. Then the lunch bags would last for years, be easy to clean, and look good. As it turned out that would have required too much effort on their part in designing them, but they referred me to 4MyEarth (and another option: stainless steel lunch boxes, used often in India so carried in Indian shops).
I decided to get 4MyEarth's cool bags from abroad. After a mishap using their first ones where fruit that spilled out of a container dissolved the glue of a decorative metallic cloth on the insides - they replaced the bags with a new design which used neoprene on the inside (high tech breathable material).
The new design 4MyEarth is using is so awesome that I have to blog about them! Worth exploring, and discovering - as a new option for others to use as well. They cost about $29.95 - but they look like they will last for 10 years. So you would buy them once (write in their names to help this happen). They are very easy to keep clean with their sturdy neoprene interiors.
Available for NZers from the Australian 4MyEarth.
Direct link to these lunch bags here.