Frequently Asked Questions to Back to Baskets

Our Seagrass and Water Hyacinth Baskets baskets are made by local village people in rural communities in Vietnam. Many are farmers utilise their time and supplement their income by basket weaving during the crop growing season. It also means that workers do not have to travel to a factory and can look after their children while working. Our Jute products are supplied from India where it is harvested in rural areas then sent to local Jute mills for processing.
As the product is created from a natural material and purposely grown for harvesting, using no chemicals or other toxic additives it is eco friendly and sustainable. In addition, at the end of their life the baskets will break down organically in a few months NOT thousands of years like plastic bags and the so-called supermarket "green bags"
Due to the material used and nature of construction the baskets are extremely strong. This allows them to be flattened for shipping but can be easily reshaped after wetting (For Seagrass Baskets only). Water Hyacinth baskets can be wet slightly and reshaped but should not be left to soak as they will loose their firmness and take a long time to dry.
One of the fastest growing plants known, water hyacinth reproduces primarily by way of runners, which eventually form daughter plants. Each plant can produce thousands of seeds each year, and these seeds can remain viable for more than 28 years. The common water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) are vigorous growers known to double their population in two weeks. Since the water hyacinths are so prolific, harvesting them for industrial use serves also as a means of environmental control. In the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam the water hyacinth's stems are used as a braiding material and a source of fibers. Strings of dried fibers are woven or interlinked together to form a braid or cord used for making bags, footwear, wreaths, hats, vases, Christmas lanterns, and more decorative materials. Dried stems are used for baskets and furniture. Water hyacinth fibers are used as a raw material for paper.
Seagrass: For shipping some baskets are flattened and to return them to their original shape at any time they can be sprayed or soaked (prolonged soaking will not harm) to soften the fibres then pushing/pulling to reach desired shape. Then simply air dry and baskets are ready for use! Similarly if your basket gets dirty you can use water to clean.
Water Hyacinth: This fibre can also take dipping in water however due to the thickness of the grass it takes a lot of drying. It is therefore preferable to clean with a damp cloth.
Jute: Jute is a less structured fibre and is best cleaned with a damp cloth.
Our Seagrass and Water Hyacinth Baskets are made at village level in Vietnam while our Jute Baskets come from India.
In the case of jute and Seagrass these are both grown inland as crops and harvested around 3 times per year. Water Hyacinth is somewhat of a pest and block and prolific grower in Vietnam so the more that can be harvested and used commercially the better it is for the environment.
We have visited the rural villages where our suppliers source our hand woven products and see firsthand where and how our baskets are made. These are often quite remote villages well off the beaten track. We always feel very satisfied that our weavers are well treated in terms of facilities and conditions where they work in the small rural factories. Much of the work is also farmed out to domestic households which enable workers to look after their families while gaining some income. As far as we are concerned using our first hand knowledge we are satisfied that the mostly subsistence level farmers are very happy to gain some income.
Many of our Baskets are free of animal products and completely made of natural fibre and are therefore Vegan Friendly.
Wholesale Shipping: We use a Freight Brokers to compare the price over a wide range of shipping providers such as TNT, Toll etc. Where possible we may also send by Australia Post. Freight will be charged at or under cost.. Some larger items may not be economical to send to some places such as Mid and Far North Qld, NT and WA. Contact us for a quote. Contact us re large orders. "Specials" will be charged postage "at cost". Minimum freight is $25. Generally we endeavour to aim for freight equating to around 10% of invoice value.
Retail Shipping: Shipping per item ordered is charged as follows - South East Australia (including Vic, TAS, SA and NSW) Order value $0 to 99 - $10 freight and $100+ FREE freight. The Rest of Australia (including WA, NT, QLD) Order value $0-99 - $15 freight and $100+ FREE freight.
Yes you are welcome to pick up from our Thomastown, Melbourne warehouse but it is necessary to coordinate a time.
We do supply wholesale. Go to our website and click on Wholesale top right hand side and fill out the form. You will need a valid Business Name and ABN and preferably a Business Address.
We do not run 30 day accounts. If you are a new customer the first couple of orders will be payment upfront and after that your order will be sent out with payment strictly on receipt of your order.
We endeavour to ensure that each and every basket is checked for before dispatch. If however there is a problem we would like to be informed by way of images and explanation via email to sales@backtobaskets.com.au preferably within 30 days of receipt of order.
We will assess the problem then where appropriate we will either offer a replacement or a credit to your account to be used on your next order – whatever is the most practical.
Where leather is used it s either pig or cow hide.
Your basket should give years of service.
Simply dispose of by burying or putting in the green waste. The fibres will break down organically in a couple of months.
Your Basket can be used for supermarket shopping, farmers markets, picnics, storage, laundry & weekends away.
While we do not have a showroom as such you are welcome to come to our warehouse and you can see, touch and feel any baskets you are interested in. We just need to know a day and rough time to make sure we are in attendance.
As our baskets are all handmade they will not have the size accuracy of products that are churned out on machines. Sizes can vary up to +/- 5% and sometimes slightly more although that is rare.
There is a minimum order for wholesale buyers of $250 excluding freight and GST.
We often receive orders and process and send same day however it is best to allow 3-5 days.
All our products are not necessarily available all the time. We can have unexpected surcharges in demand generally or one big order that could take all our stock of a couple of products. Thus we can never guarantee a particular item of stock will be available at a particular time. It is always worthwhile ordering earlier when coming up to high demand times like Xmas and Easter.
Only if we send by Australia Post so generally ok for Retail orders but not for Wholesale as we need to use bigger boxes that can only be sent by courier.
Water Hyacinth products can also be wet out and reshaped although should not be soaked like seagrass and as the fibre is thicker it will take longer to completely dry out. To clean Jute products should only be soaked in cold water with liquid detergent with a small amount of hand agitation. Rinse, pull back into shape and lay flat to dry.