About Us & Our Ethics

What is a Fairtrade cotton bag?

For a bag to carry the Cotton FAIRTRADE Certification Mark the cotton farmers must meet Fairtrade Standards. Those companies involved from the processing of the cotton to the manufacturing of the bag, are registered with Fairtrade.

Are your bags made with Fairtrade Certified Cotton?

We can produce Fairtrade cotton bags with the Cotton Fairtrade Certification Mark to your specification - just get in touch for more information. All our bags are made in factories in India, with whom we have worked for a number of years, that are registered with Fairtrade. Our trusted partners in India are also members of SEDEX, which is an international ethical auditing association. The ethical provenance of our bags is key to our business. 

We produce an Eco-Ethical Guide, giving further information about the environmental and ethical credentials of our product and company.

Is your cotton organic? Where is it sourced?

We source our cotton from India, where it grows under rain-fed conditions before it finds its way to one of the Fair Trade registered factories we work with. We can make bags from organic cotton but the stock we carry at our eco-print factory is non organic. As organic cotton is in such short supply, we would not be able to guarantee stock levels and price stability if we solely relied on this fibre.

What is the ecological advantage of a cloth bag over a plastic one?

The average shopper uses 342 plastic bags a year. Simply put, if you stop using plastic bags and reuse a cotton tote bag then you will cut down your carbon footprint from over 25kg a year to less than 1kg.

The manufacturing process of plastic bags is ecologically damaging, unlike cotton or jute, which are made from sustainable crops, grown under rain-fed conditions and are unbleached and undyed, minimising the environmental impact.

After use, plastic bags get discarded and can enter rivers and the sea, where they kill our marine and bird life.  A branded, natural cloth bag will degrade naturally to dust and in doing so, will help to save our planet.

Are your bags 'bags for life'?

'Bag for Life' is a term that’s come to mean a sustainable bag, i.e. one that’s made from a natural material, can easily be reused and will biodegrade. The answer to this is yes, all of our bags are ‘Bags for Life’. However, many companies sell bags under this banner which are actually not sustainable and are made from petro-chemicals, not ecologically printed and therefore won’t biodegrade.

Do you use eco-friendly inks to print your bags?

Yes.  Most of our bags are screen printed with ISO 14001 (International Environmental Standard), water based inks.  We recycle waste ink to further reduce the impact on the environment.  We also print with a digital ink/paper transfer system, which is less environmentally friendly in that it incorporates a paper transfer however there is no waste produced into the water stream.  Litho printing is carried out in very few cases and only where absolutely necessary as this is the least environmentally-friendly print method for bags.

Tell me more about your printing techniques

Screen printing starts with a photographic stencil being made of a design, which is then applied to a fine mesh, a.k.a silk screen. We print with a water based ink, which has the consistency of custard, either by hand or using an automatic print carousel. It takes about 15 minutes to register each colour of a design and about another 15 minutes to colour match the ink using a Pantone reference system. It’s therefore expensive if a design includes lots of colours and only a small quantity is required. Screen printing is ideally suited to designs with flat colours or strong lines.

If a design includes lots of colours or gradient shading then we would recommend digital printing. The setup time for digital printing is very quick and therefore it’s also ideal for small print runs or one-off prints. Digital printing is most commonly restricted by size ( A4 or A3) for our in-house production and only works on light background colours such as natural undyed or white.

If you need a photographic or colourful print with lots of shading onto a dark colour then litho printing is the way to go. Litho prints are expensive to produce, making this only cost effective for print runs over 500 units.

We can also print with metallic foils, metallic inks, glitter and puff inks!

Where are you based? Do you ship internationally?

We’re based in the heart of Sheffield, which is famed for its industrial heritage. We are proud to call Yorkshire our home!

We import and export bags every day to anywhere in the world. We work closely with our excellent freight forwarders, as well as well known courier companies, to send bag consignments and bag samples from A to B.  We are adept at handling a sustainable supply chain including dealing with customs clearance, import duty and split deliveries.

Our Products

What is your most popular bag style?

Our most popular bag style is the Promo Cotton Eco-Bag. It's the most cost-effective option whilst also being a versatile bag, and is especially popular with young people. We carry stocks of this weight fabric in many different bag styles, which we can print and deliver on a 2 week time frame. Many customers now opt for a slightly heavier 5oz bag, particularly if a dyed bag is preferred.

Do you have immediate stock availability of bags? Which styles do you have available?

Yes - please see our catalogue of Off-The-Shelf Stock for bag styles that we keep in stock at our eco-factory, ready for printing and dispatch on a fast-track basis.

None of the bags you stock are quite what I’m looking for. Can you make me a customised bag style?

Of course we can. We partnered with Fairtrade registered suppliers in India who produce high quality bespoke bags to suit your requirements. Our Custom-Made Bags Catalogue provides some great examples of what we can do.

Where are your international custom-made bags produced?

Our bespoke bags are produced by Fairtrade registered suppliers in Kolkata and Mumbai, India. We also use an ethical supplier in Guangzhou, China.

What is the turnaround time for a custom-made bag style (e.g. coloured handles or alternative fabrics)?

The standard delivery time via sea shipment, which is the most cost effective way is 12 weeks from when you approved the artwork with us. There might be occasions that this timeframe can't be met due to severe weather conditions at sea, which unfortunately we have no control over! If your delivery is urgent, we also can arrange airfreight for you at an additional cost! The standard delivery time for airfreight is usually between 6-8 weeks from when you approved the artwork with us.

Your Order

How do I make an enquiry, or place an order?

You can make a new enquiry by filling in the quote request form on the website or by calling us on 0114 2721201. Once you have received your quotation all you then need to do is confirm all the details and your order is placed

Do you have a minimum order quantity?

Our minimum order at BIDBI is 200 bags. If you need less than 200 bags then please visit our sister website Doodle Bag where you can order from as little as 1 bag!

How can I order individual items, or small-quantity orders?

If you would like to order individual items or small-quantity orders then please visit our Sister website at Doodle-Bag.com.

Do I have to pay screen charges again for a repeat order?

If you are placing a repeat order without any changes to the design then screen charges are free of charge

Do all my bags have to be the same, or can I order variations in the same order?

The minimum order is 200 per design, however you can have a mix of bag styles in this order (e.g. the same design on a 4oz cotton and 8oz canvas bag) 

How long will it take to print my bags? I need them for a certain date.

Our standard delivery time is 10 working days. However, if you need your bags in a hurry then your order can be fast-tracked at an additional charge.

What is your cancellation policy?

Once an order has been confirmed there is a 50% cancellation fee should you cancel your order.

Order Processing & Payment

What is your order turnaround time after payment? Can you fast track my delivery?

Our standard turnaround after payment and artwork approval is 10 working days, however this can be fast tracked if needed for a specific event.

What payment methods can I use if I don’t have a credit or debit card? Can I pay by cheque?

Yes you can pay by cheque but the cheque would need to clear first , so this could delay the production of your order. Our preferred and the easiest method of payment is a bank transfer as this is quick , easy, secure and has no extra charge involved.

Artwork and Printing

Do you have an artwork guide?

Yes! It answers many design queries and lists the printable areas of all our products. 

How do we send and review our artwork before printing?

Just email it through to us at design@bidbi.co.uk and we will advise you the best way to get your design printed.

Can you create artwork for us, or make changes and improvements? What is the charge for this?

We can create artwork from scratch, or amend your current artwork. We provide 15 minutes free design time for every order, after that time is chargeable in 15 minute increments at £15. We can also provide you with an estimation of how long a design may take so you will know how much you will be spending.

How many colours do you advise we use?

For screen printing we recommend you keep below 5 colours. Screen prints with more than that can take a lot longer to print. Don’t worry if your design has more than 5 colours, there are alternative print methods available!

Can you print a photographic image?

Yes! We use a method called digital transfer printing that has no design restrictions.

What is the difference between digital and screen-printing? Which is most suitable for me?

It all depends on your design. Generally bold logos and designs with few colours are suitable for screen printing and photographic or high detail images are suitable for digital printing. We will always help you get the right print method for your bags.

What size should my design be?

Each product listing contains the maximum print areas, or download our artwork guide below for more information

Alternatively, just ask our designer and we will let you know!

Will I receive a proof before printing?

Yes! Every order is provided with a proof showing your designs to scale on templates; which will give you a good idea of what your bags are going to look like. We require approval of artwork just to check that everything is correct.

Any design questions?

Just email our designer and he will get back to you pronto: design@bidbi.co.uk.