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FAQ

ORDERS AND SHIPPING

WHERE IS MY ORDER AND WHEN WILL I GET IT?

As soon as your order is processed (usually within 1 business day), we will send you your tracking number in a shipment confirmation email. Please check your spam folder if you can’t find it in your inbox. Track your order’s progress and expected delivery date via www.fedex.com.

If you need to change the address or delivery date, please contact FedEx and submit your tracking number.

Europe:
Toll Free Telephone: 0800 123 800
atmaster@fedex.com

International:
Toll Free Telephone: 1 800 463 3339

CAN I CHANGE MY ORDER?

As shipping adds to the footprint of any product, we advocate for considering your choice well before buying. It is not possible to change your order once it has been processed and sent, but you can always return unwanted goods at your own expense. Thank you for your understanding.

WHAT ARE MY PAYMENT OPTIONS?

We accept VISA, MASTERCARD, JCB, AMERICAN EXPRESS, TWINT and APPLE PAY. You can also choose to pay via PAYPAL. Depending on your shipping destination we also accept Banktransfer and KLARNA. Your payment data is secured by ADYEN, a leading and innovative payment provider. To ensure safety, your transactions are encrypted via secure socket layer (ssl).

HOW MUCH ARE THE SHIPPING COSTS?

The shipping costs within Switzerland, the EU and USA are free for orders above: EUR 200 / CHF 200 / USD 200. Shipping costs to other countries will be calculated during checkout.

Shipping costs for orders under the above mentioned amounts are as follows:
Switzerland – CHF 10
Europe – EUR 10
USA – USD 20

HOW LONG DO I USUALLY NEED TO WAIT FOR MY SHIPMENT TO ARRIVE?

The following shipment lead times are estimates, and cannot be guaranteed. All shipments are sent with FedEx and a tracking number will be automatically sent to you once the order leaves our warehouse. Shipment times may take longer during holiday seasons.


EUROPE:
REGULAR SHIPMENT TIMES:
1-2 days priority shipping


INTERNATIONAL:
REGULAR SHIPMENT TIMES:
5-6 days for standard shipping
3 days for priority shipping


SWITZERLAND:
REGULAR SHIPMENT TIMES:
1 day priority shipping


USA:
REGULAR SHIPMENT TIMES:
3-5 days for standard shipping
2 days for priority shipping


CANADA:
REGULAR SHIPMENT TIMES:
3-6 days for standard shipping
2 days for priority shipping


AUSTRALIA:
REGULAR SHIPMENT TIMES:
5-8 days for standard shipping
3 days for priority shipping


JAPAN:
REGULAR SHIPMENT TIMES:
4-5 days for standard shipping
2 days for priority shipping


UK:
REGULAR SHIPMENT TIMES:
1-2 days priority shipping

HOW ABOUT DUTIES AND TAXES?

Please note that shipments which are outside European Union, Switzerland or USA may be subject to import duties and taxes. These are charged once the parcel reaches its destination country and must be paid by the recipient of the parcel.

Unfortunately we have no control over these charges and cannot predict what they may be, as customs policies and import duties vary widely from country to country

OUR PRODUCTS

WHAT WARRANTY DO I GET WITH MY PRODUCT?

We offer a 2-year warranty limited to manufacturing mishaps, in line with Swiss and EU-legislation. All the people involved in making your QWSTION product do their best to ensure it will be a companion that you can rely on everyday to go the extra mile with you. As per common practice, our warranty does not cover damage caused by inappropriate use, but the repair workshops at our stores will always help to find solutions to prolong the life of your bag.

Get in touch with us if you need more answers: wecare@qwstion.com

DO YOU REPAIR USED BAGS, OUTSIDE THEIR WARRANTY?

We offer non-profit repairs in our design workshops in our Zurich, Lausanne and Basel stores for our Swiss customers and in our Vienna store. For EU customers we offer repairs in the workshop in our central warehouse in Austria. Please send photos of your bag to wecare@qwstion.com so that we can give you a non-binding quote.

HOW DO I CLEAN MY BAG?

If needed, hand wash your QWSTION item using a soft cloth and lukewarm water. Air dry thoroughly, leather and metal parts should be washed and dried extra carefully. Do not machine wash or tumble dry. Have a look at this video showing how to clean your bag – and get our tried and tested cleaning items for best results.

ARE YOUR PRODUCTS VEGAN?

Currently we have few vegan options - as our first priority is sustainability, which means avoiding plastic. For instance, to make our bags waterproof the best solution we could find is a natural wax made of 25% beeswax. This allows our plant fibre materials to retain their biodegradability, but no, it’s not vegan. Some of our handles, as well as bottom reinforcements are made of vegetable-tanned leather, because of it's exceptional longevity. And the best material for shock absorption with biodegradability is natural wool felt - also not vegan.

Plastics do offer a high level of functionality at a very low price, which is why they are commonly used. For instance, popular vegan leathers like pineapple, cactus and apple leather use Polyurethane or Polymers - unfortunately at the cost of our planet, because the are neither biodegradable nor recyclable.

For some years we have been investigating plant-based water resistance methods and alternatives to leather, made from mushrooms. Our goal ist to be plastic free AND vegan by 2025 and we believe fully biodegradable options will be ready by then.
Here’s a good read on the topic.

WHAT CAN I DO WITH MY BAG AT THE END OF ITS LIFE?

Repair, reuse, recycle. Any product will some day reach a point where you no longer want, need or use it anymore. If this happens to your QWSTION bag please get in touch, so we can find the best lifecycle solution for you: wecare@qwstion.com

THE QWSTION BRAND AND VISION

WHY IS THE BRAND'S NAME QWSTION?

Everyday we question the norm. We question how things are designed, made and used, to find better ways that benefit both humans and nature. And because it all began in sWitzerland, we slipped a W in – QWSTION is our answer.

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF QWSTION?

QWSTION was founded in 2008 in Switzerland. We couldn’t find the bag we were looking for, so we decided to make our own - by questioning the norm. In a world with enough of everything, it was clear to us that we had a responsibility to make positive contributions towards nature and human beings and do things in the most sustainable way possible. Influenced by our Swiss design heritage we aimed to create essentials that would be useful everyday, aesthetically closing the gap between fashion and function. Three of the five original founders are still actively involved today, and in 2018 several longterm team members became partners in the company.

WHY ARE YOUR PRODUCTS MADE FROM PLANTS INSTEAD OF PLASTIC?

What if we could suck CO2 from the air and transform it into oxygen and useful fibres? With a system that is solarpowered, is bio-degradable and regrows naturally? Welcome to the world of plants.

At the same time, plastic is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. Almost all plastics are derived from fossilised carbon (petroleum), and greenhouse gases are released at all production stages. What is called ‘recycling’ is actually down cycling and leads to the production of even more new plastic. It’s quite simple: if you take a bottle to make a bag out of it, a new bottle is produced instead. Preventing any further extraction of fossilised carbon is key to solving the climate crisis. This more in-depth article summarises everything we’ve learned.

WHAT IS "SUSTAINABILITY" FOR QWSTION?

Generally speaking, the term describes the ‘ability to self-sustain’. Today’s linear economy, based on taking-making-consuming-discarding, is the opposite of sustainable, as resources are depleted – and the Anthropocene, our new age in which humans are the dominant influence on the planet, needs new solutions that holistically consider the impact of our actions.

Our vision of the future is regenerative: one in which we care for humans and nature, leaving the current system (and plastic) behind.

WHAT IS BANANATEX®?

In 2018, after three years of research and development we launched Bananatex®, a waterproof fabric made from 100% natural banana fibres organically cultivated in the Philippine highlands. Its regenerative origins, strength and biodegradability put it at the forefront of sustainable material development.

Bananatex is Cradle-to-Cradle Certified® Gold, and is the material we use most of. On top it has won us several of the most important awards, including the Swiss Design Prize, and the German Sustainability Award.

Our goal was to create a viable alternative to the plastic based fabrics that currently dominate the textile industry. To increase its positive impact we’ve developed Bananatex® as an open source project, making it openly available to other brands – so if you work for a brand or have a project going where plastic textiles could be replaced with plants, find more about Bananatex here.

WHAT IS "CIRCULAR DESIGN" AND "CIRCULARITY?"

Most goods today have no end-of-life solution – at some point they become waste. Designing for circularity means eliminating waste by keeping materials in (natural) cycles.

To guide us towards circularity, we have created the CIRCLE-Strategy - based on the ‘Cradle to Cradle’ principles, described in the eponymous book by Michael Braungart and William McDonough. We question how things are designed, made and used to find better ways that benefit both humans and nature - ways in which waste and pollution are eliminated.

Have a look at how we implemented the circular design approach in our BioLight collection: Breaking down the bag

WHY MAKE PRODUCTS THAT ARE COMPOSTABLE INSTEAD OF THINGS THAT LAST FOREVER?

Nothing actually lasts forever (including us humans…). The natural world works in cycles and knows no waste – timeframes vary, but things grow and decompose again. So the important question for future generations is: will a product cause harm, once it’s reached the end of its life? Can it decompose, or be fully recycled? Using healthy and renewable resources allows us to create products that last long enough, yet will leave no (toxic) trace.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF "PERMACULTURE"?

In agricultural terms permaculture is the opposite of monoculture and can be understood as a natural, self-sufficient andsustainable ecosystem. Permaculture is based on regeneration, diversity, resilience and natural productivity.

The Abacá banana trees, whose fibres we use to make our Bananatex® material, grow in a natural ecosystem of sustainable mixed agriculture and forestry, requiring no pesticides or extra water. Its fast growth and high resilience have made it an important contributor to reforestation in areas of former Philippine jungle eroded by soil damage due to monocultural palm plantations.

WHAT DOES THE TERM "REGENERATIVE" REFER TO?

Regenerative agriculture is a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems, as a path to permaculture. It focuses on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity, improving the water cycle, supporting the sequestration of CO2, and thus increasing resilience to climate change.

Most plans to mitigate climate change focus on "reducing greenhouse gas emissions." Regenerative agriculture captures atmospheric carbon dioxide by growing plants that move that carbon dioxide into the soil. It is currently the only functioning technology available at scale for drawing down greenhouse gases that are already in the atmosphere, mostly through the cultivation and nurturing of forests and permanent perennial pastures and grasslands.

HOW CAN SOMETHING BE "CRADLE TO CRADLE CERTIFIED®"?

Cradle to Cradle describes products that are designed for circularity, with the goal of zero waste. It’s inspired by natural ecosystems, where any material is a nutrient – and is an alternative to the usual take-make-use-dispose approach which begins with raw materials mined from earth and ends with piles of garbage.

The term was coined by Michael Braungart and William McDonough in their eponymous book, and the certification was developed to approve goods made according to circular principles. Cradle to Cradle Certified® is currently the most holistic and thorough sustainability certification we know – which made it the logical choice to pursue for us. Our Bananatex® material has achieved a ‘Gold’ rating.

WHEN ARE PRODUCTS "PLASTIC FREE"?

For our goods it means that none of the materials and components used contain any harmful plastic.

Our RollPack for example is made mainly from our 100% natural Bananatex® with a natural wax coating and a 100% wool felt protective compartment, the handle is made from vegetable tanned leather, the zippers consist of 100% cotton tapes with metal teeth, the buckles and rivets are made of aluminum alloy and the sewing thread of FSC-certified wood pulp (better know as Tencel®). Even the care labels on the inside of the bag are made from natural fibres.

Generally we’ve reduced the amount of plastic in our entire company to less then 1% of all materials used - most of our new products, our shipping boxes and also the interiors of our stores are plastic free.

MANUFACTURING

WHERE ARE QWSTION PRODUCTS MADE?

We design and develop everything at the QWSTION studio in Switzerland, yet have selected our manufacturing partners globally, benefitting from their specific expertise. Working closely with our collaborators is key to develop a range of high quality everyday goods made almost entirely from natural materials. Our focus lies on acting responsibly for future generations, and after a lot of research and experimentation, we discovered it was more important to focus on how we produced than where – as transportation, when shipped, is not the defining aspect of a product’s foot print.

Accordingly, our supply chain today begins where the Abacá banana plants grow: in the Philippines. The fibre is then shipped to Taiwan, where we spin and weave it into Bananatex. Our (relatively small) manufacturing partners are currently in Switzerland, Czech Republic and in China, depending on the complexity of the product - the latter having the biggest and most skilled team of craftswomen and -men. Our Chinese partners in the city of Huizhou, close to Hongkong, are certified to European standards, and we actually have the closest and longest running relationship with them, which is why, in spite of growing political challenges, we’re continuing our collaboration with the team there.

But let’s put things into context: Nowadays, "Made in Italy" rarely means what we think, because globalisation has made supply chains difficult to track. And provenance of materials is usually not accounted for. We believe that understanding every part of our supply chain is key to offering transparency and assuming responsibility.

To share what we know – and also what we don't – we’ve developed a unique new label which you can find inside our bags.

HOW ARE YOUR PRODUCTS TRANSPORTED?

According to latest data, transportation by waterways has a twenty times lower CO2 footprint than trucking. This is part of the reason why we decided to develop a supply chain with global partners and focus on maximum sustainability, as well as skill. We generally try to avoid air travel and keep trucking distances as short as possible. Transporting our fabrics and goods from Asia to Europe by ship results in less emissions than producing in several parts of the EU would.

The ‘last mile’ from our warehouse in Innsbruck, Austria (where one of QWSTION’s Co-Founders is based) to our retail partners’ or your door, is currently organised by our logistics partner FedEx. As deliveries are pooled, depending on where you live, the route may not be the most direct - but we are regularly evaluating new options to find the most sustainable solutions.

WHAT CERTIFICATES DO YOU WORK WITH?

To our current knowledge ‘Cradleto Cradle Certified’ offers the most holistic and purposeful criteria of any certification. Therefore it was our obvious choice to pursue, and our first step was completed in December 2021 by achieving a Gold rating for our main material, Bananatex.

With our other textiles, GOTS and OekoTex certificates make sure our materials are created responsibly and healthy.

But most importantly: we know all our partners personally and have set ourselves clear standards and goals based on mutual respect and responsibility, outlined by our code of conduct.

OTHERS

HOW DO I REACH CUSTOMER SERVICE?

Just drop customer service a line: onlineshop@qwstion.com. Or give us a call on: +41 78 620 52 51. We will get back to you within 48 hours anytime between Monday and Friday.

CAN I PURCHASE QWSTION PRODUCTS OUTSIDE THE ONLINE SHOP?

Yes – please find a list of QWSTION stores and retail partners here.

HOW CAN I USE MY GIFT CARD?

Gift cards are redeemable in the QWSTION online-store in the currency in which they were purchased. Therefore, make sure you are in the appropriate web store. If your purchase exceeds the value of the gift card, the remainder can be paid using our standard payment options. Any value remaining on the voucher will be forfeited. Gift cards are valid for 5 years from the date of purchase.

Subject to our Returns Policy, once an item has been returned, your refund will be credited to a new gift card. If you purchased products in excess of the value of the gift card using another payment method, then after your item has been returned, the excess amount will be credited back to that same payment method.

Please note that gift cards can only be redeemed in our online shop not in our physical stores.

CHRISTMAS DELIVERY GUARANTEED
For all orders placed before noon (European time) on Dec. 16th (standard shipping) or Dec. 21st (priority shipping).
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