Boomerang Bags Motueka
A community project to make free, reusable take-and-return cloth bags has begun, and their availability in High Street shops was launched early in April 2017.
An Australian initiative (hence the term "boomerang"), it is taking off in New Zealand as well. And a group of Motueka people, with the umbrella support of Vision Motueka added one further Kiwi town to the movement - said to be the fourth town in NZ and the first in the South Island.
Vision Motueka trustee Claire Hutt was one of the Boomerang Bags Motueka team. The first job was to gather used or scrap fabrics and threads. Then there were community sewing bees, where volunteers helped with cutting materials, pinning, ironing, screen printing and sewing.
Over the first few months, around 500 bags were made, with a small number of them being labelled "Bought to Support" where those bags were sold to owners for $5 which went to the funds for getting materials to make more bags.
Vision Motueka applied for and received a grant from the Motueka Community Board on Boomerang Bags' behalf to buy materials needed to continue this work.
By springtime another Motueka community group, Crafty Tarts, began making good quality bags, mainly "Bought to Support", to help build product numbers (this photo for example), while less frequent public working bees continued to make "Borrow and Bring Back" or "Borrow and Re-use" bags.
By the end of 2017 the Boomerang Bags team were able to carry on without the direct help of Vision Motueka. They set up their own bank account and committee, and in early 2018 the funds accumulated and ring-fenced for them by Vision Motueka were transfered officially to Boomerang Bags.
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