One month to sew 1000 re­us­able bags

Central Leader - - SPORT - JAMES PASLEY

A lo­cal not-for-profit group is try­ing to cre­ate a ‘‘cloth bag econ­omy’’ for gro­cery shop­ping.

Geck­oBag NZ aims to sew 1000 re­us­able bags by Fe­bru­ary 1.

Once it’s reached its tar­get it wants to get the re­us­able shop­ping bags into su­per­mar­kets where they could be loaned to shop­pers for a small fee.

Geck­oBag NZ founder Anna Co­hen said the idea be­hind the cloth bag econ­omy came from her frus­tra­tion at al­ways for­get­ting re­us­able bags when she went shop­ping.

‘‘I am adamant about re­duc­ing waste so I would ei­ther jug­gle the food nearly drop­ping it all or I would buy an­other re­us­able bag.

‘‘I had 20 store-bought re­us­able bags build­ing up in my cup­board and my gor­geous homemade ones were not see­ing the light of day.

‘‘I thought wouldn’t it be great if we could re­turn them and get a re­fund.’’

Co­hen has about 50 peo­ple sew­ing for the dead­line and peo­ple are pop­ping up ev­ery day to do­nate their bags.

‘‘I’m re­ally en­thu­si­as­tic as we build mo­men­tum.’’

A friend of hers asked her why she didn’t just or­der 1000 bags from China and get started, but she said that missed the point.

‘‘It won’t work un­less we have the com­mu­nity work­ing with it and get­ting be­hind it.’’

Once the tar­get is reached, the next step will be to get them into stores.

Then when a shop­per for­gets their bags they can buy one, use it and then re­turn it and claim part of their money back.

Co­hen es­ti­mates the bags will cost shop­pers $1, and 50c will be re­im­bursed on re­turn, while the other 50c will be split be­tween Geck­oBags and to the store hold­ing the bags.

The econ­omy won’t be ex­clus-

It’s also af­ter do­na­tions of fab­ric, scis­sors, thread or old sew­ing ma­chines.

‘‘If peo­ple want to get in­volved they’re more than wel­come.’’

Co­hen hasn’t de­cided which gro­cers will hold the bags yet, but is plan­ning to con­tact small to mid-size stores.

JAMES PASLEY/FAIR­FAX NZ

Gecko Bag NZ founder Anna Co­hen hard at work. The aim is to sew 1000 re­us­able bags by Fe­bru­ary 1.

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