Cre­at­ing new con­nec­tions a bag at a time

North Harbour News - - OUT & ABOUT - AMY BAKER

They’re the lat­est fash­ion accessory to hit Up­per Har­bour: re­cy­clable bags made by com­mu­nity for com­mu­nity.

The Boomerang Bag group, which started last month at Al­bany House, is iron­ing, cut­ting and sewing 200 bags to gift to English lan­guage learn­ers.

Each bag will con­tain fly­ers ad­ver­tis­ing com­mu­nity ser­vices and in­for­ma­tion on re­cy­cling.

New­com­ers co­or­di­na­tor Laure Ro­manetti said the group, which is made up of mainly women who are new­com­ers, has a strong so­cial pur­pose.

‘‘We try [to do] any­thing that can get them out of their houses to join, you know, the wider com­mu­nity, share any­thing. Skills is one thing that can be shared.’’

Mi­grant part­ners can be ‘‘quite iso­lated’’, fac­ing lan­guage is­sues, when their hus­bands go out to work, leav­ing them at home alone in a new coun­try, she said.

Ro­manetti got the idea after see­ing a Face­book group for Boomerang Bags.

For­merly a sewing cir­cle, the group had their teacher leave in July, and Ro­manetti’s idea fit­ted per­fectly to fill the gap.

They hope to fin­ish the 200 bags for the school English Lan­guage Part­ners by De­cem­ber.

Fab­ric and the printed la­bels are do­nated, and mem­bers bring along their own sewing ma­chines.

Jerusha Soares, who re­cently moved from In­dia with her hus­band, joined the group to meet new peo­ple and learn to sew.

The Al­bany new­comer said she had never sewed be­fore her in life but was slowly learn­ing.

The Boomerang Bag con­cept will help to bring change to so­ci­ety, she said.

‘‘In­stead of us­ing a plas­tic bag, it’s bet­ter to keep us­ing a bag that you can use again and again.’’

Ro­manetti, who her­self em­i­grated from France 17 years ago, said although it wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily in­ten­tional, the group has a mind­ful qual­ity about it.

‘‘They’re so into what they are do­ing that they prac­tise well­be­ing with­out even know­ing it,’’ she said.

Dona­tions of fab­ric and sewing ma­chines wel­come.

Boomerang Bags at Al­bany House meets Thurs­days, 12.30pm2.30pm.

See The New Zealand New­com­ers Network for more.

‘‘Skills is one thing that can be shared.’’

AMY BAKER/STUFF

The group has been run­ning since the end of Au­gust and al­ready has an or­der for 200 bags.

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