Creating new connections a bag at a time
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.’’
The group has been running since the end of August and already has an order for 200 bags.