Hello, I’m Brooke, the local coordinator for Boomerang Bags Stanthorpe. This web page has been set up to advise local residents on what is happening with the program. There is also a Facebook page here for details on local activities. The full Boomerang Bags website here.
WHAT IS BOOMERANG BAGS?
Boomerang Bags is a community driven initiative set to reduce reliance on plastic shopping bags. The community makes reusable bags to provide back to the community for free.
This voluntary approach is a positive and proactive way communities can work towards tackling plastic pollution at a grassroots level and teach sewing skills in the process. There are currently over 130 communities across Australia (and some overseas) that have made thousands of fabric bags.
‘Borrow and bring back’ your Stanthorpe Boomerang Bags at these locations:
- Cafe 77, 41 Maryland Street, Stanthorpe
- Gracious Giving, 26 Maryland Street, Stanthorpe
- Micky Mae, 43 Maryland Street, Stanthorpe (you can also drop off fabric donations here)
- Pure Heaven, 34 Maryland Street, Stanthorpe (you can also drop off fabric donations here and buy keeper bags)
- Bridget Bunchy, 117 Granite Belt Drive, The Summit (you can also drop off fabric donations here and buy keeper bags)
- Zest Bakery, 54 Maryland Street, Stanthorpe
This all sounds awesome. How can I help?
We are looking for people to:
- Sew, cut, iron, pin and generally help at sewing bees. This step is about making the bags. Those wishing to learn sewing skills are welcome. There are non-sewing jobs too.
- Buy a ‘keep bag’ and be proud to use it.
- Donate fabric and other supplies used to make bags – thread, scissors, etc
- Donate goods or services to assist in fundraising activities such as raffles.
- Donate resources such as printing flyers, fabric, display stands, collection boxes.
- Provide borrow bags or sell keep bags at your place of business or work.
I have some doona covers and pillow cases, can I donate them?
That would be great. We will also take curtains, sheets, tea towels, tablecloths, skirts, business shirts anything that we can turn into a bag. You can even donate any excess reusable bags you have at home and we can add a Boomerang Bag logo.
I like to sew. Can I make some bags at home to donate?
Yes. If you can’t attend a sewing bee or it’s just not your thing, you can make bags at home. Get in touch for patterns and tips. Here is a step by step tutorial on how to make your own shopping bag from a pillow case. Use it for yourself, give it as a present or donate it to us.
We are seeking donations of the following items:
- DOONA COVERS
- PILLOW CASES
- CURTAINS (not rubber backed)
- TEA TOWELS
- BUSINESS SHIRTS/DRESS SHIRTS
- OTHER – ribbons, stuffing,
- And anything else that will help us make bags
We receive donations at various locations from around the community. I try to get pictures and share them here but sometimes we are too busy chatting and I forget.
Special thanks to those that have donated. Here are a few photos…
DROP OFF POINTS
Thank you to the following businesses for supporting our program and offering to accept community fabric donations.
- Bridget Bunchy, 117 Granite Belt Drive, The Summit
- The Summit Post Office and General Store, 109 Granite Belt Drive, The Summit
- Pure Heaven, 34 Maryland Street, Stanthorpe
- Micky Mae, 43 Maryland Street, Stanthorpe
Or contact Brooke to organise a drop off or pickup.
Weekly sewing bees are held at our sewing centre within Bridget Bunchy at The Summit. People are welcome to come between 10am to 2pm. A spread of hours allows for volunteers to stay a little or the whole time. We encourage you to bring your own water bottle and any snacks or food to keep you going. Tea, coffee, milk and biscuits are supplied. Bring a sewing machine if you can. We will soon have four permanent sewing machines set up when a recent funding grant is finalised. Please note sewing skills are not essential. There are plenty of non-sewing jobs. A positive attitude and a desire to help is most important in our volunteers. If you’d like to learn how to sew we can certainly show you all the sewing skills needed.
The Border Post coverage
- 2016 June 13 article
- 2016 June 22 article
- 2016 July 28 article
- 2016 November 21 article
- 2016 December 6 article
- 2017 March 21 article
SEWING MACHINES ARRIVE – February 2017
We are very pleased to have four new Janome sewing machines permanently on site at our sewing centre. With the machines came sewing lessons from Kim Thiess (owner of local haberdashery store and participating outlet Micky Mae). Our volunteers were shown how to use the machines and had the opportunity to practice.
The sewing machines and sewing supplies were purchased through a local council grant and their placement means our volunteers no longer need to bring their own personal machines each week. We thank them for doing this for nine months. These machines also offer us a chance to hold sewing related workshops where we can further build community engagement and practical skills while we continue to make reusable fabric bags to give back to our town. Stay tuned to the Bridget Bunchy Facebook page for details of these events.
Thank you Southern Downs Regional Council. Stanthorpe is very proud to be a part of the wider Boomerang Bags initiative.
NEW PREMISES – January 2017
A new year and new possibilities. We have secured a space within Bridget Bunchy at The Summit. Her recycled gallery is the perfect place for our sewing centre. Once we are settled we will also set up a retail counter where a variety of items will be available for sale with funds helping to cover our expenses or purchase new equipment. Sewing bees will be held weekly on a Tuesday with doors open from 10am to 2pm.
FUNDING GRANT – December 2016
We have been successful in obtaining a funding grant from the Southern Downs Regional Council. After the paperwork is all sorted I’ll provide more details. What I can share is that it will allow us to purchase four new sewing machines and a bunch of sewing gear (scissors, thread etc) that will be used by our volunteers and will allow us to involve the community in different ways in 2017.
CHRISTMAS RAFFLE – December 2016
What fun we had at the Market in the Mountains on Sunday 11 December 2016. We were selling ‘keep’ bags and produce bags but the real excitement was in our tombola style raffle. There was over 100 prizes and every ticket purchased won a prize on the spot. It worked well for locals AND tourists. Thank you to the businesses who donated goods, services or vouchers. We raised nearly $600 on the day. A tremendous effort.
SHARE THE DIGNITY – November 2016
It was a delight to work with Warwick volunteer Lisa Brown to pull together resources for the Share the Dignity campaign in late November/early December. Our sewing team contributed items or money and filled six fabric Boomerang Bags. These were dropped of to Maddies Gift Gallery and distributed to women in need around Stanthorpe. Local media coverage here. The total for Stanthorpe was 50 bags. An amazing effort.
STANTHORPE LAUNCH – November 2016
Boomerang Bags officially launched in Stanthorpe on Tuesday 8 November. The sewing team has been busy at weekly sewing bees since June and had made 300 bags by this time. The sewing team was at the launch and the general public was invited to join in celebrating this milestone at one of our participating stores – Cafe 77. There where borrow bags, keeper bags, other eco products and the community was able to offer donations of money or fabric. Cafe 77 donated $1 for every coffee purchased during the launch period and always offer a discount to customers that bring their own reusable take-away cup. Four local businesses were participating from launch day and each received their first bundle of bags. Media coverage article.
FUNDING GRANT – September 2016
I LIVE SOMEWHERE ELSE, CAN I DO THIS IN MY COMMUNITY?
Why not? If you are interested in implementing Boomerang Bags in your community contact them directly and find out what is involved.
LOCAL COORDINATOR – STANTHORPE
Founder of Eco Parents Australia