Have you got your Boomerang Bag?
After a gentle start, Boomerang Bags Mirboo North has developed into a hive of activity.
The arrival of screen-printing equipment, the abolition of single-use plastic bags from the Mirboo North IGA, and then a recent family tragedy on the far side of the country have all contributed to bursts of busyness that are seeing the group move much closer to providing free, recycled and reusable shopping bags for the Mirboo North community to share.
Screen-printing equipment was an important step, as it stamps the ‘keep and re-use’ logo onto each bag, reminding people of their purpose – a sustainable option if you have forgotten to bring your own bags to the supermarket. This equipment was funded by a 2017 Community Grant from the Mirboo North & District Community Foundation.
When the Mirboo North IGA announced it would be no longer be providing single-use plastic shopping bags, the Boomerang Bags Mirboo North group jumped on the opportunity to officially launch itself out front of the IGA, spreading the word by handing bags to shoppers and providing information on both the local group and the wider movement. We were thrilled with the amount of interest shown on the night, and the number of people signing up to become new members. In addition, the Mirboo North IGA has generously agreed to provide space for a Boomerang Bags stand, so people have this sustainable option to borrow and bring back if they forget their own bags.
While Boomerang Bags Mirboo North has not yet sewn enough bags to keep IGA shoppers in bags (supply is in the pipeline), bags will be available from (and can also be returned to) the ArtSpace, Harriet Herbery, and the Climate Action Network (CLAN) stall at the Mirboo North Country Market. In the meantime, it’s exciting to see community interest in Boomerang Bags growing, and also to see the odd bag getting around town doing its job.
On a much soberer note, our next Boomerang Bags gathering has been prompted as a special and out of the ordinary session in dedication to the memory of Cynda Miles and her family. Cynda Miles, along with six other members of her family, recently died in a family tragedy that has struck the small community of Margaret River. Cynda was an active and well-loved member of her community, who believed in the Boomerang Bags movement and regularly hosted sewing bees at her home to make bags for her community – because it is not just about making bags and reducing our use of plastic – it is also about bringing people together, and supporting each other through the friendships formed.
So, in dedicating our special session to Cynda Miles and her family, we’re inviting the wider Mirboo North community to come to Mirboo North Playgroup at 10am on Saturday 2nd June (tomorrow) for a 2-hour session. We will be using our brightest and most beautiful recycled material to make extra special bags. We will be adorning each bag with a material flower, made on the day, to commemorate the session. At the end, we will choose the most beautiful bag to send to the community of Margaret River to add to their collection, in the hope of providing some level of acknowledgement and support at this tragic time.
Adults and children alike are welcome to come and participate in the bag and / or the flower making. No craft skills required! Mirboo North Playgroup provides an enclosed, child-friendly space with lots of room and opportunity for indoor and outdoor play, so young children are very welcome to come along and simply play on the day. You are most welcome to bring your sewing machine, overlocker, pair of scissors, buttons about the size of 20c coins, and / or something to share for morning tea – or not! We’d simply love to see you, so please feel free to just turn up.
All of this recent activity and promotion is really starting to make a difference to the group. Our membership numbers have climbed from an initial group of 5 to a much healthier 55. We’ve also been invited along to participate in the Mirboo North Secondary College’s Community Breakout Program, most recently to help run a sustainability station, and plans are now afoot to arrange a series of sewing bees at the school. We welcome anybody with any interest in any part of what we do – just pop by at any of the next few meetings to say hello and share a cuppa:
- Saturday 2nd June 10am-12pm Mirboo North Playgroup
- Tuesday 5th June 1-3pm ArtSpace
- Friday 13th July 9-11am ArtSpace
- Monday 6th August 1-3pm ArtSpace
If these times and dates don’t work for you, you can get involved at home by utilising the take and make box system at the Mirboo North Library (patterns provided here …), or by donating fabric at the Mirboo North Library or at ArtSpace. Alternatively, let us know your contact details by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0439 378 195, or join the “Boomerang Bags Mirboo North” Facebook group. Once we’ve worked through the above set of dates, we’re looking at setting a regular day and time for a monthly day meeting and a monthly evening meeting. The days and times will be set by surveying everybody who has indicated an interest in Boomerang Bags, so please do stay in touch with us.