Bag-Sew Builds & Connects Community from Berkshires to the Valley

Sewing Marathon Creates 485 New Bags for the Bagshare Project!

Leni Fried of Cummington, MA writes:

"It is great that we are keeping unwanted textiles out of landfills and recycling that fabric into useful bags that reduce the use of disposable plastic and paper bags," writes Amanda.

Hello Bag Sharers,

The Bag Share Sewing Marathons were a roaring success! I sewed for 24 hours straight. By 3 in the morning I felt like I was inside a giant sewing machine and there was nothing outside of it. By 7:30 a.m. I emerged from the church to see a brilliant rainbow over the fields and the rushing sound of the Westfield River. It was beautiful. Then off to a delicious breakfast compliments of The Old Creamery.

I sewed 118 bags and Amanda sewed for 19½ hours and sewed at least 30 of her special art bags.

Here’s some of what Amanda wrote about The Bagshare Project:

“It is great that we are keeping unwanted textiles out of landfills and recycling that fabric into useful bags that reduce the use of disposable plastic and paper bags. But I can’t help being even more inspired by the way Bag-Sews build community. It was so wonderful meeting smart, creative, sustainability-oriented individuals from our sister hilltowns to the south. I hope we can do more of this pan-hilltown organizing and cross-pollinating. It’s important to work on sustainability issues within our particular communities, but I think we also need to begin thinking about how to create the regional unity to make all of Western Mass (and beyond!) sustainable.

“The Bag-Sew events are one feature of Bag Shares that distinguish them from the reusable bags that “big box” stores now commonly sell. Whereas the latter bags are mass-produced in far off factories by anonymous workers, Bag Share bags are produced by local residents who are learning new skills, expressing their creativity, and making new friends. “

More Successes:

  • Kathi from Simmons Furniture in Pittsfield headed up a satellite marathon for Berkshire Organics.  They sewed 50 bags.
  • Diana Fabig was sewing in solidarity at home and sewed 10 bags.
  • The total for Cummington with about 25 people attending throughout the 24 hour period was 425 bags.
  • The full total was 485 bags plus lots of new friends and community connections.
  • And potential landfill fabric was collected using people’s commutes from Pittsfield to Springfield.

So to recap: I recommend marathoning! Staying up sewing with friends for 24 hours was fun and gave me a renewed appreciation for our world. Leaving to sew in the light of early morning, continuing into the darkness of night and then becoming aware of the light again gradually blending with the darkness into the next morning punctuated by the sounds of sewing!

Photo credit: (ccl) Andy Melton

1 Comment

  1. April 20, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Bagshare Launch Party!
    Earth Day April 22, 2011

    Elmer’s Store, Ashfield – $10
    Dinner from 5-7 pm
    Music from 7-9 pm
    Call 413 628 4003 for reservations
    music is free for kids 12 and under

    A dedicated group of Ashfield and Cummington residents (and beyond) sewed like crazy to produce 250 bags for Elmer’s (you know who you are!). The bags will help Ashfield reduce its use of disposable bags, through the genius of the Bagshare Project. On Earth Day, the bags are being released into the wild, and we are going to celebrate!

    The Primate Fiasco will bring their fun music to Elmer’s, helping us give a proper send-off to all those lovingly produced shopping bags. Plus a portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Bagshare Project. Come one, come all… sewers, dancers, hopeful shoppers, and radical recyclers!


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