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Tote bags from t-shirts – there’s no time to waste!

folder Circular Economy

I love the statement “there’s no time to waste”. Whether it’s food, clothing, furniture, I’m a firm believer that everything can be reused, repurposed or at the very least recycled and will try my very best to make it happen. Sometimes it’s easy and other times it’s not so easy, but when there is a will, there is a way right!

When it came to our very own WBGS volunteer t-shirts that had come to the end of their life, I was determined to abide by my core philosophy. I knew that we could have the shirts shredded and respun back into usable thread, but I really felt like we could do better.  And we did by making tote bags from t-shirts, with a little help from our friends.

Enter Grace Mullins. Grace came to us as a volunteer looking to just help out. As with all our volunteers, interns and others that engage with us, Grace has a strong passion for reuse and waste reduction. Grace had been on the Waste Minimisation team at BCC focused on the “Love Food Hate Waste” initiative and beyond despising food waste, Grace could sew and offered to help repurpose our t-shirts (insert happy dance).

In no time at all Grace had knocked together a couple of bags from our disused t-shirts. Check out the first attempts below! Amazing right. I am sure you’ll agree that the outcome is incredible. Not only are these repurposed tote bags from t-shirts thoroughly usable, they solved a reuse problem with a really challenging fabric to work with too. 

Grace had this to say…

The t-shirts material isn’t great to work with (it’s stretchy and not super sturdy) so I was careful with the design. I’m really stoked with how the black one turned out! The pocket works well on the front to hide the (old) logo. This could defs be something people learn to make. The pattern is fairly simple and very sturdy (as far as you’ll get with tshirt fabric) and looks tidy.

I love a curly problem with a happy ending and this is about as good as it gets. Over the next few months we’ll be releasing details on how you can make your own tote bags from t-shirts. We’re also considered running repurposing weekend workshops at our Morningside makerspace. You’d get to hang out with legends like Grace and other environmentally focused folks like yourself. Would this be of interest to you? If so, let us know in the comments below,


PS: You can learn more about the wonderful Grace on her LinkedIn profile – https://www.linkedin.com/in/gracemullins/?originalSubdomain=au

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