Posts Tagged ‘sustainable living’

London — By Andrea Kirkby on March 29, 2010 at 12:22 pm
Filed under: crafts, green initiatives, reusable bags, sustainable living

Bagging for a future

I had fun recently discovering Morsbags – and learning how to use a vintage Singer sewing machine.

Thankfully, the machine I was using for my Morsbagging was a bit more modern!

Morsbags involves “sociable guerilla bagging” according to the Morsbags web site – it aims  to help put the 1 million plastic bags we use every year out of commission by producing and distributing free fabric shopping bags. It was actually invented in London – the sight of a London canal full of floating plastic bags was apparently the spur to get it started!

I can certainly vouch for the ’sociable’. I don’t know if the ‘pod’ I attended is typical, but coffee and walnut cake, a darn fine cup of coffee, and a lot of laughs all accompanied the bagging. I think we ended up with nearly 60 bags at the end of the day!

I can also vouch for the fact that you don’t need great sewing skills to get started. The Morsbag design is incredibly simple – a folded piece of fabric for the bag and another for the handles. I’ve got two of my male friends involved now – neither of them could stitch a button on before I got them into Morsbags!

There are Morsbag pods all over Greater London. Some meet in people’s homes, others in shops. East End WI has got involved with Morsbagging among its other activities and there’s Cool Crafters Morsbag Factory in Greenwich.  There was even a Morsbagger on the ‘empty plinth’ in Trafalgar Square as part of Antony Gormley’s ‘One and Other’. If the worst comes to the worst and you can’t find a pod anywhere near you, you can always set one up.

The really marvellous thing is that not only is Morsbagging ecologically good news, and great fun, because we’re recycling bits of material from all over, some of the bags look terrific! You’ll find velvet Morsbags, quilted Morsbags, fake fur Morsbags even… as long as the handles are robust and the bag stays together when it’s full of shopping, anything goes. Perhaps the aesthetic values are closer to punk than to the rather refined worlds of embroidery and quilting – but I rather like the intriguing combinations that sometimes occur.

(Actually having written that, I’ve just found a group of quilters in Kensington who have adopted Morsbagging. Hope I haven’t offended anyone!)

Photo by Cesar A Studillo on flickr

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