5 mins with a local

Sandra Acheson

5 Minutes with SANDRA ACHESON

Giving old fabrics a new lease on life

Sandra is the project manager of the Boomerang Bags initiative which is made up of a group of fantastic volunteers that make new, sustainable bags by reusing old materials. The initiative started in Noosa and has been spreading across the globe like wildfire.

What is Boomerang Bags about and how does it promote environmental sustainability?

We are a community based voluntary organisation making reusable bags from donated fabric which would otherwise go to landfill.

Let's be honest here, what is your key motivation to sew these beautiful bags (unpaid) on a Monday and Wednesday morning?

We are mostly retired women who want to do something to help reduce local pollution. It's a friendly welcoming group and many of our volunteers are recovering from illness or their husbands have been diagnosed with an illness or are recovering. This gives them a chance to have some social interaction.

What is one of your biggest achievements in Noosa to date?

We donated over $4,000 to Ocean Crusaders to clean up the Noosa River from toxic waste such as fridges, sofas and large items of metal – and of course plastic pollution.

What can residents and businesses do to support your initiative and get involved?

Buy and use reusable bags such as Boomerang Bags. Donate clean fabric, make bags at home, and if you have a sewing machine you haven’t used, but still works well, we would love it.

Spill your secrets: Why do you think your concept was so incredibly popular and has developed to almost 1,000 communities across the globe?

It’s a men's shed for women. An opportunity to contribute to reducing pollution in a tangible and meaningful way.

Anything else exciting that you'd like to tell us about?

We plan to continue funding the annual Ocean Crusaders ‘Paddle against Plastic’ to clean the Noosa River of toxic waste.

Photos IG: @boomerangbags_noosa @reusablenation

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