Borrow Bags

Welcome to the Borrow Bags (formerly Boomerang Bags) page of our site! We’d love to see more areas, towns and villages get involved with this scheme. If you are in the south of the UK (or even the wider UK) and would like labels for bags and fabric, we can usually provide some. Please get in touch. Likewise, if you are a shop or business that would like to be part of the scheme and use the bags that have been made by our volunteers, please let us know!

How does it work?

For sewing volunteers

Borrow Bags are made up by local sewing volunteers and given to shops that have signed up to the scheme for shoppers to borrow and bring back when they remember. They are made from reclaimed material – from old curtains to offcuts of sail fabric, saving it from landfill and repurposing it to become something useful.

As a volunteer sewer, you can give the finished bags to participating shops, or even family, friends or complete strangers! Anywhere that you see single-use plastic bags being used or you think could benefit from a reusable bag. If in doubt, please just drop us a line through our contact page. We know that not all the bags will come back to the shops, but hope that a few will, and we can reduce the plastic even further in the area and across the country. Together we can work together to encourage a less wasteful society with small schemes like this, encouraging people to think twice about single-use plastic bags and plastic in general.

We also need donations of material. It really doesn’t matter what it looks like or how old it is, but it needs to be clean and with no holes!

You can also follow a useful video made by Boomerang Bags here that shows how to make this kind of fabric bag.

For shops

If you are a shop that would like a stock of borrow bags, please get in touch with us through our contact page and we will be happy to help. You need to either put the bags out somewhere obvious for people to take, or offer them to customers instead of a plastic bag at the till. Please make sure that any that are returned to you are not really dirty (and stick through the wash if so!). You can download the accompanying poster here. Please display this in your shop – this could be in the window or near where the bags will be available to customers.

In the current Covid climate, it may be worth rotating bags when they arrive back to your shop – just leave them to sit for a day or so if in doubt. The risk of transmission of the virus on surfaces has now been proven to be extremely low, and even less likely via fabric rather than hard surfaces. It is, nevertheless, important that customers and staff regularly wash their hands or use a sanitiser as normal.