Kendra Stanley. The Bag Lady.
How do you combine fashion, practicality, and sustainability into one product? If you’re Kendra Stanley, you recycle old rain jackets into grocery bags, giving birth to the ‘City Bag Trade’.
Welcome to the next evolution in social responsibility through environmentally safe and friendly alternatives to plastic. There are a variety of sustainable and alternative options to utilizing familiar fabrics, and Ms. Stanley spent a considerable amount of time researching many of them before deciding on using rain jackets.
- Our world consumes 500 billion plastic bags each year.
- Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit Center for Marine Conservation.
- Plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to degrade in a landfill.
Her intentions are to increase awareness around the use and waste of common, plastic grocery store bags, and to hopefully change our old bag habits by sharing her pattern (see below), and step by step instructions so you, or someone you know, can make a bag from a jacket you no longer wear and keep the memories alive.
“A Cleaner Environment is in the Bag”, SFGATE
“Bags Reborn”, San Francisco Magazine
“Carry On”, Ready Made Magazine
Make a Bag. Happy Creating.
1. Download the pattern. (This 16K PDF requires Acrobat Reader. Click here to get the free reader.)
2. Copy the pattern (to scale) out of any recycled paper.
3. Trace pattern “A” onto your fabric (preferably a used rain jacket) for the front and back of the bag.
4. Trace pattern “B” onto your fabric for the front and back of the bag.
5. Sew fabric “B” to fabric “A” for the front and back of the bag.
6. Sew a 1/4” seam around length of handles to finish the edges.
7. Turn “A” patterns to face each other by sewing along the sides and bottom.
8. For a square bottom fold the bottom corners of the bag inwards 1”-2” (to form a triangle) and sew along bottom seam again.
9. Turn the bag right-side out and sew the front bag handles together and the back handles together.
10. Reinforce the bag by stitching along the outside of the sides and bottom of the bag (this presents an opportunity to have fun with various stitches).
11. Use it as you would a plastic or paper bag from the grocery store.