About a month ago I received a call from one of the staff at Alsco linen service, asking if could possibly help them avoid throwing 400 bedspreads into a skip.
Hospital staff, patients and visitors at Dunedin hospital in the mid 1990’s - 2000’s may remember these pastel abstract geometric design bedspreads. They were replaced some years ago, and have since been sitting in a store room at the linen service, lost and forgotten. Time had come for these to be cleared, and the only option they could see was to hire a skip and add to the 9% of Dunedin landfill taken up by textiles.
Thankfully, another option was sought and the staff member took the time to contact us.
At first I was very nervous about how much space 400 bedspreads would take up while we slowly converted them into bags, not to mention how to get them to the studio in the first place (my small car might be tardis-like, but that would have pushed the limits). My parents came to the rescue, and with their trusty trailer we were able to collect and re-home the bedspreads.
Each bedspread, once the hems have been unpicked, neatly divides into 6 bags, and co-ordinates with a fantastic range of the coloured pockets we have, made from old sheets, remnants and off-cuts. Once we’ve made a potential 1,600 bags from them, the excitement might have dimmed a little, but we shall see!
P.S. if anyone has another use for these, please sing out, as we would love to share this resource! The sturdy twill weave cotton/polyester blend would make great oven-mitts, aprons, childrens jeans/overalls, play matts, laundry bags...endless possibilities!
Bags for Good co-ordinator, Fiona Jenkin, recording bag adventures on the mission to reduce textile waste, reduce plastic, and build friendships.