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Gifting wrapped up

Dare I use the ‘C word’ yet? It’s almost November and some organised souls are starting to plan for the festive season. It is an opportunity to treat your nearest and dearest to some zero waste goodies, homemade food and treasures, and locally hand crafted or produced items. If we want a resilient, sustainable local economy we need to support it!

But rather than wrap your locally made, sustainable gift in paper (or worse, plastic!) printed overseas that’ll be ripped off in seconds, and often can’t be or doesn’t get recycled, how about taking the time keep a look out for eye-catching scarves, pieces of material, cloth napkins, tea-towels or even table cloths that can be used to wrap up your gifts using the technique known as furoshiki in Japan, and bojagi in Korea. Our op shops are full of wonderful fabric goodies.

If you’re feeling really creative you can cut up clothing to get that perfect colour scheme or design. Pinking shears will give you an edge that won’t fray easily, or an overlocker will give a simple sewn edge if you don’t feel like hemming it. If you’re in Kaitaia TimeBank there are several people offering sewing skills who could transform your chosen fabric into a suitable piece for wrapping, or even into a gift bag.

Alternatively you could buy one of our Kaitāia Kete to use as a gift bag, we’ve got a festive season special coming up with labels in green and red (rather than the usual green and blue) to match the pōhutukawa trees flowering in December. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for details of the launch! With the phasing out of single use plastic bags being very much in the news lately help your whānau get ready for it.

Our produce bags can also be used as gift bags, fill them up with all manner of goodies and the bags can be used throughout the year. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and materials as we upcycle what we can get our hands on and cut according to the size of our cloth rather than standard sizes.

Of course there’s also the option of giving people experiences, your time, and donations to charity, it doesn’t have to be ‘stuff’ that needs wrapped up. But if you do need to wrap something get creative and use something that will either last or is repurposed, like a child’s drawing, newspaper and string, left over wallpaper etc. The earth will thank you for your care, as well as the recipient!

by Anna Dunford

Photo by katorisi CC BY 3.0 (, from Wikimedia Commons

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