We are lucky for a lot of things in New Orleans - Carnival season, decadent food, uplifting music, a thriving artist community, subtropical temps (most of the time)... We are also lucky to have numerous grassroots nonprofits doing so much good for our people and planet.
For this year’s Mardi Gras collection we teamed up with one of those impactful organizations - The Guild of Raphael Village. At “the Guild”, Caroline Finck has created a curriculum where young adults living with disabilities can continue developing life skills needed for greater independence at home and in the community.
One skill these students learn and practice is weaving. Two large looms are set up in The Guild’s Mid-City facility, standing ready for the young artisans to create feet and feet of fabric. Needing a supply of low-cost weaving material for lessons, the folks at the Guild turned to a truly plentiful and disposable resource – the plastic shopping bag. These plastic bags are hand cut into strips and woven into fabric, keeping them out of landfills or nearby bodies of water.
Thankfully, plastic shopping bags come in a variety of colors, giving the fabric a fun striped pattern (a great complement to Mardi Gras season). We’re especially grateful for Rouse’s breast cancer awareness month pink shopping bags adding an extra pop of color, or Funky Monkey’s signature yellow bag that shows up from time to time on the woven panels.
We thought you might enjoy seeing the students’ of The Guild at work on this fabric. These photos and video taken during the weaving process give a sense of the work and love that went into this project.