"Say goodbye to plastic bags" with the new development to TYEE Go Green Project 2021: SWAP-SEW-SELL.
The whole of each bag is recycled clothing.
Empowering, supporting, and incubating our youth entrepreneurs to develop their ideas, passion, and skills to create jobs and start a small business.
I didn’t pay much attention to sewing at first, because I used to believe that sewing is only for old people and also I wanted to pursue in the field of Information Technology (IT). When I started to sew I was actually scared and very shy because I didn’t want my colleagues and friends to label me as the sewer but little did I know my future awaited me but I didn’t realise at the time. However, my very own inspiration came from my mother who has been sewing our clothes ever since I was a child. My mother told me once, “Sofaia you will be safe in sewing because you’ll be your own boss and also be able to provide for your own family when that time comes”.
With that encouragement from the most hardworking person in our household I then decided to take a sewing class for one year of 6 courses. It was a challenge because I never studied about sewing in high school. And also I was the only youth in this class and the rest were mothers and married women. Being in the class with women whose 10years older than I am was not very encouraging at first yet very helpful in the end. This was just last year and now I am looking at the outcome of risking that challenge and I am proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone not listening to what others said and completed my sewing courses.
These shopping bags were made from the recycled clothes that were not being swapped by the youth at our ongoing Go Green SWAP Project events. From these clothes I used bits and pieces from various clothes just to create one bag. To be honest this is not an easy task to do. Because I had to spend time on matching these various clothes regarding colours and styles for a bag to look attractive. Also, I must be incredibly careful with the material that I choose to utilise for not every fabric is suitable for a bag. Mind you one bag is not made from one piece of clothing. It consist at least six different pieces of clothing to create one. To patch these various clothing materials, I had to be cautious when I sew them because I did not want to ruin one piece for that will not make the bag complete. But the best thing about these bags production is that these clothes are not completely new, they are recycled clothes. There were some that had stains and some were torn so I had to use the only part that wasn’t torn or stained to come up with different patterns, designs, and complete bags. What a fun experience that was!
These bags are created for us to utilise for shopping, church, school instead of using plastic bags. This is our contribution to the betterment of our environment for we all know the damage these plastic bags do to our environment. This is not an easy task as I mentioned earlier because not a lot of youth has the knowledge and the skills to sew from used clothes not brand new fabrics. Not only that it is a challenge to create a different design from its original. To be honest sewing is easy and quite fast I should say but it consists a lot of time in terms of creativity.
Looking at the final product I have finally made I’m glad to convey a vote of thanks to my Teacher Mrs. Maopa Finau for all the help and encouragement you have given me throughout the time we spend during the sewing course. Not only that I’d like to say a huge Thank you to my parents for always having my back on every step of the way that brought me to TYEE today. Also a vote of thanks to TYEE for the chance I am given to showcase my love and passion towards sewing. [by Miss S. Kivalu, 21 years old].
The Bags are on display at TYEE, also be available online on Tonga Youth Trade Hub platform for sale. Made to order, 3 designs are available.
Your support and purchase will be re-invested into each project to help us to develop our youth entrepreneurs, create more jobs, and start more youth businesses during these challenging times while we contribute to our environment. Our concept: waste reduction, affordability, sustainability.
If not us, then who? If not now, then when?
Contact TYEE today with your interest. You can find us here.
From Alaivahamama'o Bypass Rd,
Turn into Hekoni Rd (Hala ki Pili), take the first Right turn, then take the first Left turn.
Tel: +676 685-5259 Mobile: +676 770-6340 / 842-5259
Monday to Friday: 9am - 4pm (Except Public Holidays)