Carson Graham Secondary School Students Get Creative and Help the Environment 

Textiles Donated by The Flag Shop Find New Life and New Purpose

In today’s blog we’re giving a big shout-out to some students from Carson Graham Secondary School in North Vancouver. These grade 10, 11, and 12 Home Economics students, instructed by their teacher, Whitney de Beer, recently worked on some fun, creative, and socially responsible sewing projects.

Whitney de Beer with Grade 12 Students Victoria, Niki, Aynaz and Alyssa

It was back in the summer when Whitney’s family ordered a flag from us, and some time later, in preparation for her Home Economics classes, she started asking around to find textile donations for her class projects. She remembered The Flag Shop and reached out to us. Of course, we were thrilled to offer our recyclables to help the students give them new purpose.

Yesterday’s Banners and Flags Become Today’s Tote Bags

The students were very excited when they heard about the fabric donation, and were keen to design their bags based on the shapes and colours in the printed material. They were given creative freedom, and using a standard pattern, they chose how to position the material and where to cut it. They were proud and enthusiastic about using resources that may have otherwise been thrown out. The unique and one-of-a-kind bags combine design and functionality, and help to keep the conversation going about social responsibility among youth in our community.

Pinning and Sewing

Whitney has taught Textiles for six years to students in grades 8 – 12. Reflecting on these projects and the impact on her students, Whitney said, “This work encourages creativity while at the same time is perfect for all students, regardless of varying levels of sewing experience.” She added, “It’s an awesome opportunity to use resources from our community, and is a big plus in caring for our environment.”

From Tote Bags to Gym Bags
Grade 10 students also do a recycled fabric project every year and have always been asked to bring their materials from home. With plenty of fabric left over from the tote bag project, it was an easy decision to put it to good use.

Function and Style in the Making

Students were asked to identify a target group, who may have a specific need for a bag. Whitney explained, “While we call it our gym bag project, it’s not necessarily a gym bag that they make, but rather a bag intended meet a need and serve a defined purpose.” She added, “The flag and banner material donation was very valuable because it meant that all grade 10s would be able to use a common fabric, rather than a variety, which helped so much with collaboration.”

Students used basic sewing skills and incorporated a pocket with a zipper or a button. They each created three designs and made a pattern for a basic bag with a drawstring. The flag material worked so well because it’s durable, washable, and easy to sew.

Drawstring Bags with Zippers or Pockets

Our Planet Is Worth Protecting
We want to say “Thank you!” to Whitney and the Home Economics students of Carson Graham Secondary, for allowing us to be a part of something that has transformed banners and flags into beautiful and functional bags, giving them new and extended life! The Flag Shop President, Susan Braverman, is a former school teacher with the Vancouver School Board who understands the impact that projects like these have in influencing and empowering young minds to protect our world. Susan said, “If you’re a teacher who is thinking about leading a special project, we would love to help!” She added, “Encouraging a sense of social responsibility in our students, while teaching them to think creatively about environmental issues, – these are the things that will stay with them for a lifetime!”

Victoria, Niki and Alyssa Showing off Finished Bags

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