Beyond the Bag Eco-fashion Showcase

Last week, we attended the Beyond the Bag Eco-Fashion Showcase out at SFU’s Surrey campus to see what it looks like when a team of excessively creative high school sewing students take old banners and scrap fabric and turn them into wearable art as part of the Banner Bags program. The results were mind-blowingly good. The participants made everything from a dress with a full bustle to an umbrella cover to a messenger bag. Our gallery on Facebook has photos of some of the clothes on display.

Here is a photo of the banner we made for them:

Banner Bags team

Congratulations to the winners

IYC banner installation – with video!

IYC 2012 continues apace. Thanks to it being wholeheartedly embraced by co-ops across Canada, not only do we get to see all sorts of cool photos, but now we have this time-lapse video of a vinyl10′ x 40′ banner we made being installed at The Co-operators head office in Guelph. Bucking tradition, they did not use “Yakety Sax” as the soundtrack, but “Ride of the Valkyries” totally works here.

Providing IYC 2012 products has been our big project this year, and we’re quite proud of all products we’ve made to help co-ops and credit unions get the word out. I’m not sure if we’ll have the same success with 2013’s International Year of Quinoa, but we can hope.

If your co-op wants its own building banner, see our IYC website for details.

More IYC products in their natural habitat

While we see IYC products every day, they are usually all nestled together in boxes or in stacks on the floor. We look forward to the newsletters sent out by the CCA because they almost always have the action shots!

At the IYC launch in Ottawa, our lanyards were on full display.

IYC Lanyards

Meanwhile in Guelph, the paper flags were a big hit.

IYC Paper Flags

Here’s a large vertical banner we did for Your Credit Union in Ottawa. With a name like that, they have no doubt heard every “Who’s on first”-type joke available so I will refrain from making one now. I don’t think anyone is going to miss seeing a banner this size which means great exposure for both YCU and IYC.

Vertical Banner for Your Credit Union

The Golden Horseshoe Co-operative Housing Federation in the Hamilton/Niagara region of Ontario had this banner of ours at their AGM as part of the launch of their new scholarship program.

GHCHF banner

It’s only February! We still have 10.5 months left to keep celebrating the International Year of Co-operatives. See our dedicated IYC site if you’d still like to order.

Photos are from the IYC 2012 Matters newsletters.

Scrappy youths

As beautiful as our printed textiles are after they merrily roll off of the printing press, they require a little finishing before they are ready to go. The finishing process along with other sewing projects (like appliquéd flags) generates scrap material which then piles up in our production area. Common Thread Cooperative who shares space in our building already takes a part of the stash, but we always have plenty more. Lately, we’ve been donating extra scraps to the Banner Bags program which puts them to good use.

Banner Bags is a program that educates high school students on environmental friendliness by repurposing old street banners and other donated scrap materials into bags in their sewing classes.

Since 2008, their actions have saved 1,100+ pounds of nylon from landfills, prevented 27,000 pounds of CO2 emissions and conserved enough electricity to power an average Vancouver home for 40 months. You can read more about their program at

Brenda and Rebecca will be attending the Beyond the Bag Eco-Fashion Showcase in March to see what all our recycled scraps have become. Here’s a sneak peek that their project manager Lauren sent us ahead of time.

Banner Bags Umbrella
If you are interested in supporting Banner Bags, contact Lauren Watkins at


Happy Holidays!

Did you know? We now sell Christmas decorations.

IYC Christmas TreeThis particular tree is on display at the Bergengren Credit Union in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Who knew our IYC pennant strings were so festive?

The Flag Shop wishes everyone their own festive holidays no matter what you celebrate. A number of our stores, including the head office in Vancouver, will be closed for the last week of the year and re-opening on January 3rd. See our locations page for holiday hours and closings for your local Flag Shop.

Canuck flags are bigger than ever!

Here’s something to raise your spirits after last night’s… well, let’s not even talk about it.

Friday night, after everyone had left for the day, Susan got a request for some extra-large Canucks flags from The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. We carry a fair number of Canucks flags (well, usually… we’re a little low at the moment), but not in 6’x12′. The hotel forwarded the email correspondence showing they had permission to have extra large Canuck flags made – a rarity, since most people love to tell us they have permission, but when pressed, can’t prove it. Susan double-checked with the Canucks, and after receiving an email confirmation, put the paperwork together on Saturday. Monday morning the order went into production, and a mere 26 hours later, we have this beautiful 6′ x 12′ Canuck flags, which will be up and flying soon along with two other 4.5’x9′ flags.

6' by 12' Canucks flag

White is the colour and giant is the flag

Welcome to the inaugural post of our new blog! We’re hoping to update it at least twice a week with news, projects, and other interesting information.

What better way to kick things off than with the mega-flag we just put together for Vancouver’s Whitecaps. The circular white flag with Bell’s logo is 64 feet in diameter and made its own debut on March 19th at Empire Field where the Whitecaps are playing until their new home at BC Place is completed. Our production team assembled it from 12 separate printed panels.

The complexity of the job posed quite a few challenges which included answering the following questions:

Do we have enough material on hand to print and sew this in 3 days?

(A: Yes, but only due to the serendipitous arrival of the fabric just as everyone was about to hit the panic button.)

Do we have time enough to get this done?

(A: Of course! Our “official” production time is 2 to 3 weeks, but the reality is that we meet our customers’ due dates, even if it means that our production manager has to work past midnight – which was the case with this flag!)

Do we have space to properly fold this flag before delivering it?

(A: Not quite!  The flag was 64 feet long and our production department is 63 feet long.  So we sent a team over to the PNE to spread it out in the lobby of Pacific Coliseum in order to fold it. You can watch the time lapse of that process below the fold.) 

Despite the obstacles and short turnaround time, the flag was delivered on time, and it will continue to be seen at future matches. In addition to that flag, we also made the Canadian flags flying at the venue as well as the street banners near the field.

Bell Flag for the Vancouver Whitecaps Bell Flag on Empire Field
Bell Flag in progress The finished flag on Empire Field

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