Pledgeme projects


Project 2016-08-06 22:38:59 +1200

Situated at the base of one of New Zealand’s most beautiful lakes, Wanaka is a dynamic town full of adventurers, creatives and nature-lovers.


After the explosion of a facebook thread on the growing concerns of plastic use in our town, local musician Anna van Riel compiled the shared posts and data in a newly formed social media group ‘Plastic Bag Free Wanaka’.

Gaining 200 members overnight it became apparent that talking about solutions wasn’t enough. We needed to come up with one.



 Creating a reusable bag that people who love Wanaka, including our overseas visitors, would be proud to wear seemed the obvious place to start. 

After trialling different versions, we came up with ‘The Wanaka Bag’; a trendy yet sturdy alternative to the plastic shopping bag. It is roomy enough for groceries, while also being a helpful size for use as a sport, nappy or everyday about town bag. And, of course, you can reuse it again and again. 

But how would we finance a commercial print run of 1,000 Wanaka Bags? Harnessing the energy and creativity of the Wanaka community, we've created the Limited Edition Wanaka Bag which is only available through this PledgeMe campaign.


We are offering just 200 locally-made, Limited Edition 'Wanaka Bags'.

Made from quality fabrics donated by local upholsterers, interiors designers and sewers, the Limited Edition Wanaka Bag features:

·      An inner pocket for your mobile phone

·      A trendy logo on the front which doubles as an outer pocket for your wallet and keys

·      A roomy space within for your shopping, baby gear, lunch, small dog

Each of the limited edition bags have been lovingly crafted by locals who have donated their time and skills towards supporting a Wanaka that is disposable plastic free.

Each hand-made bag is similar in design but unique in the funky combination of fabrics selected for your one-off bag.

A truly unique and “local-as” gift, the Wanaka Bag is the ideal present for a visiting friend or family member.

If you’re wondering what to post to someone abroad this Christmas, you can be sure they’ll be inspired and grateful for a hand-crafted bag that proudly sports the name of their favourite NZ town.

Wreath Logo


Mountain Logo Bag


For this campaign we are also offering two products which offer great alternatives to disposable containers:

  1. The Plastic Bag Free Wanaka Karma Cup, a barista style glass coffee cup to reduce our contribution to the one million take-away disposable cups that go into landfill each minute.
  2.  Stainless steel Eco Safe Plastic Bag Free Wanaka reusable drink bottles.

Mock up only - logo size and position will vary with final product

Mock up only - logo size and position will vary with final product 


After the inevitable success of this campaign we will order 1,000 commercially made ‘Wanaka Bags’ to be sold in shops in Wanaka, offering an affordable alternative to disposable plastic bags. 

Like it's glamorous sister the Limited Edition bag, the more down-to-earth cotton Wanaka bag will sport the same trendy logo; be roomy, sturdy and washable and make an exceptional alternative to anything plastic.


Our goal is to guide Wanaka towards being single-use plastic bag free by 2019.

This means that collectively, our town works together to eliminate our instinct to grab for a drink, meal, coffee or product that is sold in something we immediately throw away after consuming.

Did you know that we are each responsible for 350 plastic bags on average per year, which we use for 12 minutes before it ends up in a land-fill. Times this by the population of Wanaka, then NZ, and even the planet! If we don’t do something to change, statistics show that by 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish L

So get on board Wanaka and everyone who wants a world without plastic pollution!

Get yourself a Limited Edition ‘Wanaka Bag’ and know that you’ll be one of just 200 folks who will be rocking these beauties.


·      DONATE - we have a virtual high $5, and ‘Slap on the back’ for $10. Every little bit counts.

·      GIVE - Purchase a Limited Edition Wanaka bag, a steel drink bottle or a glass reusable coffee cup for family or friends. All our products make excellent birthday and Christmas pressies.

·      SPREAD THE WORD- share our link ( to friends and family via email, facebook, twitter and the good old fashioned bush telegraph.



Florence Micoud- committed environmentalist and wordpress superstar

Sophie Ward- project manager and long time plastic free Wanaka campaigner

Tina Nyfors – visiting environmentalist, keeps us real

Anna van Riel- initiator, singer/songwriter/doer of local stuff

Beth Jenkin- doer/thinker/awesome committee member

Gina Dempster- Wanaka Wastebusters Communications Manager

Rebecca Simpson – chief sewer and pattern maker

Leigh Cooper (not in photo) – graphic designer extraodinaire, winner of our logo competition




The People Behind THE WANAKA BAG

Picture?type=square&width=50&height=50 Sophie Ward Approved
Plastic bag free mountain yellow 2016 PLASTIC BAG FREE WANAKA Project admin


    An update for our supporters & sewing team

    10:25PM Wed 21/09/16 on THE WANAKA BAG

    Hello to all our fantastic supporters.

    A wee update from your Plastic Bag Free Wanaka committee and a big fat thank you to you for being such an incredible support so far.
    For those who aren't aware we've absolutely smashed out campaign goal of $5,500 which we reached in less than 2 weeks. Woohoo!
    Inline image 1
    With this comes a reminder of our challenge to sew 200 community-made bags for our pledgers. The exciting news is that we have a good 130 bags out in the community being diligently stitched together by clever folk such as yourself. The other news is that we still have around 70 bags we need to construct. These bags are all cut and ready to go and we aim to make a good dent in them at our next two sewing drives.
    A facebook link to our Thursday the 21st drive can be found HERE.
    Inline image 2
    If you can make tomorrow's drive or our final sewing drive on October 8th we'd be grateful for your help. With all the cutting done, the focus is now on sewing bags together.
    WHERE: Mt Aspiring College, Rm 24
    WHEN:    Thurs 21st Sept & Sat 8th Oct
    WHAT TO BRING: Sewing Machines and a plate to share (extra irons and ironing boards are handy too).
    Alternatively we still have plenty of kits available via Gina at Wastebusters. Find Gina in the portacom (the wee office to the right of the front door) to register for your kits.
    Thanks once again. 
    The support has been astounding. We've had 3 groups from Queenstown get on board including the Qtown Stitch n Bitch team, and even Pledgeme ran their recent blog on us.
    We're so proud of our community and we're one hugely positive step closer to becoming a Plastic Bag Free Wanaka.
    Ka Pai
    Your Plastic Bag Free Committee
    Plastic Bag Free Wanaka
    Find us on facebook- plastic bag free wanaka

    Comment on this update:

    BUT WAIT....there's more

    11:57AM Mon 19/09/16 on THE WANAKA BAG




    We've reached beyond out funding goal of $5,500 and we still have 3 weeks to go.

    If you missed out on a Wanaka Bag or had hoped to gain another never fear!!! There's still a chance to grab yourself the coolest bag in town.


    We have just released 3 new rewards into the campaign:

    • The 'Sew your own kit- one bag'
    • Sew your own kit- two bags
    • SUPER SORTED SEWER- one bag sewing kit, one karma cup and a stainless steel drink bottle.

    As many of you know we are counting on our crafty community to help us sew up our bags. We're well on our way to our goal of 200 bags, but if we can achieve this we'll look at releasing a small number of extra bags. In the meantime please encourage your friends and family to pick up a sewing kit from Wastebusters and help us nail our goal.


    We have just two sewing drives left now, and with all our bags cut and ready to go these next two drives will focus solely on sew, sewing, sewing!!!


    Mt Aspiring College- Rms 24

    You can drive right into the inner courtyard with your car and unload. We're ok to park there.

    Sewing Drive Poster


    Thank you somuch agian to everyone who has participated in drives and taken kits so far. We're charging!!!

    Check out this amazing shot of the Queenstown Stitch 'n Bitch team who have already sewn us EIGHT bags. Amazing ladies!!!

    Qtown Stitch n Bitch crew


    Remember! Keep your eyes on the campaign as we hope to release a few more special rewards.

    Also, with 1 million takeaway cups going into landfill PER MINUTE, scoring one of our Karma cups is a smart more. 

    Same goes for plastic drink bottles, which are so sturdy yet get used just once before they get turfed. Grab yourself one of our stainless steel drink bottles and be part of the change.


    Big love


    Youe Plastic Bag Free Wanaka committee xoxo

    Comment on this update:

    The wreath bag & Upcoming Drives

    12:13PM Sun 11/09/16 on THE WANAKA BAG

    Bags are pouring in from our local sewers in the community who have taken home sewing kits.

    We also had a hugely successful 2nd sewing drive and managed to prepare a stack of bags, ready to put together at our 3rd drive at the college on Thursday 15th (Rm 23 at Mt Aspiring College)


    We just wanted to take the opportunity to introduce the 'Wreath Bag' which has our other PBFW logo on it to appeal to those with more of a floral inclination.

    The Wreath Bag


    Thank you all so much for all the support. We're $2,000 out from our goal and unblievably only a week and half into our campaign. Woohoo!


    If you can join us at our next sewing drive or one of the other 3 to follow we would be so grateful for your skills and support. (No sewing experience necessary)

    Volunteers at sewing drive no.2 

    Here are the details to our upcoming sewing drives

    Thur 15th September  6-9pm Mt Aspiring College, Rm 23 and 24

    Sun 18th September 1-4pm Hawea Flat Hall

    Thur 22nd September 6-9pm Mt Aspiring College, Rm 23 and 24

    Sat 8th October  9:30am-12:30pm Mt Aspiring College, Rm 23 and 24


    Comment on this update:

    Volunteers are making stunning bags!!!

    05:07PM Wed 07/09/16 on THE WANAKA BAG

    Today we ran into Pam, a local Wanaka volunteer from our first sewing bee. She showed us THREE beautiful Wanaka Bags she's whipped up at home. They look fantastic! Thanks Pam! We love your work and are exceptionally grateful for the support. That's 3 down and 197 to go! We can do it!


    Volunteer Pam and her bags

    Loads of sewing kits have gone out to folks in the community. If you'd like to help by making a couple of Limited Edition Wanaka Bags you can register and collect you kit from Gina in the portacom at Wanaka Wastebusters. Each kit contains two pre-cut bags.

    Tomorrow is our next sewing drive:

    WHEN: 6-9pm

    WHERE: Adam & Eve's Bakery (opposite selctrix)

    No sewing experience necessary

    Bring a plate to share.

    Scissors, irons, pins and other implements of sewingness also appreciated


    Half-way there


    Thanks again everyone. We're half way to our financial goal and the sewing has begun.




    Comment on this update:

    We're almost half way!!!

    12:49PM Tue 06/09/16 on THE WANAKA BAG

    We're so blown away with the incredible support we've received so far. Not just with our pledgeme campaign, but also with our sewing bees for the making of our bags.

    Folks across the region have been taking home our sewing kits which each have 2 bags enclosed to sew up. 

    Thank you all so much for your outstanding support so far. We're all doing this for the love of it and in the hope that we can try and prevent more damage being done from plastic waste. Shame on our Kiwi environmental minister for stating we don't need to address this issue. 

    We're pleased that you're all crystal clear. 
    Keep spreading the word, sharing this up and doing your best to go plastic bag free. 

    We can't wait to hook you up with your limited edition bags.



    Comment on this update:


      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2016-10-10 14:48:53 +1300

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Avatar square
      Noeline Gifford
      2016-10-10 14:24:35 +1300

      Noeline Gifford has pledged on 1 campaign

      Leah Frances
      2016-10-10 13:51:45 +1300

      Leah Frances has pledged on 1 campaign

      Avatar square
      2016-10-10 12:46:06 +1300

      Jackie has pledged on 2 campaigns

      Avatar square
      Cadi O'Connor
      2016-10-09 23:19:24 +1300

      Cadi O'Connor has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “Brilliant idea!”

      Brooke Rooke
      2016-10-09 20:23:54 +1300

      Brooke Rooke has pledged on 1 campaign

      Avatar square
      Gina Dempster
      2016-10-05 22:37:50 +1300

      Gina Dempster has pledged on 6 campaigns

      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2016-10-04 17:04:22 +1300

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2016-10-02 17:12:41 +1300

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Gillian Robinson
      2016-09-29 22:26:48 +1300

      Gillian Robinson has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “I would if possible like to have one Wreath design logo and one Mountain logo. I will sew them as gifts for family.”

      Avatar square
      Betti Betmin
      2016-09-29 18:12:00 +1300

      Betti Betmin has pledged on 1 campaign

      “Delightful project that envolves all walks of life. ”

      Parabola West
      2016-09-29 04:49:49 +1300

      Parabola West has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “Love it!!! Great work!”

      Avatar square
      nicola brownlee
      2016-09-28 11:56:13 +1300

      nicola brownlee has pledged on 1 campaign

      Trish Clarke
      2016-09-27 20:45:59 +1300

      Trish Clarke has pledged on 7 campaigns

      Avatar square
      May McLeod
      2016-09-27 10:26:04 +1300

      May McLeod has pledged on 15 campaigns

      “So how do we encourage everyone else to design their own local bags?
      Great to make it LOCAL project - so people feel it's THEIR thing! ”

      2016-09-26 23:49:10 +1300

      Danielle has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “Great idea - we loved Wanaka when we visited!”

      Caroline Ogle
      2016-09-26 09:35:51 +1300

      Caroline Ogle has pledged on 1 campaign

      Ashela Dub
      2016-09-25 09:53:57 +1300

      Ashela Dub has pledged on 2 campaigns

      Ashela Dub
      2016-09-25 09:52:58 +1300

      Ashela Dub has pledged on 2 campaigns

      lake wanaka sounz
      2016-09-23 15:46:27 +1200

      lake wanaka sounz has pledged on 3 campaigns

      Avatar square
      Lyn Meylan
      2016-09-22 11:31:54 +1200

      Lyn Meylan has pledged on 1 campaign

      Avatar square
      jo mcarthur
      2016-09-20 17:00:56 +1200

      jo mcarthur has pledged on 1 campaign

      “so positive. Now how can we get the tourists on board?”

      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2016-09-20 08:06:08 +1200

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Avatar square
      Clarke Helen
      2016-09-18 09:02:57 +1200

      Clarke Helen has pledged on 1 campaign

      Avatar square
      Di Liddell
      2016-09-18 09:02:04 +1200

      Di Liddell has pledged on 1 campaign

      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2016-09-17 21:44:17 +1200

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Avatar square
      Jo Murphy
      2016-09-17 19:50:56 +1200

      Jo Murphy has pledged on 3 campaigns

      Shilpa Arenja
      2016-09-17 17:47:10 +1200

      Shilpa Arenja has pledged on 1 campaign

      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2016-09-17 16:50:07 +1200

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2016-09-17 16:49:15 +1200

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      This project was successful and got its funding on 10/10/2016 at 7:00 PM.