After never wanting to throw them away, the Waiuku resident has learnt the art of making reusable shopping bags out of single use plastic bags, something she says is quite ironic. “Who would’ve thought I would be making shopping bags out of throw away plastic bags? I just couldn’t
throw them away after seeing the damage that they do, and researched
where I could send them to be recycled. I then found myself watching ways to fuse them together and create recycled items, and I thought, I could
do this,” says Fi.
Three years later, and Fi is not only creating bags, but has since diversified into wallets, produce bags, notebooks, coin purses and beeswax food covers and wraps – all with the aim of trying to create
solutions for disposable products. The bags take 40 plastic bags and just under four hours of labour to make, and can carry up to 15kgs, making great grocery bags.
Fi can also customise the bags to unique and personal themes. “It is very tedious, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day, but I feel great about what I am doing. We came to New Zealand from the UK for that clean green image, but as the years go on, it is becoming less of that. We,
as a nation, are too disposable and too lazy; how hard is it to wash your spoon? It is so disappointing to see.”
Fi now has people regularly donating plastic bags to her cause, and even has local businesses contributing to her cause. “We have so far recycled
over 55,000 plastic bags, and every scrap or item that we don’t use is collected by a recycling company in Auckland. You can find us at several markets, and on Facebook, our website or twitter.” Fi states that
ReMaterialise is more of an advocate for sustainability and creating a useable lifestyle rather than a business. “My business will be a success when there is no more plastic for me to use.” To find out more, visit