ITHACA, N.Y. -- The challenge is on. Sewers are stopping into SewGreen in Ithaca for ten hours this weekend, trying to make as many cloth tote bags as possible.
"We said, 'Sure, why not, we're all about reuse.' Of course it's 1,200 bags and I don't know if it can be done!" said SewGreen Coordinator Wendy Skinner.
But this isn't stopping sewers from trying to reach their goal; not just the goal of 1,200 bags, but the goal of making people aware of sustainability.
"This refurbished and reused is awesome, it's awesome. Because anybody can afford it and to help the environment. I'm all for it," said Lillian Lightbourn a sew-in participant.
"I think it's important on a lot of levels to get the message out about sustainability," said sew-in participant Kathryn Caldwell.
People are also picking up pre-made sewing kits and sewing bags at home.
Those who are at the sew-in are each working on different parts of the bags. Some are ironing, others are sewing straps. And like snowflakes, no two bags are alike.
"They're all different because they're made by different people and they're different because they're made out of reused fabric which means we don't have a lot of any one thing," Skinner said.
And sewers are hoping these recycled bags will get Caroline residents to think about how they can reuse and recycle.
"I'm sure it's going to make a big impact to get them to think about how often do I use those one-time plastic bags from the grocery store. Couldn't I get into the habit of remembering to bring a cloth bag," said Lee-Ellen Marvin, a sew-in participant.
Skinner said she thinks about 300 bags will be completed by the end of the weekend. And SewGreen has until the end of the month to finish all 1,200 bags.
If you want more information on how to get involved in this sewing challenge, or to download a pattern to sew a bag at home, click here: SewGreen.org