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Rags2Bags: Making Reusable Bags…and a Difference

Rags2Bags completed bag
Photo credit: Sustainable Tallahassee

Did you know that this month is celebrated as Plastic Free July? The campaign originated in Australia but is now a worldwide effort to encourage people to stop using disposable plastics. They say that it takes 30 days to make a new habit stick, so the hope is that by the end of the month, participants have made some shifts in thinking.

Frankly, if you’re reading our blogs, you likely already HAVE shifted your thinking, like the dozen women in Florida who came together and created Rags2Bags. The organization has made and distributed more than 2,000 reusable shopping bags throughout their community! 

The organization blossomed in an unusual way a few years ago. One woman was making cloth bags for personal use and to hand out to grocery store patrons, while two others had designed a simple bag that could be made by people with little sewing experience. The three innovators connected, and joined forces with other like-minded women to produce reusable cloth bags and give them away. And off they went!

Rags2Bags thrives thanks to donations of sewing machines, fabric, materials, and even meeting space. The handmade bags are finished with braided handles, which utilize any fabric that’s not heavy enough for making a bag. In 2016 alone, the group braided 1,300 pairs of handles! Once the bag is finished, a tag is attached that highlights the importance of reusable bags.

The group, now a committee of Sustainable Tallahassee, has won some awards and has played a role in awards won by Sustainable Tallahassee.

For more information, visit To learn more about Plastic Free July, visit

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