Total Bag Count: 2,226
Monthly total: 257
153 black – 92 white – 12 color
This month I did some hands-on research into the feasibility
of March's proposal to create one reusable canvass bag for
each plastic bag I accumulate. I took a trip to the Save-a-Thon,
the best discount fabric store in Downtown Brooklyn and purchased
what was left of their 72", medium-weight canvas; about
5 yards. For retail it was a steal at $2.99 a yard. From there
I did a little reverse engineering of an existing bag to determine
proper size and to see if there are any unexpected tricks
to making a good bag. Good bags, it turns out, have little
butts sewn into them making them sturdier. Ill-considered
bags are butt-less. I am all about making a quality product,
so butts it will have to be.
I assembled the bags in stages, doing all of the cutting,
sewing of the sides, seam finishing, and handle assembling
in stages. From the 5 yards I was able to produce 26 bags
(minus a few handles). Yeah 26 bags! Only 2,200 more to go!
I averaged that each bag took about 25 minutes to produce
from start to finish. Of course processes are always slower
in the beginning and as I re-organize my apartment/sweatshop
under Fordist principals I'm sure I will be able to shave
that time down.
As it stands it will take me, all by my lonesome, 916 hours
or 38.19 non-stop days of sewing to complete enough for what
I have already accumulated. On the finances-front prospects
are cheerier. The fabric for each bag cost only 58 cents.
Adding in the cost of thread, machine needles, unexpected
do-dads and ultimately, silkscreen paint (yes they will be
decorated), I estimate my cost will be around $1.25 per bag.
That comes to a layout of $2,782.50 for Sept.-May. No small
sum, but if my plastic accumulates can fetch a price of $5
each and I sell only half of them, I will bring in $5,565
dollars which will more than enable me to make back expenses
and give most of the bags away for FREE!
The race against time and my pocketbook has begun.
I am accumulating all plastic shopping bags left on the street
that I encounter each time I go outside. A record is being
kept of how many bags are accumulated each day for the course
of the project year. For each plastic bag I accumulate I will
create one reusable canvas bag.