The Cape Town branch of a global Morsbag organisation is ranked fourth in the world.
Western Cape Morsbags celebrated their third anniversary on Monday October 25.
In 2019, Tabletalk spoke to Serena Hall, the woman who started the Cape Town branch of the organisation, which is based in Melkbosstrand (“Put it in a Morsbag,” Tabletalk, January 30, 2019).
At the time, they had made only 1 540 bags. That total now stands at 18 016.
Worldwide, there are over 2500 of these branches, or “pods” as they are referred to by the organisation, and the Western Cape pod is behind only three UK ones in terms of bags made.
Claire Morsman, of the UK, started the bag-making craze in 2012, using recycled plastic as well as bed sheets, curtains and other old fabric – things that might otherwise end up in the oceans or in landfills – after seeing a whale washed up on a beach in France, apparently the victim of plastic consumption.
The Morsbag takes its name from Ms Morsman’s surname.
Ms Hall has since moved to the UK, but 20 women here are carrying on what she started. The pod is now coordinated by Jaqui Robbie.
“Being fourth in the whole world is a huge honour for us,” she said. “We have a team of dedicated ladies who put in so much work. One of our ladies has made over 4 000 bags all by herself. We usually get people and other companies donating material to us, for example the Two Oceans Aquarium often gives us their old banners. We use just about any kind of fabric to make our bags.”
The bags are not sold but rather given away to people at shopping centres, beach clean-ups and other community events. This helps spread the word about the organisation.
No fabric goes to waste, she added. Some of the fabrics that can’t make bags are used to make other things such as blankets donated to animal shelters.
Ms Robbie said everyone was welcome to join the group.
Elize de Lange has made 4 409 Morsbags since she started in October 2018. It usually takes 36 minutes to complete one bag, according to Ms Robbie, but Ms De Lange said she could put one together in 15 to 20 minutes.
“I really enjoy what we do here. I found that it keeps us sane. It was tough during the hard lockdown because we couldn’t meet up. That is how we lost some of our members. The interest for some went away because of the lockdown. But we are back now and doing wonderful things. I would recommend this to anyone because it’s very therapeutic. When I’m not doing bags, I don’t know what to do with myself,” she said.
To celebrate their three-year anniversary, the pod held a spring bag competition, which was won by Liese Pelser, one of the newest recruits.
Look for Western Cape Morsbags on Facebook for more information or if you would like to donate any fabrics to the cause.