From Banner to Bag - Bard's Marketing Coordinator Roanne Ward with Common Thread's Founder Melanie Conn checking out our new bags!Question: what do you do with 120 beautiful nylon street banners that are past their ‘use by’ date?

Answer: enter Melanie Conn from the non-profit cooperative Common Thread to the rescue! Melanie, the winner of the 2013 Canadian Cooperative Achievement Award, brought together six of her employees to save Bard’s bridge banners from a dark and wasteful fate in a landfill. 

Melanie founded Common Thread in 2009 and provides sewing training and production coaching for newcomers to Canada, people living with mental illness and others who thrive in a flexible work environment. The social enterprise takes fabrics like street banners and turns them into beautifully upcycled bags. Melanie and her team took our banners and, with great creativity and care, transformed them into 116 one-of-a-kind tote and lunch bags! Upcycling the Bard banners also enabled us to keep to our sustainability commitment – the Greening of Bard.

Find out more about Melanie, Common Thread, and their partnership with The Flag Shop, and their sewing training program Up To Speed, here:

And click here to see how the Vancouver Whitecaps turned their old banners into drawstring gear bags:

We’re so grateful to Melanie and all the lovely people who made the beautiful bags for us. Big thanks also to Susan Braverman of The Flag Shop, who connected us with Melanie.

To find out when you can purchase one of these limited edition bags, sign up for Bard’s E-News at the top of our website’s home page. We’ll announce it through E-News first!