This article was originally published on International Tartan’s blog.

As we venture ever further into this great ocean of madness that has gripped our daily lives, every now and then we come across a little island of sanity that gives us hope. It may be small, tiny in fact in the great scheme of things, but hopeful nevertheless.

ReTweed is one such island: a social enterprise based in the picturesque town of Eyemouth on the Berwickshire coast where women are being trained in the traditional crafting skills, in what once the heartland of Scotland’s textile industry. Run by a small highly-efficient management team and staffed by dedicated volunteers, some sixty-four women of all ages have completed a certificated course which has given them the qualifications and skills needed to enter the world of work. It has also given them a unique opportunity to work as individuals and as part of a team. For me, a visit to ReTweed’s workshop in Eyemouth’s High Street is a happy few hours amongst happy people.

International Tartans has worked closely with ReTweed for the last three years. What began as a donation of scraps of tartan has developed into a commercial relationship in which ReTweed have supplied us with a wide range of tartan accessories for customers in over a dozen countries. We are currently working on the development of new products, but this latest venture by ReTweed is entirely their own. Bags are just bags you might say, but Bordersbags takes them to a new level. Made by graduate trainees from surplus curtain material these simple, practical Tote bags give everyone the opportunity to do something positive. As one supporter remarked:

“What a fantastic initiative, combining lots of really positive work in one amazing project! Supporting women, developing skills, bringing communities together, supporting entrepreneurs, reducing waste to landfill and reducing plastic, supporting food banks, it’s incredible!”

International Tartans has ordered four bags: two will be donated to the local foodbank and the two others will be sent as gifts to Greta Thunberg and Nicola Sturgeon. And as an added bonus for me personally, ReTweed has made my Christmas shopping into a no-brainer. Everyone will get a Bordersbag or a photograph of the one going to a foodbank in their name.

For more information about Bordersbags and how to order one visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/bordersbags-from-retweed—plastic-free-bags