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It’s In The Bag – Reduce Your Footprint

As I spread out items to fill the handbags I was donating to Share The Dignity’s ‘It’s In The Bag’ campaign, I had a sudden flashback.

two women in vhats and gloves count money into a handbag

If you are of *ahem* a certain age, you may recall the ads for Glomesh with the tagline ‘You can tell a lot about Paula Duncan… by what’s in her Glomesh Handbag’. I used to love those magazine ads. I’d spend ages poring over the pages, trying to see exactly what Delvene Delaney and Belinda Green had in their handbags. It was always very sophisticated stuff with a detritus of chewing gum, perfume, cigarettes (in a Glomesh case of course), coins and lipstick.

Helping Women in Crisis

Share The Dignity is a national charity empowering girls and women by affording them the dignity that every woman deserves. Through fundraising and events that heighten awareness, they provide access to sanitary and personal hygiene products. Share The Dignity has had wonderful success to date. This includes the introduction in schools of Dignity Vending Machines with free sanitary products. That means girls can come to school whilst they have their period.

It’s In The Bag

In addition to its regular fundraising activities, once a year, Share The Dignity holds a Christmas Drive called It’s In The Bag. This is a chance to donate a handbag filled with your choice of sanitary and personal hygiene products as well as other little treats. Whilst you can buy a new handbag, donating a clean and tidy handbag that you have in the cupboard, but no longer use, is perfectly acceptable.

small gifts and women's hygiene products piled on table for donating

Waiting to be added to handbags

Once you have filled it with the basic hygiene items, try not to buy ‘things’ to top up with unless you really need them. In the spirit of Donating With Purpose and reducing your footprint, I have some suggestions about how to top up your handbag:

  • Beauty product samples you say you’ll use but never do.
  • Hotel shampoos and body washes you’ve lugged back from your last holiday.
  • Small souvenirs you brought back as gifts but never got around to giving.
  • In the same vein, small unwanted gifts that are sitting in the present drawer.
  • If you’ve been lucky enough to fly business class, you probably have an unused amenities kit. I have some great Marimekko slippers from Finnair that will be going into a bag.
  • That scarf you bought but haven’t worn and still has the swing tag on it.
  • Your corporate branded water bottle or re-usable coffee cup sitting unused in the bottom drawer.
  • The notepad you haven’t cracked open yet as you’re saving it for good. Ditto that glitter pen and unicorn paper clips.

Share The Dignity has a list of suggested items as well as dos and don’ts for filling the bag.

Bags For Teens

Once filled, the bags can be dropped off at any Bunnings between November & 7 December 2019. 16th November and 2nd December 2018. If your bag may be suitable for a teenager, tie a yellow ribbon around the handle. This allows organisers to identify it. New this year is a chance to create a purple ribbon bag, for expectant mothers.

Packed and ready to be donated…

Last year, Share The Dignity collected over 50 000 bags. That’s an amazing number of bags from (mostly) women who put themselves in the shoes of someone else, donating with wild generosity. But, they could have done with even more. This year the aim is 85 000 bags. Do you have a handbag you can re-purpose and fill with personal hygiene items and love?

*Top image courtesy of the State Library of Qld

9 comments… add one
  • Dr Lyn Riddett November 7, 2018, 8:46 am

    Just love this – thank you!

    • Fiona Ryan November 7, 2018, 8:08 pm

      Filling a hole that shouldn’t be there and yet it is. Started in Brisbane but now all over Australia.

  • Shannan November 7, 2018, 7:21 pm

    Ooohh we did this one at work last year. Such a great idea and I love your ideas (note I will happily accept any excess glitter pens too 😁) xx

    • Fiona Ryan November 7, 2018, 8:09 pm

      Ha Ha – no excess glitter pens here I’m afraid. It’s been a while since I’ve visited Typo. I find it hard to believe you would own a glitter pen. You are the streamline Queen.

  • Sherry A Mackay November 7, 2018, 10:41 pm

    i did this last year and am about to get a bag together for this year. crumbs where did that year go to? it’s a crying shame that a woman or girl can’t even afford tampons for whatever reason, and that a charity has to do it instead of the government. thank goodness we can all get involved. cheers sherry

    • Fiona Ryan November 12, 2018, 6:21 pm

      Hi Sherry – I responded but have had some website problems so am responding again! I think it’s a crying shame too. Thankfully, there are women who help women. Still time to make a bag.

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime November 13, 2018, 6:43 pm

    Such a great idea 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan November 13, 2018, 7:49 pm

      It’s very popular cosidering it’s only been going a coupe of years. People have events at work where they collect donations and have a bag packing morning tea.

  • Fiona November 13, 2018, 7:45 pm

    Test Comments

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