When the nationwide phasing out of plastic bags was announced last month, Mindzye Fashions' Sara Fredrickson first thought of her customers.

They often bring in clothing items for repair in plastic bags so she knew she would have to do something for her own business.

"Because once there are no plastic bags left we thought, 'what are we going to do'?"

Mindzye has developed a line of calico reusable bags which are made at its Hatrick St studio and printed locally at Mt View Screenprinting.

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Now Fredrickson wants to sell the range to other local businesses wanting to offer a plastic-free bag alternative to customers.

Businesses would be able to get bags printed with their own logo, which she said would provide great exposure.

"As soon as it walks out of the store these people are going to use it again."

The idea has support from Sustainable Whanganui, which has led the plastic bag free campaign locally.

Fredrickson expected a plastic bag free New Zealand might take some getting used to but that change would come quickly.

"I feel like everyone's quite on board with it," she said.

Sara Fredrickson of Mindzye Fashions is creating calico reusable bags to encourage Whanganui businesses to go plastic-free. Photo/ Bevan Conley
Sara Fredrickson of Mindzye Fashions is creating calico reusable bags to encourage Whanganui businesses to go plastic-free. Photo/ Bevan Conley

"I think it's going to be difficult for things we don't expect but I think the more people get used to having them in the car it'll just become the norm in five years.

"It's definitely a Whanganui thing being environmentally friendly, it's quite big in Whanganui so it's quite good to be able to provide that service."

Meanwhile, Mindzye is training an Ag challenge student on flexiwage scheme which is helping with the production of the bags.

"We hope this bag project will lead into taking on more Ag Challenge staff in the future and that we can help reduce plastic waste in Whanganui."