The Palmy Bunting Ladies have come a long way since we last wrote about them just over two years ago.

Since then they have created hundreds of fabric bunting streamers and have become a well known name in the community. The ladies have even begun selling their creations and having a presence at markets outside of Palmerston North.

The group was made up of former refugee Afghan women who have called New Zealand home for years as well as a few who had just arrived and were still finding their feet and their place in their new home. The “Bunting Ladies” as they were fondly known, first came together for an afternoon of fellowship and creativity once a week to create beautiful, colourful, handmade crafts; specifically fabric bunting flags for a local Christmas event back in 2018. The bunting was a hit at the event and the group had so much fun getting together to create it that they continued to meet once a week for creativity and fellowship.

That was the start but as weeks, months and years passed the group grew in confidence and now with all that success backing them, the Palmy Bunting Ladies are about to add to their product range by taking over the functions of ‘Kiwi Bee’ – another Palmy based operation that handmake bees wax wraps. The ladies are very happy to be expanding their product range while keeping to their ethos of plastic free and sustainable products. With this addition of course it is inevitable that the brand name of the group will also change. They are now known as “Kiwi Bee Wraps and Decorations”.

The Kiwi Bee ladies were very excited to take part in Plastic Free July last month and get involved in educating their community on it more. In fact, Shakilah (one of the original bunting ladies) has been seen discussing plastic free living and sustainable alternatives to single use plastic with other members of her community; educating and motivating them to join the revolution.

The group will concentrate on developing their new product line but will also continue to create beautiful bunting strands. However, the bunting strands will mostly be created for the Christmas season – the busiest time of the year for the group. With more and more people going for sustainable decoration options for Christmas, the bunting strands simply fly out the door at this time of year.

These wonderful ladies have found more that just fellowship at a sewing circle – which was the original intention – while they have gained a lot from the therapeutic values of sewing and friendship, they have also gain security, independence, and freedom; their confidence has increased in leaps and bounds; they are sure of their place in the society they live in – and are very proud to be identified as new Kiwis; they believe in what they do and that they are helping make their new home a better place through their work.

Kiwi Bee wraps and decorations will be available at Be Free Grocer and at various craft markets in and around Palmerston North. Do check them out if you ever get the opportunity.

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