Montclair is a happening town, full of great community events that are often advertised with banners throughout Montclair Center. But what happens to those vinyl banners once an event is over? They have been sitting in storage at the Montclair BID for the past 10 years. That is, until now.
“One of the first things I did when I took the position was go into our storage unit to take inventory,” says Montclair BID’s Executive Director Israel Cronk. “I saw a huge pile, probably 5 feet by 5 feet and 6 feet deep, of banners! I started thinking about what we should do with them.”
Cronk posted this photo and question on Instagram for ideas:
Soooo many years of banners! What do you think we should do with them? (Think charity) #montclaircenter #montclair #montclairnj #07042 #07043 #montclairstateuniversity #montclairhighschool #community #artlife #urbanliving #timeoutnj #montclairmagazine #montclairtimes #nj #picoftheday #montclaircenterbid #mainstreetnj #mainstreetamerica #churchstmontclair #montclairartmuseum #baristanet #montclairwatercooler #montclairneighbors #suburbs #citylife #festival #partylife #urbanrenewal
Claire Cohen of Montclair Made has been re-purposing old banners into shopping bags for years and responded on Instagram about her idea (Cohen had recently made the cool bags seen at the Montclair Jazz Festival). Others chimed in voting for Montclair Made’s handy work. Cronk and Cohen met shortly afterward to talk about details and a collaboration was made—Montclair Made.
“I’m so thrilled to be working with the BID directly to make the banner bags now! For three years I’ve been working with local organizations repurposing their vinyl banners into bags. I started with the Montclair Film Festival and over the years I’ve also made bags for Eat…Play…Live…Better!, the Montclair Historical Society, and Jazz House Kids. The organizations provide me with the banners after they have served their time advertising around town and I cut and sew them into a line of bags that I designed,” explains Cohen.
Montclair BID will be keeping one or two of each event banners for its records, and Cohen will be making bags branded with the BID logo with the rest. People can buy the directly from her online and at upcoming events, including the Tuesday Downtown Farmers Market and Fashion Night Out. Profits from sales will go directly to charities, such as SAVE of Essex (100 percent of bag sales at Fashion Night Out will go to this local organization).
Banner Bags will sell for $30. Look for a display at all Montclair Center events where you get to pick your banner and have it custom made to a sturdy waterproof bag in about 4 to 5 weeks!