Now, every week, a diverse group of volunteers gather to prepare, plait and crochet old fabric into beautiful floor rugs.

The Red Cross Recycle Revolution (RRR) project aims to reduce the environmental impact of textile waste, particularly waste created from unusable donations to Red Cross shops in the Rotorua area.

Mary saw potential in repurposing these donations into upcycled items and set about working with shop coordinator Ken to gain access to the waste.

Current volunteers of RRR come from all different walks of life, and are made up of several ethnicities including Indian, Finnish, Asian, Filipino and Māori. Much of their time is spent working together to sort the clothing items, cut up fabric and roll these pieces into balls.For most of the current volunteers, English is a second language.

 Mary says this only means that for everyone, “the universal languages of food and laughter get our messages across”.

The free weekly workshops run each Thursday between 10am and 2pm.

 Anyone interested in helping the Red Cross Recycle Revolution project can contact Mary on 027 4047 252.