Four bags full: From left, Baby Box Charitable Trust trustee Caitlin Laurenson, co-founder/chair Vanessa van Uden and trustees Jan Maxwell and Helen Skudder with Baby Box's new bags

A charity donating goodies to all Queenstown-Lakes newly-borns has switched its packaging to make it more sustainable.

Instead of using boxes for items like knitted hats and cardigans, quilts, merino sleep sacks, books, toys and other resources, resort-based Baby Box is now using jute bags.

As outlined by charity chair and co-founder Vanessa van Uden, bags tick more boxes.

They’re cheaper, smaller and also reusable, and by having them made by Queenstown’s Impact Print & Stitch, rather than being brought in from Auckland, the charity’s also supporting local and reducing its carbon footprint.

The bags also offer branding opportunities for potential sponsors.

‘‘It’s pretty exciting for us to make a change, and we think it’s a good outcome,’’ Van Uden says.

She says trustees had a good, hard look at their operation in light of the challenges all charities are facing.

‘‘It’s increasingly more challenging to get dollars, so we looked at what we could do, and we focused on the sustainability of it, so that’s financial, environmental and everything.’’

In three-and-a-half years, Baby Box — believed to be unique in New Zealand — has delivered well over 1000 boxes.

Van Uden says they’re most grateful for the support of organisations like Lottery Grants Board, Central Lakes Trust, Community Trust South and Impact100.

The charity also relies on an army of knitters and quilters, while, latterly Victim Support and the local Returned and Services’ Association branch have provided smoke alarms.

Van Uden adds: ‘‘As much as anything, [recipients] feel real special about the fact it’s a gift from the community.’’

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