BUDDING BUSINESS OWNERS: Rockhampton Grammar School year eight students Mathew He and Samanta Rimmington have created their own business, making bags out of old t-shirts.
BUDDING BUSINESS OWNERS: Rockhampton Grammar School year eight students Mathew He and Samanta Rimmington have created their own business, making bags out of old t-shirts. Rachael McDonald - RGS

Year 7 project turns into online business for young students

YOUNG ENTREPRENURS Mathew He and Samanta Rimmington have taken a school project and made it into a business.

The Rockhampton Grammar School year 8 students are behind the business, T-Shirt Bags.

The idea for the business came about after a school project they were paired together to do.

The year 7 science, technology, engineering and mathematics project required students to make something innovative or creative and record a journal throughout the process.

Mathew, 13, was inspired to reduce the amount of textile wastage in Australia.

After some brainstorming with Samanta, 14, they decided to make bags out of their old t-shirts.

"We started by using our own old t-shirts and finding ideas on how to make it look better," Samanta said.

They both had no experience sewing so they used non-sewing techniques by tying the material.

Looking after the environment and reducing waste is an issue the two students are both passionate about.

"For me personally I think it's an issue that needs to be looked at," Samanta said.

"Many of my friends don't know how much clothes are wasted in a city alone.

"Natural fibres can disintegrate over time, but what about unnatural fibres?

"A lot of clothing is mixed with materials that are as bad as plastic, and plastic alone has been a huge problem.

"Yes, people can donate to people who can't afford such basic needs, but what about the clothing that's already too old to be worn?

"Charity's separate what's good enough to be sold and what's not, but a lot of clothing is thrown out just because it might have a rip or a terrible stain."

"It is challenging for the other countries to keep up on reducing the waste," Mathew said.

"I always had a dream to help the world with this issue."

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While they completed their joint school project, it was Mathew's idea to keep working on it.

He wanted to spread the news to the community to understand the textiles waste problem.

Mathew has taken on the role of making a website and advertising, while Samanta does the handiwork.

"Though money is important it is not about the money, it's more about spreading awareness to people about this issue," Samanta said.

"We are striving to expand our business, into an online selling business but it's still getting a lot of thought into making it," Mathew said.

"We are slowly overcoming challenges as we go and making more progress."

The pair are both inspired by their parents who have their own businesses.

Samanta's dad owns The Golden Fountain Motel and is happy to see his daughter doing crafts and not being on her phone.

"My dad always works hard every day and takes responsibility for what he starts, so that's what I'm doing," she said.

Mathew's parents own the Happy Sun Chinese Restaurant in Yeppoon.

"My parents support me with feedback in making this into a business and my friends are impressed on how I have managed to keep it this far," he said.

"They have inspired me to overcome any challenges and how to deal with it."


  • Recycled bags made out of old t-shirts
  • Founded by young year 7 students at the time, Mathew He and Samanta Rimmington
  • www.tshirtbags18.wixsite.com/australia