​Sabine Janneck uses discarded waste plastic – foil wrappers, chocolate & lolly wrappers, yogurt containers, coffee sachets, cheese wrappers, noodle packets and anchor powder milk bags to create colorful handbags, wallets, purses, clutch bags, boxes, cushions & laptop covers. The weaving technique has taken years to perfect. 

The attention to detail and careful preparation of her source material lends authority to Janneck’s environmental concerns. In addition to raising awareness of plastic pollution at a local level, it is equally relevant to remember that the nations of the Pacific are especially vulnerable to climate change, and plastic usage is a contributing factor. 

Sabine’s lively hood is also derived from working in the lagoons and ocean of Rarotonga. Add to that, she is also an active environmentalist.

Sabine is a long-standing executive member of the Te Ipukarea Society, a Cook Islands environmental NGO and chair to their Waste Management Program.


My first bag

How Everything Started

Circle Cook Islands is a brand founded in Rarotonga in 2014. It was created by Sabine Janneck, who came to Rarotonga with her Partner Sascha in 2006. They owned The Dive Centre – The Big Fish since 2007.

The brand’s name C.I.R.C.L.E. – Cook Islands Recycling Creations Living Environment – is inspired by Sabine’s never ending care for the environment and is defined by giving a second life to discarded materials. Circle Cook Islands represents a return to our roots.

The idea to create bags and accessories from reused materials is not invented by Sabine. She said “A friend of mine- Lynn Hobbs – came on holiday and did a class with Maitland Christiansen to learn how to make little bags out of plastic rubbish. When she came home she asked me for all my rubbish. After i gave all of it to her she showed me the very basics of the weaving technique. From this moment i never stopped making bags and the ideas are still rolling in.”