Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Everyone's talking about it. . .

Cherry Menlove from Tales from Pixie Wood has done a post about the PR fiasco that is the Sainsbury's Anya Hindmarsh "This is not a Plastic Bag". Read about it here.

I had held back from commenting on this as it could be interpreted as an attack on a competitor but Cherry's post has given me courage!

The bag seems to me to be a failure on all counts - it was given the kind of gimmicky pre-launch hype that turned it from being a useful object into a fashiony "must have" object that will be discarded as soon as it ceases to be fashionable. It seems to be a really bad design in terms of a carry it in your handbag as it is too big to scrunch up - see Jane Perrone's verdict on this aspect of it here and then here. So as soon as the "see me with my Hindmarsh bag" moment is over it will be discarded. Finally and most importantly it is manufactured in factories where there are severe doubts about working conditions (and here
and here).

It is all such a travesty - something that should have been positive - encouraging people not to take a plastic bag at the supermarket - has just been done so badly because people have been blinded by fashiony types and celebrity pre-launches. Am I the only one that actually thinks it is a very unattractive bag anyway? - I like a lot of Hindmarsh's designs but not this

However all is not lost - there are a lot of great bags out there - as well as my bag that folds up into its pocket there are lovely totes at Cherry's and Samanthas which would scrunch up nicely into a handbag. They may be a bit more expensive than the Hindmarsh bag but they are made with love and care in Britain, won't date, are actually designed to work and will last for years and years. Unlike the latest "must have" they are proper "limited editions" and will get people asking you where you got them. Cheapest is usually not best (or cheapest) in the long run.


Charlotte@hope&faith said...

Hi Jane ~
Thanks for our comments.
Have your taken the test. Its quite interesting! I totally agree with the Anya bag debate. Was thinking of making a limited run ( ofcourse as too many would defeat the purpose!) of I'm not a fashion victim bags!! HE HE!
Take care

Cherry Menlove said...

Ok, you officially rock my world. For a start I LOVE that picture of you in the hat. You have such a wonderfully beautiful impish face and of course we all know that a conversation with you would be something to partake in. But you also rock because you too see what an innocuous thing like a plastic bag can do to the environment and also what a sham some of these eco-stunts really are. Come on people, we have brains and blogs. A potent combo if ever there was one!!!

Cherry xxx

Gigibird said...

I was almost on the verge of writing a post about making a bag for yourself - I still might but I agree with everything you said. I favour the old fashioned string bag as it seems to expand to fit anything in and is light and can be stuffed into a handbag.

Even being environmentally aware and responsible is being turned into a marketing exercise by the big supermarkets - what a surprise.

The Wine Makers Wife said...

I agree with you and Cherry and am pleased to see you posting about this. I hope it encourages shoppers to be more thoughtful and pro-active about our environment.

the flour loft said...

Hi Jane,
Love the way you put your views across .. you always speak a lot of sense. Have you ever considered politics? you'd be great.

ginny x

Jane said...

Lynn - or of course people could make their own bags . . . .

Samantha said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you Jane.

Shoppers have allowed themselves to be brainwashed into this buy cheap and throwaway. Plus if there is a "label" on it, then it must be good.

Made in Britain, and making sure people receive a fair amount for what they have made, is how things should be.

I only wish more people thought this way

Kristy said...

I think the whole 'I'm not a plastic bag' ploy was just that a marketing ploy.The 30 allocated to our local store were sold within 15 minutes and I'm sure most of them will never see an item of shopping!There's a independant shop in nearby Chorlton that make jute shoppers for £2.99 that have limited slogan runs printed on them.I know which I would prefer don't you?

Nonnie said...

So well said Jane. I too have been holding back from posting about this bag so I had a good old rant in Cherry's comments. You wouldn't believe the amount of women I have seen here in London using the bag as a handbag! They have all totally missed the point. Like you say, another couple of weeks and the bags will be discarded as another bit of fashion trash. I really think it's a shame that both Anya and Sainsbury's have missed out on such a great opportunity to really get people using these bags for the purpose they were intended. To carry your shopping home in! As well as tote bags I make myself, I have a great shopping bag that George bought me from a deli in Sidmouth. It's the most unattractive green, but it's really fine but tough fabric that folds up really small into my handbag and has cut my carrier bag use down to virtually nothing. Since I've had it a do small shops every day or so just filling this one bag. I would never think of using it as a handbag!
Thank you for coming out and saying what you think about these bags and letting the rest of us have a good rant about it too! Rant over.

Anonymous said...

I am the proud and happy owner of one of your lovely bags.Purchased at the CL show in Glasgow and tested at home and on holiday with the children. It is a beautiful and immensely useful thing. We so should prohibit the use of plastic bags. The Anya H thing has just massively missed the point.

weirdbunny said...

I couldn't understand why everyone was rushing out to get the bag either. The design of the bag just dosn't appeal to me at all. I have a huge blue canvas bag that I usually have with me as my bag for the day. It starts off life in the morning with just my purse in it, then by the time I get home it's filled with all the stuff I buy in the day. I decline carrier bags as I go along, and just put the purchases straight into my bag. I do worry that people will think I'm a shop lifter with all these randon purchases spilling over the top though !