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I Am Not A Plastic Bag Either

Aug 18, 2007
On June 20th the US experienced some of the "I Am Not A Plastic Bag fever" that caused women in the UK to queue up for the best part of a day to hand over around $10 for a simple shopping bag.

The simple bag has become a symbol of ethical intent -and a very fashionable one at that.

The blame can be laid totally at the feet of Anya Hindmarch. Also known as the bag queen (which could have been a lot worse) She may have been displaying her green credentials when she turned the overflow bag into a style icon, but she's created yet another style conundrum for women the length and bredth of the nation!

Until recently, the overflow bag, the shopping bag, the beach bag was somewhat exempt from the rigors of trying to appear uber stylish. It was total utility garb. It's the first bag to be dumped under the desk at work, the first one to get thrown into the rear of your car, so it was to be just a holdall rather than a style statement.

Then along came Anya. 20 000 limited edition I am not a plastic bag's later and cue an overnight fashion sensation.

Ms Hindmarch knows first-hand the power fashion has, and is prepared to use it. "As a luxury fashion brand we are in a position where we can influence," she says.

It ticked all the right boxes, great fabrics, celebrity endorsement, chic neutral colours not to mention green credentials coming out of it's straps from the ecotypes at we are what we do. The lucky ones who queued for hours to get one were rewarded with the perfect garment for carrying ones groceries/laptop/bikin and towel.

Everyone else was left with a problem. If you missed out on the Hindmarch bag, what do you go for instead? Such is the problem solving ability of I am not a plastic bag that some have opted to trade them in on ebay for a cool one hundred and fifty quid! A limited edition went on sale in the US on June 20th, more mayhem.

The problem doesn't end there though, say you find an alternative you have still got to navigate the tricky hurdle of wearing two trendy bags, your shopping bag and your normal everyday bag containing keys, phone and purse) without looking too much like a fashion victim with a subscription to Grazia or Vogue.

The solution is to keep your second bag in a supporting role, something natural looking in cotton or a bright and breezy summer classic, if you are feeling flush then Pucci's range is often spectacular!

Shop around for bargains, a whole new world of possiblilty has opened up, every designer worth their salt from Queen of Suburbia to J-Crew is lining up to produce the bag that suits your seceond shoulder.

Much has been made of the fact that the Hindmarch bag is produced in China - for sure the shipping and distribution world wide, not to mention the plastic jiffy bags that her PR company sent out promotional copies in are not neccesarily the best ecological choice. But to over-analyse that seems somewhat churlish, the point was to raise awareness of the plastic bag issue. That mission has been accomplished.
About the Author
Mark Errington is Marketing Director at English fashion design house Queen Of Suburbia, famous for their cool t-shirts.
Further examples of his commentary on fashion, can be found on his fashion blog.
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