July 10, 2007

Not So Friendly

I knew a few months ago that when I wrote about recycling bags, I knew it was a hot item. I just didn't understand the extent of it until it came out in Hong Kong and Taiwan last Friday. I guess one just don't feel it until it hits closer to home. I even considered going to the store later on that day to "pick one up." Although knowing Asia, I should have known it wouldn't be so easy to get my hands on this cheap limited edition designer bag. People line up overnight for up to days on the streets if necessary for a pair of sneakers here after all. And I knew that this bag was anticipated by the masses as the Anya Hindmarch PR had done an excellent job here in Asia too and many celebs have been seen sporting this recycling bag as a handbag of sorts bringing them around shopping and to concerts with them. It had become sort of a status symbol to own one of these bags.

So I knew people wanted it, but I just didn't know the extent until the afternoon before the bag was out, when I passed by the department store that sold it and saw a huge bunch of people lined up outside for that bag! And let me tell you, Hong Kong in summer is hot AND extremely humid. We scurry from air conditioned space to another and even have connecting overhead bridges all over the Central area to minimize outside exposure. These people REALLY wanted this bag. Naturally I gracefully bowed out as I don't want it THAT much.
Next day, there were news of outraged people who lined up and didn't get the bag and the police had to be called in to disperse the angry mob. The stores selling it (which sold LOTS of other stuff) had to be temporarily closed because of that. But if you thought THAT is extreme over a $15USD bag, in Taiwan blood was shed over it! These bags are now currently being sold on ebay for $240USD! The things people do.

I don't know about Taiwan, but apparently there had been a very exclusive pre-order list that took up most of the quota. Exclusive, because believe me, we already asked if there was a list and was told there wasn't and we should come line up. Lesson of the day- chummy up with the sales people for a limited bag. Did I mention that with all the rage, this bag does not support any charitable causes? For such a quiet tiny store (well the one in HK used to be small and quiet) it has definitely put a big stamp on the fashion community and generated a huge profit margin lately!

I guess this environmentally friendly bag is not quite so friendly after all.


Blogger BananaShoes said...

Agreed! Whoa, It amazes me that there was blood shed over a bag that does not support a cause. How is that not just another plastic bag? If it is not making a difference by supporting any ecofriendly charities, people are just getting it because it is trendy and not because it will make a differnce.so sad.

7/11/2007 3:53 AM  
Blogger Mr Hankey said...

I agree with bananashoes, I dont see any value for the environment here. This is just exploiting the recent trend for eco-friendly stuff for a fast easy profit. I bet they are laughing all the way to the bank.

7/11/2007 4:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7/11/2007 4:20 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Ha, what a coincidence. I just saw a site giving two? of these bags away with a photo of pple lining up for it. Even though it is for free (if you win), I don't want it. It's just a plastic bag with text on it which I hate. The trend factor does not matter to me which is why seeing all these pple getting themselves in a huff about it while lining up in the sweltering look so pathetic to me. And knowing that thare are pple who will pay the $240 on Ebay makes me sadder. Some people really need to reassess their priorities.

7/11/2007 5:04 AM  
Blogger -S said...

i love how 'cool' it is to be seen with a re-useable bag. it's about time we stopped filling our garbage dumps with plastics that take forever to decompose.

7/11/2007 5:30 AM  
Blogger blackrose said...

get to a whole food store in NY, they'll be selling these July 18

95 Houston Street, New York, NY 10002
250 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
The Shops at Columbus Circle, 10 Columbus Circle, Suite SC101, New York, NY 10019

7/11/2007 6:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've been using shopping bags for years... it would be so much cooler walking around with a zabar's canvas bag than a stupid 'i'm not a plastic bag' that's so four months ago...

7/11/2007 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Discovery Bay Gal said...

I dunno why they would line up for those bags. Like some of you said...it's just a bag with words on it and it doesn't even have a charitable cause. In fact in Hong Kong it'd only take a couple of weeks before they make fake ones that ppl can buy for $25 HK. Granted the spelling might be a bit off here or there. Anyway, I think it's silly, but then again everyone in HK already use their "Chanel" or "Gucci" paper bags to carry their things when it doesn't fit in their purse. At least THAT's recycling.

7/11/2007 7:46 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

there was/is a really good article on nytimes.com about "buying into" the eco-friendly movement instead of actually doing something about it. buying a trendy bag isn't going to do anything, especially since for most people it's not replacing anything, it's just one more bag. want to stop global warming? it has to do with product transportation, mass transit, building construction and maintenance, and the current environmental standards set by the government. not stuff most people want to deal with! i'm all about getting the word out, but it's sad when the "trend" far overshadows the real solution.

7/11/2007 8:49 AM  
Blogger penelope said...

haha i wrote abt tt on my blog too!!! it's so freakin nice!!! though oh so simply. it's jus. lyk one of the most coveted things i've wanted!!! btw, singapoe will be launching these bags on the 18th next mth.


7/11/2007 9:06 AM  
Blogger Sej said...

That's sort of ironic. If the bag is supposed to symbolize something beneficial to the community, but the bag results in violence, then the message of the bag is really distorted.

7/11/2007 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've also heard of people in the US who drove considerable distances to several stores trying to get their hands on one of these bags... not so environmentally friendly.

7/11/2007 4:33 PM  
Anonymous tiara said...

I even read about such an aticle in someone else blog.

7/11/2007 7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only are the Anya Hindmarch bags not organic or fairtrade, they were made in China and transported all across the world to be sold. Though I do think it is a pretty cute bag, I would feel hypocritical and superficial if I was seen carrying it.

7/11/2007 9:29 PM  
Blogger coco said...

today i actually saw a fake 'i am not a plastic bag' which is strange seeing as they are only £5

7/11/2007 9:57 PM  
Anonymous babsied said...

R. Nichols, fashionable stationer extraordinaire, is coming out with his own take on these this fall. I saw a little sneak and they are beautiful. Best of all, you can order them online and not drive anywhere to get one!

7/12/2007 3:03 AM  
Blogger Wombat said...

Singaporean have more sense than that. Fancy beating people up over a plain canvas bag. Besides the bag isn't out in SIngapore yet.

7/12/2007 9:11 AM  
Blogger Ed said...


7/12/2007 8:17 PM  
Blogger Kaye said...

I never really saw the point in bags like this, because chances are... this "I am not plastic" bag will start popping up everywhere on the streets and some will be upset. Something about exclusivity and individuality appeals to each and every one of us, I think... hence, making the bag too seasonal. To skeptical me, it's just another fad... but thats just my opinion.

That the bag is too recognizable doesnt help either! Although I am sure its lovely and all.

By the way, was that picture from outside sogo?

7/12/2007 9:43 PM  
Blogger Sophia said...

i know your gonna post about this. been waiting for days!

i was gonna go line up for this bag at 5:30am with a friend that morning. then i got a call from my friend THE DAY BEFORE telling me that her sis passed by the landmark after work and learned that all the tickets were gone. i was so mad! the anya hindmarch people here did a shitty job this time.

now you cant even pay me to carry that bag. its ubiquitous and its just not special anymore. blame all the negative publicity. so you see, not all publicity is good publicity.

if you want shopping bags, there are many fabulous choices available so get over this stupid bag!


7/13/2007 2:51 AM  
Blogger Tulz said...

Okay the bag is extremely cute, I would totally go for one. But seriously, that is crazy! Which store was it? I just thought of a "connection" that you could have used to get on to the list, although I don't know if she'd be "famous" enough

7/13/2007 3:52 AM  
Blogger 24X7ShopGirl said...

I got extremely lucky because my sister managed to order 2 from RonHerman.com so I got one. The bag is definitely adorable but of course made in china. I would never put any grocery in it and the bag is very stain prone so I now always carry my Tide pen in case anything happens.

7/13/2007 12:27 PM  
Blogger sumo_piggy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/15/2007 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With so many people going after the bag, bringing it around would only mean "I got into a list or lined up days for it", no?

Plus I saw too many people carrying that bag in one hand and several other disposables in the other. So much for environmentally friendly.

7/16/2007 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anne McCrady said...

This bag doesn't support a cause?! Of course, it does: the environment. Kudos to Whole Foods for finding a way to use the world's retail-addiction to foster change! That's just the kind of creative idea that characterizes InSpiritry - InSpiration for the Greater Good.

7/18/2007 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got my today!!! Only have to wait one hour in Westchester in NY and we got 3 bags each! The bag looks fine and will definitely walk around Manhattan with it for a while. Thanks for the tip! What is the going ebay price for limited edition blue bag these days?

7/18/2007 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Ecoingenuity said...

go check out my blog if you are interested in environmental issues and consumerism.

7/24/2007 3:41 PM  
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