Thursday, August 30, 2007

I Am Not A....

Guillble Consumer.

I don't get this bag. Designed by Anya Hindmarch, it has become the $5 fashion must have for Hollywood and fashion victims everywhere. The bags sold out during its UK launch in 90 minutes. Lines marched down several blocks when it went on sale at Whole Foods in New York. I see many UES-types marching around the city proclaiming thier faux-environmentalism on their arm.

Makes this former-vegan, largely pacifist girl want to punch someone.

Come on people, wake up! It's a marketing gimmic conceived by a very clever handbag designer. It's not really meant to change consumer behavior or raise awareness. It's an experiment to determine who amongst our society are expendable should human sacrifice return to vogue in the next couple of years.

I'll admit that it's sort of cute in that faux-homey, "I was made in China but don't I almost look homemade" sort of way. But it doesn't really do a good job of serving it's designated function - replacing grocery store plastic bags. It's not an exceptionally big bag. Not nearly large enough to carry any meaningful amount of groceries in it - I doubt a single box of cereal would fit comfortably inside. I once saw a woman put her ipod in it. So one ding for utilitarianism. It's not widely available - so it's not actually meant to be used by the masses as an alternative to plastic.

In the FAQ on the Anya Hindmarch site, it states that the company feels the bag launch successfully generated publicity around the use of alternative, reusable packaging. Now there is no way to actually gauge this and there is no way to know if anyones behavior has changed due to the bag but given the fact that I saw a girl the other day laden down with plastic grocery bags in one hand and the "I am not a Plastic bag" in the other - I don't think it's working.

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