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Women’s accessory designer Anya Hindmarch has made a statement with her “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” totes, available throughout the globe in absurdly limited quantities. Offerings have been met with sell-out crowds and such high-interest that Anya’s website announced the cancellation of several east Asian offerings due to safety concerns.
What interests me most is not the bag itself (sorry, in the fashion vs function world I favor function), but rather the huge response her product got. These bags are not pricey. Normally Hindmarch’s tote bags fetch over $300, far out of most people’s range. However, these are $15 bags… that’s three lattes or one lunch. If this is the type of response we can expect from well designed products that promote sustainability, I’m all for it.
Let’s face it, most of the “green” products out there are too expensive for the regular consumer, and are designed to stand-out in the crowd. The Prius looks like a space age hatchback that carries a $5,000 premium (which you make back on gas savings of course!). Levi’s eco jeans line sell for over 100-150% of their traditional counterparts… I don’t believe for a second the markup is due to materials costs. Instead, these and so many other products, carry a green premium because those consumers interested in these products have been willing to pay the higher price tag for sustainability.
The laws of supply and demand have to be put to work in order for this movement to continue to grow. Prices for green products have to drop while green products themselves need to be made more widely appealing. Hindmarch’s bags are a perfect example of a fashionable, functional, affordable green product which has not only captured consumers but is spreading the awareness that is needed to drive this movement. I’m impressed. Now how can I get one of those bags?
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