I Consume Therefore I Care

plastic.jpg

Those ‘I am not a plastic bag’ bags really make me sad.

When they launched in the UK and created a consumer frenzy I was a bit upset. Now I read about their launch in the US I’m getting even more upset.

I think it’s such a shame that the only way to ‘make a point’ is to buy a designer bag. Sure it’s not made of plastic. But I’m pretty sure that the people who are queuing up to buy the bags aren’t the kind of people whose homes are void of bags.

I guess it’s making people talk about bags (plastic or otherwise). But it’s not the right thing to be doing… Is it?

http://www.psfk.com/2007/06/i_am_not_a_plas.html

7 thoughts on “I Consume Therefore I Care”

  1. I’ve argued similar views on a few recent ‘green’ projects that have the same degree of tokenism, but these are the counter-arguments I normally get:
    (a) It’s good because it puts ‘sustainability’ as an idea in the minds of people
    (b) It needs to be simple. People don’t want to think too much (apparently)
    (c) Every little helps – are you saying reusing bags is a bad thing?

  2. a) perhaps a bit – but when it’s demonstrated through retail frenzy it’s hardly in the spirit of sustainability

    b) I agree – what could be simpler than buying something – apart from not buying something

    c) reusing bags is good – so the challenge is how to make reusing old bags cool rather than buying a new bag

    I’ll eat my words if I see people in 12 months time carrying home their shopping in Anya Hindmarch bags. But I’ve got a suspicion they’ll be carrying something much more ‘next year’ instead…

  3. Anything to make people aware that oil is used in making bags and that we squander it like it belongs to this generation only is a good thing in my book. Most people can’t pinpoint Baghdad on a map but they know where their local supermarket is.

  4. Iain,

    Very interesting post. We’ve actually written a few posts about this very thing:

    In chronological order:
    http://www.fairbrand.org/blog/?p=109
    http://www.fairbrand.org/blog/?p=114
    and
    http://www.fairbrand.org/blog/?p=137

    I’ve got loads of opinions on it, and it looks like we’re on the same wave length. I actually rang We Are What We Do up and spoke to them. The bag isn’t intrinsically ethical – ie it’s not recycled etc. So, to me, it can only be ethical if it’s used in an ethical manner. So my question was – do they have any mechanism to record how people are using the bags? Have they picked, say, 20 people at random, and partaken of some ethnographic research, for example. Have these bags made these people think in a different way? Do they use them instead of plastic bags? They had no mechanisms at all to look into this. A wasted opportunity.

  5. a) perhaps a bit – but when it's demonstrated through retail frenzy it's hardly in the spirit of sustainability

    b) I agree – what could be simpler than buying something – apart from not buying something

    c) reusing bags is good – so the challenge is how to make reusing old bags cool rather than buying a new bag

    I'll eat my words if I see people in 12 months time carrying home their shopping in Anya Hindmarch bags. But I've got a suspicion they'll be carrying something much more 'next year' instead…

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