Saving our planet; one bag at a time

November 3, 2008

How sassy can YOU get?

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Tags: , , , — Kaajal @ 6:01 pm

You’ve got to admit that the F word makes that bag interesting and noticeable. If you’d like your own sassy statement on a bag, talk to us today! We’ll enjoy making them for you.

In this article from the website Nin J.A.Castle, Creative Director appears to imply that bags imported from the East are inevitably made in sweatshops. I just sent him a mail saying this needn’t be so and that there are some right thinking folks who manufacture bags also and told him he might like to talk to us. My primary motive of course was to tell him how much I enjoyed looking at his sassy punchline on the bag.

Bags with Attitude

First, we overused plastic bags, and then we started using various forms of reusable carrier bags. Then there were designer reusable bags, bags with slogans and even bags with attitudes. English designer Anya Hindmarch, created a worldwide phenomena with her ‘I’m not a plastic bag’ bag - later it was revealed that the bag was not quite as green as people first thought, and there was some, well, bag backlash.

We caught up with Nin J.A. Castle, Creative Director at the award-winning fashion design company Goodone’s in the UK, to find out why the bag backlash and can bags really be cheeky and sustainable. Frankly it doesn’t get much sassier than their new reusable bag.

What is the concept behind the bag?

Well the idea came about because we were annoyed by the Anya Hindmarch ‘I’m not a plastic bag’ bag. It was promoted in the UK as being a really ethical bag and was such a big craze with people queuing from early in the morning to buy one. Most people thought the bag was made from organic fabric and in a non-sweat factory. This was not the case. So we decided to create our own bag in response, we came up with some really funny slogans like ‘This is not a publicity stunt’ but eventually settled on ‘Do I fucking look like a plastic bag?’ Also we change the handwriting on the bags with every batch we make, so each bag is a limited edition, and has a character all of its own.

It encourages a new consumer group to use less plastic, people who are not so concerned about the environment.

-Nin J.A. Castle

Is the cheeky slogan proving popular? With who?

Yes, the slogan is really popular and surprisingly with people from all age groups. We have had people who are disapproving, telling us off for using a swear word, etc. But at least we provoke a reaction. It’s mainly a younger customer aging from 16 - 35, but we also get a lot of older ladies who buy it for their grandchildren, they often find the bag hilarious and comment on how their daughter will tell them off for buying it.

How does it encourage reducing plastic use?

It encourages a new consumer group to use less plastic, people who are not so concerned about the environment. It is one of Goodone’s aims to not preach to the converted, but encourage the younger generation to think about the environment in a really tongue-in-cheek way.

Do you think the bag might offend people?

I hope not, I hope that people can see the funny side and when we do have complaints we just tell them it is made with organic cotton and manufactured by a charity. Sometimes this works sometimes it doesn’t. There is a lot worse on television, even with people walking down the street.

How does art/fashion encourage activism?

Fashion empowers people and gives them confidence. It reflects attitudes and hopefully gets the cultural ball rolling in the right direction.

How much does it cost?

It only costs £8.

How can North Americans get one?

You can order one off the website - just go to the shop section.

Or you can order them from us in India - Infinitely lower priced of course. And not from a sweatshop.

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