Eco Chic

I’m conflicted about the latest celeb trend to bring SexyBack to the environment. Case in point, designers hawking “trendy” resuable shopping bags.

On the one hand, as I’ve said before I’m elated any time we can do a sort of image rescue of eco-concerns because of that whole “dirty hippie” stigma. (All apologies to my hippie friends, but the hippie thing is a liability when you’re trying to get mainstream America to listen up.) So I get excited and happy when I see the people you’d least likely suspect of harboring love for the environment step up and do some good.

The other hand? Well, you start getting celebrities who are just cashing in for some good PR, which doesn’t do anyone any good in the long run. And you get the weird “celeb trend” of buying expensive designer-label reusable shopping bags like the “I’m Not A Plastic Bag” trend. (Photo available at the Daily Mail.)

Will these celeb shopping bags cause average Janes to stop using plastic/paper bags at the store? Well, maybe some. But I doubt very many in the grand scheme. And I worry about the consequences later on when the environment becomes “unfashionable” again. Will those who started using their designer shopping bags go back to plastic? Will your average Jane decide that since she can’t afford to pay $200 for a really cute designer bag that she might as well just give up and use plastic/paper bags at the store because it’s easier?

Perhaps the only thing I can do is let my inner optimist take over and hope for the best. If they convert even a few people into reusable-shopping-bag-users then it is good. But I’m certainly not going to trade in my tote (it has sparklies!) or the free tote I got years ago for buying some book at a bookstore. Designer bags may be “it,” but mine have character.

2 thoughts on “Eco Chic

  1. Sheesh. Lame. I don’t know how to feel about this either. It’s a step in the right direction, yes, but that step is being taken by a Prada stiletto-clad foot. Ick.
    My hope is that with this consciousness-raising, the public will change, and even after the fad is over, they’ll find it really hard to change back, because they’ll see that plastic makes no sense.

  2. The concept is worthy, but the execution stinks. It’s so environmental-chic that it’s disgusting. The bags will be offered in the US in a few days. In New York, where I’m from, it’s only offered at the 2 flagship locations and at “select” Whole Foods stores. It seems a bit hypocritical that a bag which is supposed to spread awareness about consumer waste is being offered in limited supply at upscale shops in Manhattan. And you totally know these won’t be used at the grocery store, either.

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