I Am A Plastic Bag FAQs

I Am A Plastic Bag

The Collection

Q: How long has Anya been working on this collection?

A: 2 years

Q: What is the bag made from?

A: The canvas is made from recycled plastic bottles (RPET) which are spun into yarn to produce a canvas that really feels like cotton. The canvas coating is made from recycled windscreen laminates (RPVB).

Q: How many bottles are used to make a bag?

A: We use 32 x 500ml bottles to make one large tote.

Q: Where is the bag made?

A: The recycled coated fabric has been developed especially for us by a supplier in Taiwan. Taiwan are the world leaders in recycling plastic and the only people who can create this fabric combined with this particular recycled coating.

The collection is made in Florence, Italy. The leather we are using comes from an Italian tannery which is a Gold Standard Leather Working Group supplier.

Q: Where did the plastic bottles to make the bags come from?

A: Taiwan, which is where the recycled fabric is made. The bottles were sourced locally in Taiwan and are collected in a Government led scheme.

Q: Why have you used leather for the trims?

A: After extensive research we conclude this to be the best option for the collection, more so than recycled or vegan leather which often has a high PU content. The leather we use is from a gold standard Leather Working Group Italian tannery. The leather is responsibly sourced from traceable European origins, so they don’t contribute to de-forestation, and they are a by-product of the meat industry so they don’t go to waste. We have looked at plant based alternatives which are interesting but they are not quite right yet for what we needed. However we continue to explore these options.

Q: Why is this collection more expensive than I'm Not A Plastic Bag?

A: Because it is really complicated to make. It has been a labour of love to develop this product and it is a piece of real modern craftmanship. It is expensive to do things in this way but we hope that soon it will become the norm which may reduce the cost.

Q: Will you be using sustainable materials for your other collections?

A: Yes we already do. It is a transition as we feel it is right that we first use up stocks of materials we have rather than to waste them but we are moving to Econyl which is recycled nylon, and recycled satin. We work with Leather Working Group Gold Standard tanneries and we have changed all of our packaging to FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified materials as well as reducing the amount of printed material and packing in our deliveries right down to Cellulose CHK tape and soy based inks in our printing. We are also moving to all of our cotton dust bags being BCI cotton. This is an on-going project and one we are very committed to in all aspects of the business.

Q: Can this bag be recycled?

A: Yes. If you return it to us we can recycle it for you.

The Store Installations

Q: Why did you close the stores for London Fashion Week?

A: Because we want to connect people to the enormity of the problem of single use plastic going into landfill and somehow, if you see it, it drives the message home. In the UK alone, 5.5billion plastic bottles are sent to landfill every year.

Q: Where did all the plastic bottles that filled the stores come from?

A: A combination of brilliant effort from all the employees at Anya Hindmarch, StudioXAG (who were the production agency who physically filled all the stores with bottles), First Mile, Grundon Waste Management & Paper Round who are all recycling/waste management companies and The Crown Estate.

Q: What will happen to the plastic bottles afterwards?

A: All of the bottles will be given to Clean Tech who will recycle them back into new bottles. Clean Tech operates the UK’s largest post-consumer closed loop bottle reprocessing plant in Lincolnshire and is the UK’s leading food grade rPET manufacturer. All the products they produce have been manufactured in the UK using post-consumer waste. Every individual PET bottle recycled is given a second life, saving raw materials and reducing waste.

Q: How many bottles were used in the stores?

A: It’s taken over 90,000 plastic bottles to fill the stores, which have been collected by Anya Hindmarch employees from their local communities. This may sound like an astronomical number, but this is how many plastic bottles go into landfill every 8.5 minutes.

Partnerships

Q: What did you do regarding your carbon emissions for this project?

A: We have partnered with EcoAct, a global climate change consultancy, to measure and offset the emissions associated with the I Am A Plastic Bag collection to make this a carbon neutral project.

Q: What is the Butterfly Mark?

A: The project – and the Company - has been awarded the Butterfly Mark from Positive Luxury. This is a symbol of trust earned by brands that have adopted sustainability as a business strategy. Brands are assessed holistically across the following areas: governance, social and environmental frameworks, community impact and innovation.