Sunday, 22 July 2007

Ditch the cynicism

Driving my old car with only LW/MW radio I get to listen to all sorts of things and heard a program of pundits talking about planet saving matters. One female journalist was scathing about the lack of detailed knowledge amongst the young. She ridiculed the wearing of white bands against poverty or marching together against a war as "feelgood" actions. Making people feel they have done their bit when all they have done is spend a pound or take a stroll. But it seems to me that standing up to be counted is an important thing - add your name to those online petitions, buy a wristband, click on that button each day to fund mammograms, run that Race for Life and Carry a Bag. If it makes you feel good then enjoy the feeling. We are more likely to tackle the bigger issues if we start by wanting to do something than waiting to know everything before we begin.

Friday, 20 July 2007

You know what its like when you find something that's really good and you tell everyone and suddenly it doesn't feel very much like your 'find' anymore. At the risk of that happening I have to say that Latitude Festival in Suffolk is really fantastic. Stunning site, such a broad spectrum of entertainment and absolutely nothing to complain about - well, apart from the 'nice' family camping next to us who let their little darling do his violin practice at 8.30am. It was so nice there I stopped worrying about the planet - it looked in pretty good shape from there.
Then on Wednesday I saw a double page spread of photographs showing the ecological impact of the Chinese boom with it's massive coal consumption on the rivers, the cities and land and people's health. Since then I've reading about the pitiful wages paid to textile workers in Bangladesh to enable us to buy cheap clothes, and that not buying them means that people who earn a little now will earn nothing at all. Should organic food be airfreighted from Kenya where growing it provides a living for so many farmers - or should we just buy local? So many theories, so many arguments, so many issues, so much to worry about.
I wonder whether too much information can damage your health.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

The Ethical List

The New Consumer's Ethical list celebrates some of the great people who are helping to make the world a better place. A few surprising entries but it was ever thus - who doesn't like a surprise? I notice that Anya Hindmarch made the cut for her bag and it would be churlish of me to deny her the glory but it does lead me onto thinking about the outsourcing to China issue.
The problem the way I see it is that each 'ethical' product that is made in bulk over there - no matter how convinced you are by their working practices and pay structures - is harming the environment and also people like me who want to build a successful ethical business but can't compete with those prices. China is building new coal fired power stations at an alarming rate to process the orders streaming into their country from the West. I am not impressed with the argument that goods travel by sea to save on their carbon footprint - maybe if they came on sailing boat there might be some truth in it.
What's wrong with making things here and paying people what they are worth?

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Live Earth

Yesterday was the big earth event and the miracle of a Summer Day occurred in North London. Naturally I signed the pledge - actually I may have signed it twice in my enthusiasm to be counted. What were those scary dancers of Madonna's all about? She was fabulous of course and so were many of the others. Good telly and hopefully a whole lot more as we all rush to do the right thing and stop being so selfish. I for one will be offsetting my flea market chandelier with a dull eco-bulb in my husband's bedside reading light - ha! Only joking. I'll be turning off the stereo at the plug then spending half a day re-programming all the stations in time to switch them all off at the plug again and do the same the next morning. And that won't last so I'll have to buy a new gismo to do it for me. Must try harder.

Today's other little rant is about the thoughtless juxta-postion of advertisements alongside the tragic story of inflation and poverty in Zimbabwe in the Observer Magazine. There are two full-page ads that are incredibly insensitive. Does nobody look at the whole magazine when they put it put together - or is that an old fashioned idea?
The first Ad is for John Lewis mattresses costing thousands of pounds alongside a picture of two young children asleep in the middle of a pavement because they are too poor to actually have a designated corner to sleep in. Turn over and we see hands holding wads of inflation devalued notes that amount to the £80 a month wage earned by a 'lucky' employed person set against the glossy ad of a couple enjoying the golf course of their luxury retirement second home in sunny Spain. Carbon footprint wise I imagine a second home in Spain off-sets your winter fuel consumption in the UK and so it goes.
My own pledge is to continue to remember to carry a bag and turn out the lights and to really try to do all the other things too.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007


The 4th of July is American Independence Day.
This week I have been very conscious of the warmth and spontaneity of Americans.
Carry-a-bag was featured on a blog called OhJoy in the States and I have had loads of enquiries about whether bags could be sent over. Each and every one carried with it a compliment of some sort. In the States emails are more like short conversations than our mini-letters - so they cut to the chase and most read along the lines of "Can you post to the US? You are so clever and I LOVE your bags! " or " Your bags are GORGEOUS - what is the shipping to California"
Well, it works for me. I LOVE Americans.
I made this little bag today with a message for us all :
time to save the planet dudes.
Say no to plastic bags and

remember to carry a bag.
Pass the message on.

Happy 4th of July.


About Me

My photo
Hastings, East Sussex, United Kingdom
Carry-a-bag began about five ago when I was fuming about plastic carrier bags stuck in trees, washed up on the beach and generally messing up the planet. It began as a little idea but one morning I woke up thinking "don't take a carrier bag just remember to carry a bag. And now I make bags all the time.


Take it shopping or digging...

September 11th 2007

September 11th 2007
Blue sky day


time to save the planet dudes + me in the hat