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Anya Hindmarch partners with Sainsbury’s and Waitrose for circular shopping bags

Camilla Rydzek
15 November 2021

Luxury fashion brand Anya Hindmarch is working with supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s and Waitrose to create a durable, re-usable shopping bag that can be recycled at the end of its life, embracing the concept of the circular economy. 

The shopper is called “The Universal Bag” and Sainsbury’s and Waitrose will be the first two supermarkets to launch a customised version of the bag on the 2 December and 26 January respectively, in a project defined by Eco not Ego.

The Universal Bag will also be available to more supermarkets globally, who will be able to customise it to match their own branding.

Anya Hindmarch, Founder and Creative Director commented: “Everyone needs a bag to move things around. The Universal Bag is designed to offer an alternative solution that saves plastic from landfill, is simple to recycle 100%, is guaranteed for 10 years, and is hopefully special enough to inspire people to use it. When you throw something away, there is no “away”. By collaborating on this project supermarkets are showing their continued commitment to reducing the amount of plastic on our planet.”

Each bag is guaranteed to last 10 years and is made from 100% recycled plastic, with all materials certified under the Global Recycling Scheme.

At the end of its life the shopper can also be sent off to be recycled, as it has a convenient freepost returns pouch built into an inside pocket. Owners can turn the bag into its built-in pocket which acts as a pre addressed envelope and post it through a letter box. It will then be sent to be 100% recycled locally.


Anya Hindmarch first collaborated with Sainsbury’s 14 years ago on the “I Am Not A Plastic Bag” campaign which was first launched in the supermarket’s stores to raise awareness on the environmental aspect of single-use plastic bags.

Anya Hindmarch Sainsbury's re-usable shopping bag

Sainsbury's is one of the supermarkets to partner on The Universal Bag

Mark Given, Chief Marketing Officer at Sainsbury’s, commented: “We are serious about reducing plastic and we know it’s an issue our customers and colleagues are passionate about too. It’s why we set an ambitious target to reduce our use of plastic packaging by 50% by 2025. It’s for this reason that fourteen years after we first partnered with Anya Hindmarch on the ground-breaking ‘I Am Not A Plastic Bag’ we’re delighted to join forces with her again on a brilliant new initiative, The Universal Bag.”

James Bailey, Executive Director at Waitrose, added: "We recently took the decision to remove our bags for life as our research showed that they were increasingly being treated as a single use item, and this is part of our commitment to only use plastic where it can be recycled, reused or home composted by 2023. This is why we're excited to be an early adopter of Anya Hindmarch's new Universal Bag as it is a great example of circularity at work."

Anya Hindmarch’s production partner Solent Group has committed to share the learnings from this project with all global retailers on request.

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