Sainsburys Caught Up In Unethical Bag Row

British supermarket chain Sainsburys is involved in an embarrassing row over its ‘green’ shopping bag, which went on sale last week. Amidst all the hype there have been claims that the £5 bag is actually anything but ethical .
Around 20,000 units were sold last week after it launched on Wednesday with customers queuing from as early as 4am. Designed by Anna Hindmarch, whose bags can retail up to £1,175, the bags carry the “I’m not a plastic bag” slogan, which the supermarket group is using as part of its environmentally friendly scheme.
The bag has been promoted by the supermarket as a ‘greener’ alternative to plastic and has become a fashion phenomenon, already appearing on eBAY for hundreds of pounds within hours of sale .
However an investigation by the Evening Standard has revealed that the bags were produced in China, a country known for its appalling labour conditions, and environmentalists have slammed the decision to use conventional cotton, overlooking the use of Fairtrade cotton .
A campaign group, which highlights the exploitation of workers in the fashion industry, said the revelation dented the bag’s ethical claims .
Martin Hearson from pressure group ‘Let’s Clean Up Fashion’ commented, “This is bordering on the hypocritical. There is an incompatibility in claiming a product is ethical and manufacturing it in China .”
Sainsbury’s hit back at accusations of double standards, insisting it had never claimed the bag was Fairtrade and that the factory based in China had been checked to ensure it did not exploit local workers.
“We have never claimed the bag was Fairtrade or organic . The point of the bag is that it isn’t plastic and can be reused,” responded a spokesman for the grocery retailer.
“The bag was designed to raise awareness of the use of disposable plastic bags, a goal which it has achieved internationally.”

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