On Hindmarch Canvas Bag Madness

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This morning I was walking across Houston Street in the pouring rain at a few minutes before eight, when, as it turns out, fifteen Whole Foods Markets across the New York area started selling cotton shopping bags designed by Anya Hindmarch for $15.

There were people camped out in a line several blocks long on one side of the Whole Foods there on Bowery, and on the other side, where customers exited, was a gaggle of giddy customers emerging from the store, and on their way out, swiping some Whole Foods plastic bags for their canvas bags.

An employee came running out, telling them that they were not permitted to use a plastic bag for their canvas bags. Busted! But they ran. Do they not get it? It reminded me of the countless time I've said "no thanks" to a bag in a store and watched, in awe, as the clerk put it in the trash.

But as I saw others very cautiously clutching their three (the limit) bags, I realized what was happening. Upon returning home, I read this morning's piece in the New York Times to learn a bit more about the canvas bag madness (thirty people were recently trampled at a similar event for the Hindmarch bags in Taiwan), and then I logged onto eBay.

As of this writing, there were 740 ebay listings for the bag. The top price? $349. The top price with bids? $265 .

I take canvas bags to the market to save resources and make things simpler. I have to wonder if either of these goals are being achieved with the Hindmarch bags, or if people are just making a bit of cash, and causing a little bit of madness.

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Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.

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