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'Rag Bag' Makes It Easy for Shoppers to Donate Unwanted Clothes

Image credit: DDB Sweden

Many of us buy new things even when we’ve already got a closet full of barely worn clothes. Swedish fashion label Uniforms for the Dedicated has come up with a creative way to alter that behavior with the Rag Bag, a biodegradable shopping bag that helps shoppers live up to the motto: “Donate something old every time you buy something new.” The pre-addressed and postage-paid carrier breaks down various barriers consumers might encounter before donating their unwanted clothes.

DDB Sweden, the agency behind the bag — which won a Cannes Lion this year in the Product Design category — explained their reasoning on the Cannes Lion website:

“We consume too much. With this in mind, we wanted to find a way to convert every purchase into something that would do good in the world. We wanted to influence brands and consumers, and help them take a practical stand for sustainable fashion, recycling and social responsibility.”

The bag is made from a strong biodegradable plastic. To put it to work, simply remove your newly purchased garment, flip the bag inside out, put in an old garment, seal the bag and put it in the mailbox. Your unwanted items will then make their way to a charity that can give them a second life in service of those who are less privileged.

“The particular product is not complex, but it solves a complex problem,” DDB says. “The challenge for us was to deliver the message of the two-sided, dual-function bag in a way that brands and consumers understood.”

Unlike a lot of ideas that are all flash and no substance, the Rag Bag proves that you can encourage people to make big changes with only a few simple design tweaks. After all, it’s easy to add something to a design, but undeniably harder to take something away.

This post first appeared on PSFK on June 30, 2014.

Ross Brooks is a language enthusiast who earns his living from writing for sites including Inhabitat and PSFK. Environment, architecture, design and technology are just some of the topics he loves to write about.

[Read more about Ross Brooks]

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