Shoppers' frenzy over cotton bag

Hundreds of fashion-conscious shoppers queued for hours across Norfolk yesterday to nab a £5 cotton bag in a frenzy that exceeded all expectations.And just hours after the limited edition Anya Hindmarch creations went on sale at Sainsbury's across the country they were being sold for up to £250 a piece on internet auction site eBay.

Hundreds of fashion-conscious shoppers queued for hours across Norfolk yesterday to nab a £5 cotton bag in a frenzy that exceeded all expectations.

And just hours after the limited edition Anya Hindmarch creations went on sale at Sainsbury's across the country they were being sold for up to £250 a piece on internet auction site eBay.

There were queues outside the supermarkets long before opening time to snap up one of the 20,000 shopper bags, developed with the We Are What We Do movement to help cut the number of plastic carriers used in the UK.

The designer must-haves, which bear the slogan 'I'm not a plastic bag', sold out within an hour at 450 Sainsbury's branches in the UK and at Norfolk stores, which had just 30 each, they had been snapped up minutes after opening.

The chain's spokesman Hannah Chance said tickets were handed out to shoppers queuing for the bags before stores opened at 8am.

“People were queuing during the night and there were a lot of queues at stores from 6am today,” she said.

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The bags shot to fame after a host of celebrities and fashionistas were photographed with them during February's London Fashion Week.

But the We Are What We Do group said the bag was meant to be sold on a not-for-profit basis for £5 to help the environment - instead of being auctioned off.

Sarah Eddison, PR journalist and EDP columnist, was one of the lucky few who bagged one of the creations at Sainsbury's in King's Lynn.

She said when she arrived at 7.15 there were 20 people queuing but within minutes that number had doubled.

“I drove an hour to get there and then queued for an hour so I was determined to get one. If I'd arrived 10 minutes later I would not have done though. I think it's great, it's highlighting the whole issue of plastic bags.”