Url: https://www.johnlewispartnership.media/news/waitrose/16032022/anya-hindmarch-to-launch-the-universal-bag-in-collaboration-with-waitrose?brand=waitrose

Everyone’s bag

  • The Universal Bag is made from 100% recycled plastic and guaranteed to last 10 years
  • Once the bag reaches the end of its life it can be recycled locally
  • Designed to be practical and durable and reflect Anya Hindmarch’s iconic style

Launching 23rd March, The Universal Bag will be sold in Waitrose shops across the country encouraging shoppers to continuously reuse the bag with a 10-year lasting guarantee. 

The bag is made from 100% recycled plastic and each step and material used in making the bag has been fully certified under the Global Recycling Scheme (GRS), making this a truly 100%  recycled product. 

The Universal Bag features an innovative, convenient freepost returns pouch built into a pocket inside the bag. You simply turn the bag into its built-in pocket which acts as a pre-addressed envelope, and then post it through a letter box. It is then 100% recycled locally.  

Durable, desirable and iconic

The Universal Bag

Retailing at £10 each the bag is designed to be practical and durable as well as desirable, the green design reflects Waitrose with Anya Hindmarch’s iconic style.

James Bailey, Executive Director, Waitrose said: “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.

"Plastic will continue to have its uses but we must not create any more of it unnecessarily. Instead, we must  repurpose, reuse and make existing plastic materials circular - 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.” 

Simple steps towards sustainability

The Universal Bag

Anya Hindmarch, Founder and Creative Directorsaid: “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.”

Notes to Editors

Further images can be found here

About the John Lewis Partnership
The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands - John Lewis and Waitrose. Started as a radical experiment over a century ago, the Partnership is now the largest employee-owned business in the UK, with over 80,000 employees who are all Partners in the business. The Partnership is purpose-driven, existing to create a fairer and more sustainable future for our Partners, customers, suppliers and communities. Our Purpose not only inspires our principles, drives our decisions and acts as our guide to be a force for good, it steers us to do things differently and better - all in service of creating a happier world for everyone and everything we touch.


Waitrose & Partners has 331 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 59 convenience branches, 27 shops at Welcome Break locations, and Waitrose.com - its fast-growing online shopping business, consistently rated highly by independent research. The retailer combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. As part of an employee-owned business, all Partners have a say in how the business is run. 

About Anya Hindmarch 

Anya Hindmarch is a luxury accessories brand founded in 1987. Modern craftsmanship,  creativity, responsibility, a touch of humour and personalisation sit at the heart of everything the brand does.  

As well as mainline collections the brand offers a unique Bespoke collection where each piece  is - as Anya says - about ‘having your name on something, rather than mine’. The brand shows an  ongoing commitment to the circularity of materials with the I Am A Plastic Bag campaign and  the Return To Nature project. 

In May 2021, the brand launched The Village – five neighbouring stores, including the Anya Café,  on London’s Pont Street. Designed to be a place where the brand can connect with its community,  The Village includes a space known as ‘The Village Hall’, which houses different creative concepts  throughout the year.  

A passionate advocate of British design and arts, Anya is also an Emeritus trustee of both the  Royal Academy of Arts and the Design Museum and is a trustee of the Royal Marsden. In 2017  Anya Hindmarch was awarded a CBE in recognition for her contribution to the British fashion  industry and has received several notable industry awards including British Fashion Awards. She  published her first book ‘If In Doubt Wash Your Hair’ in 2021. 

About Solent Group 

Leading manufacturer of reusable bags supplying the market’s most influential household brands  with innovative and industry pioneering portfolios. We are the original reusable bag company;  launching the first reusable bag within the UK over 20 years ago when the requirement to minimise single use plastic bags was as relevant as it is today. The use of earth friendly and  durable materials married with efficient construction techniques has ensured we continue to lead  from the forefront, producing over 200 million bags globally. 

In line with the collaborative philosophy of this project, Anya Hindmarch and its production partner Solent Group, have committed to share the learnings from this project with all global retailers on request, with the ambition to advance progress in the use, reuse and recycling of  shopping bags around the world.