Shoppers lined up at 2am this morning in London for a chance to get their hands on the most sought after handbag of the moment. Anya Hindmarch's shopping bag. It's a reusable cotton canvas bag, with the logo I'm Not A Plastic Bag, meant to draw attention to the catastrophe that is the amount of plastic bags in our landfills.
You've probably seen it on the arm of some of Britain's finest - Lily Allen, Sienna Miller and Keira Knightley, hence it's instant popularity. Its "It" bag credentials were secured when it was chosen as the goodie-bag for guests at the 2007 Vanity Fair Oscar night party.
Hindmarch developed the cotton bags with the We Are What We Do movement, a not for profit organisation which encourages people to use simple every day actions to change the world.
Student Elizabeth Gregoire receives
her handbag from designer Anya Hindmarch
at Sainsbury's in Cromwell Road today
The designer said: "The idea was to create something that was really desirable to highlight ethical issues without being really worthy.
"It's amazing seeing people walking around with this billboard and I have mine with me all the time."
"When I started thinking about designing it I realized I could do something quite exciting and had a funny feeling it would be quite popular, but I wish we had ordered more bags because my shop's been like a call centre in these last few weeks because people have been really frustrated they have not been able to get hold of them."
By the time the bags went on sale at 8am queues were snaking around buildings with thousands of women, and a few men, hoping to snap up a Hindmarch creation.
As tension grew, one woman was heard declaring, "You know I will fight for one of these bags don't you?"
Some 20,000 of the bags, selling for £5, were up for sale. But with just a small number of bags in each store, only the most devoted of shoppers were successful.
By 9am many stores had already sold out and by lunchtime they had sold out at all 450 stores making for one of the most unusual fashion bonanzas ever seen.
I'm Not A Plastic Bag will be released in the US this June.