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The government policy of Taiwan promoted that people cut down on the usage of plastics. Stores were asked to reduce plastic bags or to have extra charges on the bags. So, one day, my sister came home from work with a cup sleeves bags with a cup of Oolong tea in it. It was a piece of green fabric made of cotton with cat patterns all over it. She said that she can replace plastic bags with it when she bought drinks at the shop. Well, that makes sense.

Then, she came back with another eco crochet cup bag the other day. I checked her online shopping list and unsurprisingly found an order for another linen water bottle bag.

Preferences and consuming habits altered according to consumers’ concept and belief. Ethical consumption and green consumption had become an important concern for both designers and consumers. Consumers care more and more about how their products were made and the impact caused by the consumption. Decomposable, renewable, sustainable and low-carbon becomes appealing features for consumers and eco-friendly lifestyle becomes a fashion.

The cup sleeve bag was invented and designed by good intention, there’s no doubt about that. However, “eco-friendly” becomes commercial slogan and another marketing strategy to sell more products to people. Designers care no more whether the designs are really eco-friendly or not, but whether they can be “qualified” as eco-friendly. Consumers wish no negative impacts on society and nature from their consumption. Nevertheless, they kept convincing themselves that eco-products are not harmful to the planet, so they can feel free to buy a crochet bag even though they already had the cup sleeve bag.

Designers spotted the demands brought about by plastic restriction, and designed various products according to different needs. However, everything goes back to the original intention of design: improving the quality of human life and promoting human well-beings, instead of pouring fish feed into the tank. Also, consumers should be smart fish; choosing wisely, instead of eating to their heart contents and being stuffed to death.

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