Caroline Gardner designs eco-friendly shopping bags in aid of Meningitis Now

Supermarket chain Waitrose & Partners and Jutexpo – the supplier of eco-friendly reusable bags – have joined forces with designer Caroline Gardner to produce a range of shopping bags in aid of UK charity Meningitis Now.

The large shopping bags are made from a blend of jute and cotton known as juco and come in two designs: a heart print, reimagined as a hand-drawn outline in charcoal and cream; and a multi-coloured classic heart print.

The range also includes foldaway pouch bags made entirely from recycled plastic bottles, produced using Jutexpo’s HALT process which turns post-consumer plastic into a soft, durable fabric called rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate). They are available in a multi-coloured heart design and an orange and pink graphic stripe.

The bags are available in Waitrose stores from early August, priced at £4 for the pouch bags and £6 for the large juco bags, with 40p from the sale of each pouch bag and 50p from the sale of each large juco bag being donated to Meningitis Now.

Caroline Gardner is best known as one of the UK’s leading stationery and gift designers and Meningitis Now is a cause very close to her heart. Founders Caroline and Angus Gardner chose the charity over 16 years ago, having had a personal experience with the illness when their then 15-month-old son contracted Meningococcal Septicemia. Thankfully he recovered and the family looked to help raise awareness through fund-raising on behalf of Meningitis Now. To date Caroline Gardner has also raised over £170,000 for the charity through the sale of Caroline Gardner Christmas cards.

Caroline said: “We’re thrilled to put our newest print on this juco shopper, along with an exclusive colourway of our signature heart print. Not only are the foldaway bags an essential handbag item but it’s fantastic that each bag is made from 3.5 recycled plastic bottles.”

Sam Turner, compliance director of Jutexpo, said: “We are delighted to be supplying the latest environmentally-friendly reusable bags, wonderfully-designed and raising money for such a good cause. Our HALT process has enabled us to create innovative bags that recycle post-consumer plastic bottles, adding purpose to what would otherwise have been discarded as uncontrolled waste.”

Tom Nutt, chief executive of Meningitis Now, said, “We’re thrilled that Caroline Gardner, Waitrose and Jutexpo are supporting us in this way. As a charity that receives no government funding, we rely entirely on the generosity, energy and initiative of our supporters. By buying these bags, Waitrose customers will be helping to raise the vital funds needed to fight back against meningitis.”

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