Marks & Spencer has teamed up with store alumni and London-based artist Yinka Ilori to create its most stylish and durable carrier bag to date. The leading artist worked at M&S’ Moorgate store for eight years at the start of his design career. At his current London Design Museum exhibition – ‘Parables of Happiness’ – Ilori’s M&S name badge is proudly on display.
Now, Ilori has joined forces with M&S to transform carrier bags into a style must – the first launch of an ongoing collaboration.
Inspired by his memories of working at M&S and dreaming up designs on his route home through a local park, Ilori has created a new bold colourful artwork which he says pays tribute to the “dreamer inside all of us”. The design will appear on a new carrier bag – which is available in-store from this week and made from 100% recycled plastic – including plastic from M&S’ stores. It can hold up to 15kg and is also fully recyclable.
A second bag, featuring a second design, is set to launch later this year.
Yinka Ilori, Multi-disciplinary artist, said: “I have great memories of my time at M&S while trying to set up my own studio. To be starting a new partnership with such a British icon feels a bit like coming home! It was a time in my life where I was dreaming up a lot of designs and ideas and I wanted to use those memories as the basis for these new artworks – encouraging everyone to keep dreaming.
My artworks are all about evoking joy and optimism through bold colours – even a carrier bag can do that! If something makes you smile, you’ll want to keep using it again and again. Hopefully these colours and patterns will bring a bit of joy to people’s day and inspire them to keep dreaming and keep reusing them.
With any collaboration, longevity is hugely important to me. I want to create pieces that can be reused again and again and make the most of pre-loved materials so it’s great that this bag is made using plastic from M&S’ own stores.”
Sharry Cramond, M&S Food Director of Marketing, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be working with Yinka and welcome him back into the M&S family! I know our customers are absolutely loving the new design already – since the bag launched across our Foodhalls on Monday morning we’ve sold over 10,000. Not only is the new bag more colourful and more joyful – it’s also more durable!
We all need to reuse more and although 80% of our customers already bring their own bags when shopping with us, we know how easy it is to forget. For those that do, our new Yinka Ilori designed carrier bag offers a more durable, long-term option with a pattern you can’t miss, that everyone will want to be seen with. Keep your eyes peeled for the second bag later this year!”
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