Smaller high tech gizmos lighten ladies' handbags
Friday 15 January 2010
Technological advances have led to a sharp fall in the weight of women's handbags, research from British department store chain Debenhams has revealed.
Women's handbags now weigh an average of 1.5 kg, 57 per cent less than the average of two years ago, Debenhams said in an emailed statement yesterday.
A new generation of smaller, lighter multi-purpose gadgets such as Apple's iPhone and Research in Motion's Blackberry have replaced heavy laptops, old fashioned mobile phones, music players and paper organizers.
Debenhams Handbag Buyer Sue Tebbitts said that two years ago, women were carrying around 3.3 kg, the equivalent of three and a half bags of sugar, everywhere they went.
"Finally the burden placed upon working women is falling - and it's all thanks to technology," Tebbitts said.
Debenhams said it conducted research on handbags annually and that its study team asked 7,000 women to detail the contents of their bags and how much each thing weighed.
Results over the last 15 years have revealed the gadgets which have had the most impact on women's shoulders.
The mid-1990s saw the popularization of the mobile phone which added an extra 247 grams to Britain's handbags and taking the overall weight to an average of 1.4 kg. The introduction of the Apple iPod increased this further to 1.6 kg in the 2000s.
Weight continued to rise as more and more women began to carry laptop computers in their handbags, peaking at a back-breaking 3.5 kg in 2006 and 2007 when laptop sales were also at their highest.
During this peak, mobile phones, hand-held devices, chargers and MP3 music players joined laptop computers as items commonly found in women's handbags.
Since then the introduction of devices like iPhones and Blackberries has slowly brought the average weight of handbags down to the lowest it's been for seven years, with the trend for 2010 being smaller handbags, Debenhams said.
Despite technological advances, the greatest percentage of weight is still taken up by old handbag favorites such as make-up, mirror, purse, tissues, perfumes, brushes, toothpaste, receipts, address books and headache pills.
"No matter what advances in technology come our way, a woman's handbag will always have that 'Mary Poppins' reputation because women pack a bag ready for anything," Tebbitts said.
Acting editor and fashion director for online fashion and beauty website Handbag.com Belinda White told Reuters in an email that the trend for giant handbags peaked 2007/2008.
She said women have realized that convenient as it was to have a stylish bag that was big enough to literally carry your life in, it wasn't so great for your back.
"I've long believed that the bigger the bag, the more rubbish you carry around and often try to bring more of an evening bag to work and be strict with myself," White said.
"Of course the iPhone helps - no need for an A-Z, camera, diary, phone book - plus even my iPod is a tenth of the size it was 3 years ago."
Life & Style blogs
Britain's kitchens so filthy that they present a health risk, says new research
Surgeon backs 'good death' plans - and reveals his own
NHS hit by stealth cuts of £2bn as tariffs received for medical procedures are reduced
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...
£40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: European Recrui...