Hand­i­cap Inter­na­tion­al: the Christ­mas tree bag

Exhibited by
October 31, 2012
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Children, youth and family
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

It’s good to see an idea grow over years so that it raises tons of money for children who really need it.

Creator / originator

Optimus and Handicap International.

Summary / objectives

To make the Christmas tree bag an essential part of Christmas decorations and to convince supermarkets to not only sell it in their shops, but also to heavily promote it so that Handicap International’s share of the profit is as much as possible.


Christmas is a very busy time for seasonal appeals from charities and it can be difficult to find something that will stand out. Optimus and Handicap International thought of an idea that would get the charity noticed: the Christmas tree bag. This seasonal product could potentially be sold to over six million French homes that will have a Christmas tree.

Special characteristics

This is a very simple, attractive and practical concept. First the bag is used as an ornament for the bottom of the tree while also protecting the floor from the tree’s needles. Finally, it can then be used to wrap the tree after Christmas before throwing it away. It took a lot of determination to convince supermarkets to not only sell the bag in their shops, but also to promote it vigorously, which was challenging as supermarkets tend to have plenty of products to promote at Christmas. Above all, it was critical to make the bag appealing to the French audience and position it as a standard Christmas purchase. Furthermore, the packaging had to make it clear that this purchase would also benefit the children Handicap International supports. In 2012, €1.30 (approximately £1, $1.68) will go to Handicap International for every bag sold at €5 (approximately £4, $6.47).

Influence / impact

When Optimus introduced various promotions and communications sales of the bags increased from 98,000 in 1995 to 200,000 in 1996. Now, Handicap International sells about 530,000 bags every year, generating over €700,000 (approximately £550,000, $906,000) in revenue. In addition, the bag has become a classic Christmas purchase in France.