Since Crown Royal whisky was first created in 1939, Seagram’s has marketed it as an exclusive, high-class whisky. Not only has the bottle been designed to convey this, but each bottle has always come wrapped in a felted purple drawstring bag inside a box. The purple bag demonstrates packaging meant purely to sell. Without any practical function, the bag represents extreme packaging with little thought of environmental impact.
From the consumer perspective, the purple bag has no intended use beyond serving as a marker for personal identity. While most have been thrown away, some of the bags have had a rich afterlife. Many have been used for other, unintended storage needs, like marbles or toys; others have been made into quilts. One frequent Crown Royal drinker found a unique use for the bags; they were sewn together to make a smoking jacket.
Additional content in the Hagley Digital Archive: