Wear Wool, Not Fossil Fuel

  • Elliott Starr (he/ him)
69% of the clothes we buy are made from synthetic fabrics like Polyester. In less than 8 years, this number will rise to almost 80%. With each wash, synthetics flood our waterways with harmful microplastics. The result? 35% of ocean microplastics are directly linked to synthetic clothing. These garments, which are often part of the fast fashion cycle, soon end up in landfill. Here, they spend up to 200 years leaking thousand of toxins into our soil.

These sad realities might be on the radars of the fashion-conscious. But most don't know that synthetic fabrics also come from fossil fuels. We're literally wearing oil - it's a planetary quadruple whammy. Our brief was to make this unfortunate truth real for people.

The campaign performed so well in the first 24 hours the client extended media to 5 new markets. The film was seen over 40 million times in the first month alone. Meanwhile, the broader campaign reached over 193 million people, receiving coverage from just shy of 200 media outlets. It also received the best comment I've ever had on my work. What's more, post-campaign research revealed the work to be some of the strongest ever measured, in all major markets.

Assorted global coverage: Campaign, Campaign Private View, Lurzer's Archive, The Drum, The Drum - Ad of the Week, Shots, Design Boom, ShootOnline, Forbes, Creative Review, Adweek, PR Week, Little Black Book, Best Ads on TV, Ad Forum. Ads of the World, Ads of brands, David Reviews, Mediashotz, ABC Australia, Australian Tribune, The Industry, Stash Media, MediaPost, Roastbrief, Famous Campaigns, The Stable, Design Taxi, Fashion Network, Fashion United, Surface, B&T, Disegno, OOHToday, Style, Business of Fashion

Years later, the work was still being covered. The work received 5 nominations at the British Arrows, gold at the Shorty Awards, silver at the 1.4 Awards, silver at the Kinsale Shark Awards, silver at the Effie Awards, and a nomination at the Visionary Arts Awards. It picked up some craft awards at Creative Circle and Ciclope Festival, too. Working on the project also led me to write this op-ed piece for Shots


ECD: Will Thacker
Strategy: Frances Docx
3Dsomething Design Director: Samuel Guillotel
Design: Rory Stiff, Casey Highfield
Collaboration: Studio Birthplace
Production: Park Village
Photography: Dirk Rees
The campaign picked up multiple Ad[s] of the Day/ Week. Here's a few:
Two dedicated 'how they did it's in Little Black Book (01, 02) and a Behind The Scenes film:
Anamorphic DOOH turned the screens at Piccadilly Circus and Times Square into giant swimming pools, filled with oil. It won Best International Strategy at the Campaign Media Awards, and even had its own feature in The Drum.
A partnership with WeTransfer brought the reality of synthetic clothing's oil consumption to life for people transferring files
Out of home:
Further Campaign Imagery:
Website landing page:


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    The Woolmark Company

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    Park Village

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    Studio Birthplace