David Blecken
Sep 5, 2018

Merino Wool producers agitate for escape from synthetic dystopia

Evoking films like Brazil and Blade Runner, a well-crafted new campaign makes a case for the natural fabric.

A film for The Woolmark Company by TBWA Sydney criticises the proliferation of synthetic materials, suggesting that the clothes and indeed the world we live in have become unnatural.

The work aims to raise awareness of the performance benefits of Australian Merino wool by showcasing its use in sports and athleisure wear. It is directed at consumers in Shanghai, Tokyo, New York and San Francisco, and is based on the idea that young consumers want high performance fabrics that are also natural.

The film documents a woman’s escape from a dystopian, artificial environment complete with synthetic sheep to one that is pure and smog-free, with real, thick-coated, white rams.

According to a statement from TBWA, 90% of the world’s wool apparel comes from Australia.

Campaign’s view: The message, and the high production values of the film, are difficult to argue with. It’s a striking, simple piece of content that gets the message across in a way that anyone can understand.

It would make sense for more clothing/textile brands to start to distinguish themselves by talking about their natural/eco-friendly credentials—as long as they’re genuine. In the end, surely everyone would prefer natural, high quality fabrics. As with other eco-oriented products though, there can be a gap between desire and action. The simple question is whether the average synthetic athleisure consumer sees a big enough reason to step up and hand over more money.

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