Woolmark puts oil in your face in new wool campaign + VIDEO

Sheep Central, September 5, 2022

A BOLD video of models seemingly emerging from an oil-filled swimming pool is fronting a campaign to encourage consumers to ‘Wear Wool, Not Fossil Fuel.’

The campaign devised by AWI’s marketing arm — The Woolmark Company – has been launched to highlight wool’s environmental credentials and differences to synthetic fibre clothing.

AWI chief executive officer John Roberts said the campaign has a simple but powerful message.

“It aims to show people the hidden impact of synthetic fibres on the environment and how choosing natural fibres such as wool can be a solution to reducing fashion’s impact.”

He said the campaign featured a series of powerful visual messages that highlighted the link between fabrics made from synthetic fibres and the crude oil used in its manufacture.

Initial media scheduled in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and France during September.

Research conducted by The Woolmark Company has shown that while more than one third of global consumers say they are willing to pay more for sustainability, fibre consideration does not feature in the purchase journey at all.1

Furthermore, the research highlighted that consumers are not making the link between synthetic fibres and fossil fuels.

The campaign centres around a 60-second film showing people struggling to escape an oil-filled swimming pool, based on an estimation that every 25 minutes, an Olympic pool’s worth of crude oil is used to produce synthetic clothing, amounting to almost 350 million barrels a year.

The film is accompanied by visually immersive and striking anamorphic digital imagery at iconic sites in London’s Piccadilly Circus and New York’s Times Square.

Mr. Roberts said consumers should know that the natural, biodegradable and recyclable qualities of wool stand in sharp contrast to the properties of synthetics.

“It is predicted that in just ten years’ time, 73 percent of the entire clothing market will be made from synthetic fibres, which are derived directly from fossil fuels.

“The impact these clothes have during the use and end of life stages of their lifetime cannot be underestimated,” he said.

“In fact, it’s been said that the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles’ worth of microfibers enter wastewater every year just from washing.

“Science shows that wool fibres biodegrade in both land and marine environments, so we know that Merino wool does not contribute to microplastic pollution,” Mr Roberts said.

He said studies also show that wool clothes are among the oldest in wardrobes, with high levels of reuse and donation, along with high levels of recycling and commercially viable end-of-life pathways.

“These factors alone indicate why choosing clothes made from natural fibres, such as Merino wool, are so important in transitioning to a circular, slow fashion model.”

20something created timely and important message

AWI worked with creative agency, 20something, to develop the campaign.

20something’s strategy partner Frances Docx said the campaign message is timely and important.

“Back in 1980, our wardrobes were filled with natural materials like cotton, wool and cashmere.

“These natural fibres made up 60pc of the market, far outstripping the relatively new polyester and polyamide alternatives,” she said.

“The rise of fast fashion, Instagram outfit culture and turbocharged consumerism has seen a wholesale shift in what lurks in our wardrobes.

“We rarely make a wider ecological connection between clothes, the fibres they’re made of, and the impact on the planet,” Ms Docx said.

“Our ambition for our work with The Woolmark Company is to address that and raise awareness of the alternatives to synthetic fabrics.”


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  1. Duncan Banks, September 7, 2022

    Congratulations to AWI and 20Something. This is getting the right message across. Keep it going.
    I think we should also go after the cotton industry as well for selling cotton wool. It is an oxymoron. Maybe a social media campaign against that one.

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