'Fashion's Dirty Little Secret' Is Exposed in Stylish but Damning Ad

Calling out a shockingly polluting industry

"Fashion's Dirty Little Secret" tackles a less-than-scintillating subject: the pollution caused by discarded plastic clothes hangers. 

Yet the short film sustains interest through unexpectedly compelling visuals, including shots of Dutch model Nimue Smit seemingly "thrown away" in a landfill, atop a mountain of hangers that match her smart black outfit: 

Fashion's Dirty Little Secret

Smit, a member of the ecologically woke Model Mafia community, wears sustainable fashions from designer Ronald Van Der Kemp in the minute-long spot, which launched last Friday during London Fashion Week. Ridley Scott Creative Group handled development and production for Arch & Hook, which manufactures Blue, a hanger sourced entirely from recycled plastic. 

Director John Filipe says he strove to present compelling images—peep those apocalyptically submerged Big Bens!—to enliven "a very informative, almost technical script." Ultimately, "the mix of these two aspects resulted in a visually intriguing piece with a courageous, sarcastic tone unusual in awareness campaigns," he says. 

When garments are shipped from factories to retail establishments, the cheap plastic hangers used in transit are often tossed in favor of upscale, store- and boutique-branded ones. Those cheap hangers—billions of them each year—wind up in landfills or the world's oceans, along with tons of other plastic refuse, which can take centuries to degrade. (This livestream from the World Wildlife Fund drives home the point, people!) Blue helps alleviate the problem by actually removing plastic from rivers, stopping ocean pollution at its source.

For the film, "we could not hop on the 'marine plastic' bandwagon and make a video that would show plastic soup, or damaged hangers in bins, as there are already many other videos out there like these," says Arch & Hook co-founder and creative director Anne Bas. "The film needed to stand out, be beautiful, especially if we wanted people to listen or even watch it twice."

Arch & Hook hopes the clip will inspire folks to sign the company's online petition, encouraging designers to go green by going Blue when ordering hangers in bulk quantities.

"Launching our 'Garment On Hanger' awareness campaign during London Fashion Week inspired us to make it almost like a fashion ad," Bas says. "The video is beautiful, to appeal to the fashion industry, yet it reveals shocking information. This way we hope it has the impact it deserves."

CREDITS

Fashion’s Dirty Little Secret – Arch & Hook
Film Production RSA Films, Ridley Scott Creative Group

Executive Producer/Managing Director: Ross Plummer
Written by Anne Bas, John Filipe
Director: John Filipe
Producer: Pavel Ananich
Director of Photography: Maxime Desmet
Production Design & Art Direction: Dayléne Kroon, Desireé Brands
Styling: Jeroen Kamphorst
Makeup: Yvonne Nusdorfer
1st AD: Damien Hope
Gaffer: Joris Hetsen
Grip: Bjorn Schumacher
Pyrotechnics: Pyro4
Production Assistants: Simon Schellevis, Carlota Ganduxe, Zoé van Horenzeggen

Talent
Actress: Nimue Smit
Voiceover Artist: Katty Heath
Dress Designer: Ronald van der Kemp

Edit
Editor: Rigel Kilston – Splash Studios

Music & Audio Post
Composer: Jesse Koolhaas
Sound Designer: Jesse Koolhaas
Audio Post Company: Mystic Brew

Post Production
Flame: Pablo Navarro
3D Artists: Robbert Lubken, Mick Krikken
2D Artist: Guido van Rijbroek
Colorist: Didier le Fouest, Kevin Kimman
Managing Director: Marc Kubbinga
Post Company: Hectic Electric

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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