Behind the Brand (PDF)

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					                                         Behind the Brand
        This creative workshop gets students to critically analyse the difference between the
        image of clothing companies that is portrayed in advertising and the real working
        conditions for cotton farmers and factory workers who make the clothes. Students will
        look at advertising and short films and create their own versions of clothing adverts that
        show the realities of the clothing industry.

     Student Level: 1 -
     Number of students: 5-25
     Time required: 1 hr plus (depending on time)
     Equipment: Audio/Visual, computer with internet access and access to video streaming sites (e.g.
     youtube), large plain paper, large coloured paper and coloured pens other creative stationery as
     required (e.g. magazines and newspapers), blu-tak, scissors, glue etc.
     Resources: Word Cards, Picture Cards, video clips

         Encourage students to critically analyse fashion adverts and marketing
         Explore the experiences of cotton pickers in developing countries and break down barriers
          between them and the students.
         Design and create adverts promoting the use of Fairtrade cotton in the garment industry.

     Links to:
     Media and Communications, Geography, English, Art and Graphics, Fashion and Textiles,
     Business Studies, Citizenship

     Skills developed:
     Design, communication skills, critical thinking

                              Step-by-step                                 Resources (see end           Time
                                                                              of document)
    1. Outline the session                                                                           2 mins
Briefly introduce the session – the session looks at the way in which
advertising and marketing creates an image for a brand and compares
the image with the reality for the people in poorer countries who work
producing goods for big brands like Nike and Adidas. We will look at
different marketing techniques and then make our own versions of the

   2. Fashion advert analysis                                              -Nike runner video        5 mins
   Show students two fashion adverts.
   Ask students to shout words that they think describe the brand in      -Adidas Originals
      the advert. There are some word cards in the resources to help       House Party video
      with this. Write the words up on a flip chart or white board.
                                                                           -Word cards

   3. Lifestyles of people in the supply chain.
    Explain to the class that Marketing and Advertising people who     Videos:
      work for the companies are responsible for creating this image of - People & Planet –          10 minutes
      the company. However there are other people who work in the          „What is the supply
      fashion industry supply chain. Show the video “What is the           chain?” Video
      Fashion Supply chain?”
     Explain that now you are now going to look at other people who       -Radiohead “All I
      work for the company in the „supply chain‟.                          Need”
     Before you show the film about subsidies, you may need to
      explain the terms “subsidy” and “living wage” (see glossary for      -Mali - Cotton
      information).                                                        Subsidies
     Play some of the videos about the lives of the people in the
      supply chain.
      Factory worker= Radiohead “All I need”
      Cotton Farmers=US subsidies and the affect on farmers in Mali

    To encourage students to think more critically about the supply
    chain, show the video news report we‟ve labelled “alternative
    view on sweatshops” and ask students to compare it the Blood
    Sweat and T shirts video. Which view do they sympathise with?
    What do they think about sweatshops?

4. Modify brand word association
 Ask the students what they thought of the videos, how did they                                     8 minutes
   feel when they watched them? Did it make them think about their
   own lives?
 Ask the students why they think certain differences exist between
   them and the people in the videos. Is it fair that such differences
 Refer back to the list of words from the beginning of the session.
   These words represent want the image the companies want you
   to have of them. After seeing the videos, do the students think
   these words describe the fashion industry accurately?
 Ask students to discuss which words should be kept and which
   removed from the list. Ask students if there are any words they
   would like to add to the list.

5. Alternatives to unfair supply chains                                    Fairtrade logo picture   5 minutes
 Explain that, as customers, the students have the power to
   change the supply chain. One thing they can do is swap high             Videos:
   street shopping for ethical fashion alternatives for example buying     -Fairtrade Cotton:
   second-hand or swapping old clothes at swapping parties, buying         Lisa Butcher
   organic cotton and customising or making your own clothes.
 Show students the Fairtrade logo and ask where they have seen            -Katherine Hemnet
   it before. If they don‟t say it, point out that you can get Fairtrade
   cotton clothing.
 Show the Fairtrade Cotton video and ask students to look out for
   the benefits of Fairtrade.
Tip: It might be useful to list the 5 „P‟s of Fairtrade, these are:
Price – farmers get a fair price
Premium – extra money is given to spend on things like schools,
hospitals, sanitation for their local community
Power – the workers have more rights under Fairtrade
People – every FT product can be traced to the producer
Planet – the farmers don‟t use pesticides which are bad for health
and the environment

  6.Subvertising                                                        - Examples of         5 minutes
   Explain to students that some artists and campaigners use a tool      subvertising (see
     call 'subvertising' to expose the realities behind the brand, the    resources)
     things that clothing and shoe companies don't want people to
     know. Subvertising is when an existing, well known image such
     as a logo is changed to that it represents these things (see
     glossary and resources for more information).
   Show the class the examples of subvertised adverts and logos
     and ask them to say what they think is going on in the image. Ask
     questions such as 'what is this image trying to show?'; 'what does
     it make you feel?'

  7. Brainstorm                                                                               5 minutes
   Using the new list of words, ask students to use subvertising to
     re-design a fashion poster advert and to create their own version
     – which shows a different side to the brand and/or promotes
     ethical fashion.
   Explain that students need to think about the way they put their
     message across – is it clear what they are saying? What imagery
     will they use? Who is the audience? Is it obvious which brand
     they are subvertising? Get the students to brainstorm this before
     starting on their design.
8. Advert Redesign
 Provide coloured paper, coloured pens and other creative                                 20 minutes +
   materials such as magazines, newspapers, glue and scissors (for
   creating collages). Students can make their adverts in pairs,
   groups, or by themselves.
 After students have designed their own subvertised adverts, ask
   them to show their work to the rest of the class. Depending on
   how confident students feel, and how much time you have, you         -
   can either ask each person/group to present their work to the rest
   of the group, or stick the images up around the room and ask
   students to walk round and look at the images.

 What next?
 After this session, students may wish to do something about the issues discussed. People &
 Planet‟s Wear Fair campaign ( enables young people to work as part
 of a group to campaign for Fairtrade clothing to be sold within their own school or college.
 We can provide interactive workshops that engage and empower young people to take action for
 positive change on Fairtrade clothing or climate change within their school or college. Why not
 book us to deliver a series of workshops?
 Find out more at
Living wage – is the ideal amount of money that workers should be paid in order to afford housing,
food, healthcare and other basic lie necessities. This amount varies from country to country and
depends on the cost of these necessities.
Subsidy – an amount of money given to support a business or industry (e.g. The farming industry).
For example: in the video about Mali, Andrew Mitchell MP is talking about the subsidy The United
States Government gives to cotton farmers in America so that they can charge low prices for their
cotton. Low prices mean that they will sell more cotton than cotton farmers in other countries and
their business will keep making money. As the film shows,
Subvertising – the word “subvertising” combines the words „advertising‟ and „subvert‟. To subvert
something means to change it‟s original meaning. In subvertising people use advertising slogans
and change the wording slightly to give a different message that reveals something negative about
the company or brand

Fashion adverts:
Nike runner:
Adidas Originals House Party:

Lives of people in the supply chain:
People & Planet “What is the supply chain?”
Radiohead: All I Need:
Alternative view on Sweatshops:
Andrew Mitchell MP on how US cotton subsidies are affecting farmers in Mali -

Ethical fashion:
There are several clips about ethical fashion on this website. The first one called “Green is the New
Black” gives a good overview of the different ethical fashion alternatives from 2 mins 40 in:
Model Lisa Butcher on Fairtrade Cotton:
Word Cards

Middle Aged     Mis-fit        Active        Bubbly

Young           Trendy         Sporty        Kind

Men             Cool           Energetic     Generous

Old Fashioned   Cutting Edge   Fit           Supportive

Women           Beautiful      Healthy       Urban

Friendly        Sexy           Strong        Street

Loving          Creative       Powerful      Exciting

Wild            Kooky          Adventurous   Wealthy
Fairtrade Logo:
Examples of subvertising: