Jigsaw has created a pro-immigration ad campaign in response to Brexit and ideas about so-called “British values” being lost through the movement of people between countries.
The fashion brand has been praised on social media for the “brave, clever and different” campaign that doesn’t shy away from politics.
Peter Ruis, Jigsaw’s CEO, explained the thinking behind the adverts, which highlight the fact that their Autumn/Winter 17 collection was sourced and manufactured in 16 countries, as well as being designed by staff hailing from 45 different nations.
“Fashion doesn’t operate in a bubble; it plays on a broader psyche,” he said.
“We could just talk about clothes, but with what is going on around us it seems hypocritical and superficial to not accept the debt we owe to immigration in its broadest sense.”
Ruis continued: “Be it people, cloth, the stone floors in our shops, the film to shoot our campaigns. We are all part of a vibrant, tolerant, global Britain. These are things we believe in as a brand.”
To support the campaign, the British brand has posted a manifesto on their website, which has also been shared on Twitter.
The manifesto speaks of the brand’s support of immigrants, stating they “need beautiful minds from around the world” to succeed as a business.
“Fear, isolation and intolerance will hold us back,” it states. “Love, openness and collaboration will take us forward.”
Speaking to HuffPost UK, Ruis explained that he believed it was important for brands to address issues in their advertising.
“Advertising can be a bit like wallpaper,” he said. “Maybe we [Jigsaw] have been guilty of that in the past, I’m not pretending that we haven’t. But it’s surreal to not be conscious of immigration.
“We knew it would be controversial, but why should it be when it’s something so positive?”
Jigsaw kitted out London’s Oxford Circus tube station with the campaign.
Approving commuters shared photos of the campaign on social media - and according to journalist Tara Mulholland, “people were taking pics of [the] text, not the clothes.”
Jigsaw also shared a video of the diverse models in their Autumn/Winter 2017 campaign.
Naturally, Twitter was all over it:
Jigsaw also teamed up with Ancestry.co.uk and invited staff to take DNA tests to support a separate campaign launching on October 13, details of which are yet to be announced.