…the hashtag behind the campaign that is all about reclaiming labels in the most positive way possible; by smashing apart the social constructs that work to restrict the creative community. This was the key message sent to the Whalar creative influencers for River Island’s latest campaign.
The essence of social media is distilled in its diversity; it provides a voice to anyone who wishes to project their individuality. This ideology marries beautifully with this campaign as, not only does it place the power directly in the creative voice, it is irrevocably attached to its charitable core.
By utilising the marketing magnitude of River Island’s 30th Birthday, the campaign provides an ideal occasion to raise the profile of their partnered charity, ‘Ditch the Label’. This is performed, not only through beautiful content, but also via direct financial aid. The charity, which focuses on anti-bullying programmes, receives £3 for every T-shirt sold. Furthermore, by capitalising on the creative power of influencer marketing, for every piece of content shared on Instagram with the hashtag #LabelsAreForClothes and @riverisland, a further £1 will be donated to the charity. Seamlessly, with the help of Whalar, River Island are broadening their audience and fuelling all of the amazing work ‘Ditch the Label’ accomplish – specifically, their research into the motivations behind objectified bullying, with a particular focus on younger communities.
Within a tight brief, each influencer was tasked with portraying the source of their individual empowerment. Once the #LabelsAreForClothes T-shirt were received, the influencer were given the freedom to write their own message - within the slogan ‘100% ............ ’ – as a celebration of their personal expression, and a resistance to the labels that seek to divide them. By liberating the influencer’s voice within the advertisement, they are able to convey the essential substance of their identity within an environment and tone of their choosing. This allows for each piece of content to represent a moment in which complete control over their creative voice is claimed; echoing the crucial message of social fluidity and embodying the vital ingredient of the campaign.
As reflected in @laetitiaky’s post, she showcased her amazing talent for hair sculpting to reinforce the importance of her message - ‘100% creative’. Additionally, her caption elaborated on her message in the context of the wider creative community;
“River Island says that they believe that labels are for clothes, not for people and i totally agree. We should all feel free to be totally ourselves without fear of labelling. So lets label our tee-shirt instead of us ❤. I love the idea behind these customisable t-shirts. And I am honored to participate in this campaign!”
Laetitia’s post evokes the concept that no one else is going to decide her identity, as well as showcasing her unparalleled talent, which makes everyone her of posts so beautifully individual. By demonstrating the unrestrictive nature of the campaign, it reinforces how the T-shirt only represents the source of inspiration for the creators, allowing the entirety of their content to remain attached to their individual creativity alone. This principle was directly relayed by @urbantraveller’s articulation of style, and her refusal to be categorised;
“If you want to dress punk one day, and girly the next, you shouldn't be afraid to do that because you've put yourself in the 'I'm girly' category. Fashion, to me, should be emotion based, and that should never be labelled.”
The influencers involved in the campaign took to the project with true enthusiasm, combined with a genuine desire for their content to stand out and inspire.
We loved @iconaccidental’s approach, which galvanised over 46,000 likes from across her fan-base. With regards to contradicting labels, she is probably one of our most influential creators. Lyn responded to the campaign with fearless enthusiasm, believing it truly alined with the identity of her own brand. She elaborated in her post, after describing herself - undisputedly we might add - as “100% Slaying”;
I’ve had an old, and made a new career, from disrupting labels 💥 Join me in the @riverisland campaign for inclusion: #LABELSAREFORCLOTHES. For every t-shirt purchased and campaign hashtag shared @riverisland will make a donation to @ditchthelabel
The source of this campaign is a relatable subject for the influencers. Not a single one would allow themselves to be subjected to a label. The success of this campaign is exhibited within the authenticity found in each influencer’s upload. With the content slotting seamlessly into each feed, as it represents so much of the power of diversity that is manifested within social media. This power resides within each voice, and its refusal to acknowledge labels, which directly parallels the message behind this collaboration.
While each piece of content is as aesthetically stunning as it is powerful in message, the continued investment in the individual power of visual influencer marketing directly subverts the schools of thought behind creative oppression. In the same vein as River Island’s fashion over the years, this campaign projects how no one should ever feel like they cannot be themselves, simply because someone else might not be able to understand the beautiful complexity of your identity.
Which is your favourite piece of content? And is there something you believe in ‘100%......’ that inspires your creative identity? Let us know in the comment section bellow or via our social channels.
Words by Will Rix
Images all produced using Whalar as part of the River Island #LabelsAreForClothes campaign