The Butterfly Effect: Edun’s First Advertising Campaign

Does Edun’s far reaching ad campaign have the ability to change consumer mindsets?

Without the glossy ad campaigns typically employed by fashion houses, star-ethical line, Edun has managed to become the most well known and celebrity beloved conscious clothing collection out there (having Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson as the line’s founders doesn’t hurt). Posting double digit growth last year and announcing plans that both Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus will pick up the line, the fast-growing sustainable clothing label has just unveiled their first advertising campaign.

An advance look at the ads reveal Edun’s spring looks shown alongside six species of butterflies indigenous to Africa. According to a WWD interview with Hewson in Africa – where the brand reportedly produces much of its clothing and supports local farming communities and factories – she explains, “We really wanted to capture the essence of Edun, and of what inspires the brand, which is duality and transformation.”


Some of fashion’s hottest design talent was enlisted to create the campaign, Photographer Ryan McGinley was the visionary behind the engaging images, British Dazed and Confused Editor, Jefferson Hack, served as the on-shoot creative director.

Skeptics have pointed out that Edun’s partner company – luxury group LVMH bought a 49% stake in the company in May 2009  – utilizes far from sustainable practices. And a now infamous campaign featuring Bono with Hewson, parading through one of the poorest landscapes in the world carrying LVMH luxury bags, may not have not helped win over the critics either.

What is clearly persuasive is the reach of the label. With the campaign set to break in the March issues of Vogue, Vanity Fair, Dazed & Confused, AnOther, T The New York Times Magazine and the Sunday Times of London, its ability to change mindsets is far-reaching. Also included as part of the campaign, is a launch event set to take place during New York Fashion Week and short “blink videos” that will appear on Edun.com and via social media outlets. The message that “eco-friendly” and “socially-aware” are desirable clothing attributes is about to get some wings.

Rowena Ritchie

Rowena is EcoSalon’s West Coast Fashion Editor and currently resides in San Francisco, CA.