'Slave-made' sneakers feature in this unboxing video to highlight modern sweatshop culture

Influencer Jacques Slade stars in YouTube film for the Thomson Reuters Foundation

Published On
May 16, 2018

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Tapping into the popularity of "unboxing" videos, YouTube influencer Jacques Slade unwraps a pair of "slave-made" trainers in an eye-opening video by The Thomson Reuters Foundation that highlights modern-day sweatshop culture.

In the ten-minute film, which was created pro bono by TBWA/Chiat/Day New York, Slade--who is known for his sneaker videos viewed by over 1.5 million people--opens the custom-made pair of trainers on camera for the first time.

At first glance, the shoes, created in collaboration with L.A. shoe designer The Shoe Surgeon, look cool, with off-white mid-tops and zig-zag stitching. But a closer look reveals hidden facts about slavery and forced labour. The price tag on the shoe, for example, doesn't display the price, but the price of a slave today ($90). The tongue tag displays, "40M'" like a logo, but on the back, there is an explanation that there are 40 million slaves today. The insoles include pictures of sweatshop conditions.

The initiative aims to raise awareness of the hidden costs of products among young people, and it seems it's succeeding -- so far, the video has been viewed over 61,000 times on YouTube. See the case study on how the campaign was made here.

"This is a very exciting initiative for the Foundation, to shed light on this monstrous crime," says Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, in a statement. "Jacques Slade has spread a critical message at a pace and scale that is breathtaking. How many people today are questioning the human price of the shoes they wear? We hope this film will encourage hundreds of thousands more to do so."


May 16, 2018
Brand :
Thomson Reuters
Agency :
TBWA/Chiat/Day-New York
Global Chief Creative Officer :
Chris Garbutt
Chief Creative Officer :
Chris Beresford-Hill
Executive Creative Director :
Walt Connelly
Head of Design :
Chris Rowson
Art Director :
Alexander Holm
Copywriter :
Avi Steinbach
Designer :
John Smith
Planning Director :
Jonathan Deeves
Strategist :
Tara Goutermout
Content Director :
Anastasia Garcia
Chief Executive Officer :
Rob Schwartz
Group Account Director :
Kristoffer Aldorsson
Account Manager :
Darren Mitchell
Head of Integrated Production :
John Doris
Head of Business Affairs :
Theresa Maranzano
Business Affairs Manager :
Kiersten Bergstrom
Senior Producer :
Steven Kreuch
Producer :
Von Harris
Associate Producer :
Olivia Whyte
Editor :
K.S. Shanti
Assistant Editor :
Craig Helfer
Product Photography and Videography :
K.S. Shanti
PR Director :
Jenna Hollmeyer
Photographer :
Claudio Montesano Casillas
Music :
Elias Arts
Packaging :
Unboxing :
Jacques Slade

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