The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. According to experts, it is responsible for 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions and sits as the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply, also polluting the oceans with microplastics. Yet, it’s still possible to lower these worrying numbers: Through recycling, the need to produce more and more textiles could be greatly reduced.

One vital question arises: Are people ready to give up on the comfort of buying new clothes on a regular basis? By looking at the statistics, we should abandon buying new garments and, why not, replace them with second-hand items. In fact, given the fact that we spend a lot of money on presents in the form of fashionables during Christmas for our loved ones, not hoarding clothes should be one of our new year’s resolutions. Deep down, most of us know that it will be hard to keep this tiny promise to ourselves and, most importantly, to the environment. Or won’t it?

Now, even if you can’t keep yourself from buying new clothes, Tradera — the Swedish equivalent of eBay — has come up with a solution for you, the stubborn ones! Together with creative agency NORD DDB, the company tricked Google’s search algorithm and unwillingly exposed internet users to facts about the unsustainable aspect of the fashion industry, whilst also offering climate-friendly alternatives in the form of pre-owned clothing.

The campaign comes as a response to buyers’ habits of shopping online for Christmas gifts. During the festive period, when users visited Google and searched for a type of clothing, the popular engine came up with rather unusual results. It featured blurred images with the desired piece, while also featuring clear illustrations accompanied by facts, such as “the fashion industry is responsible for 8% of the global emissions” or “20% of the world’s water pollution.” These eye-opening messages were hidden in various replicas of the fashion products that are in-demand the most right now.

“Tradera has been pushing circular consumption for 20 years, but the topic has never been more relevant than today. In a time when new gadgets and clothes are becoming both cheaper and more accessible, our part in promoting a sustainable way of shopping is more important than ever. By using Google’s algorithm, we want to affect consumers when they are in the mood for shopping, and give them both an eye-opener and remind them about sustainable alternatives,” uncovers Chantal Olsson, Brand Manager at Tradera.

In the end, Tradera’s plea is quite clear: Take back control of your clothing expenses and think twice before buying a new garment. It might affect the environment more than you can think of…


Client: Tradera

Agency: NORD DDB