In Brazil, slavery is still very much a reality and the fashion industry is one of its main players. To protect the advocation for workforce law – Article 149* – and to promote the topic’s debate in an election year, H+K Brazil developed the #SomosLivres campaign for Brazil’s Ministry of Public Labor. Using fashion as a platform, the government raised awareness and invited its population to defend the concept of the law. Assuming a fake brand name @artigo149, we produced branded t-shirts in partnership with a local foundation that works to guarantee the workforce dignity. Through this t-shirt initiative, we created a dialogue that shed light on the difficult and greatly neglected subject. In addition to the t-shirt collection, an event involving leading fashion journalists and trendsetters in Brazil was held during SPFW (Sao Paulo Fashion Week) to discuss the topic. These combined efforts encouraged people to visit the campaign’s website and issue a letter of commitment to state and federal government candidate.

Article 149* (Artigo 149) is the law that determines the concept of work versus slavery in Brazil. There are four kinds of conditions: exhaustive working hours, debt bondage, degrading conditions and forced labor. Since 1995, the Brazilian state has rescued more than 53K workers under these conditions. And some agents of political power, defending industry interests, seek to alter the law, leaving the neediest workers unprotected.


  • In less than 45 days, the campaign generated more than 140,000 mentions on “slave labor,” a 216% increase from the previous period, demonstrating the campaign’s direct influence on behavior.
  • We reached users interested in fashion and labor rights professionals, registering more than 270 publications with the hashtag #NãoSomosEscravosdaModa.
  • Several influencers participated in the campaign, among them Rodrigo Faro, Hugo Gloss and Giovanna Lancellotti. From their three posts alone, almost 200,000 likes were generated.
  • The website for the campaign received more than 3,600 visits and more than 500 letters were sent to candidates’ inboxes via a tool on the site.
  • The campaign used traditional print media, earning placements in the country’s largest newspapers. Among them were O Globo, Correio Braziliense, Folha de S. Paulo, Estadão and Valor Econômico; together, these five newspapers’ circulation is over 840,000. There were two inserts included in each one, so our ads reached nearly 2 million copies.
  • For digital media, we appeared in the largest communication channels (6) as well as fashion (7). Together these channels have more than 15 million unique visitors.
  • The Ministério Público do Trabalho (MPT) posted the video on Facebook, sparking a great conversation that featured more than 600 comments.
  • With the performance campaign, we invested just over R$6,000.00, generating nearly 6 million impressions across Facebook and Instagram.