A nationwide appeal for home-made face coverings

The Big Community Sew

Love Productions / Patrick Grant

Right from the outset of the Coronavirus crisis, Britain’s sewing community leapt into action, initially providing non-medical scrubs, scrub bags and face coverings for health and social care workers. In May, when government advice was updated to include the recommendation to wear face coverings in public spaces where social distancing was difficult, a new campaign was launched to target this community – with Social’s help.

The idea

Patrick Grant, the fashion designer best known for his role as a judge on The Great British Sewing Bee, launched the Big Community Sew campaign to encourage the nation’s six million sewing machine owners to produce hand-made face coverings for their friends, family and neighbours.

Backed by Public Health England, the campaign went from conception to launch in a matter of days, and required Social’s support with communications across digital channels and the wider media, with the initial announcement made to four million viewers on the 12th May edition of BBC1’s The One Show.

What we delivered

We mobilised quickly to deliver an engaging campaign website and social media profiles. The website needed to serve as a central information hub for sewers looking to get involved – providing downloadable how-to instructions as well as videos from experts, links to local community sewing groups, and government health advice.

Our design team worked with Patrick and his team to craft a stylish brand, colour palette and font choices to work across the website and social media.

Social media was vital in spreading the message of the campaign far and wide, and encouraging anyone and everyone with a sewing machine to rally to the cause. We identified Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as the key channels for engagement and produced an ongoing calendar of content including animated graphics and videos.

In July 2020, the campaign also gained the support of John Lewis & Partners:

By this point, over 250,000 people had visited the campaign website, and almost 100 volunteer sewing groups had signed up.

It’s been great working with Social. They responded quickly and immediately understood what we were trying to achieve. Their creative skills added real value and helped us get off to a flying start.
Patrick Grant