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GapKids Amplifies the Voices of Youth Activists in New Campaign

GapKids is tapping into youth’s social consciousness with a new denim-centric campaign that spotlights activists as young as 13 years old.

In honor of International Youth Day on Aug. 12, the brand announced its “Be the Future” initiative that centers on young activists transforming their communities and beyond. As part of the campaign, graphic street artist Tristan Eaton used denim as a canvas to create layered images of each activist alongside their name and title.

The brand also released a promotional video showcasing GapKids’ Fall 2020 collection, which highlights its sustainable denim that uses minimal water and generates less waste.

The for-youth, by-youth initiative is led by activists Jerome Foster, an 18-year-old climate activist who founded activist organization OneMillionOfUs; Alexandria Villaseñor, the 15-year-old climate activist behind climate change network Earth Uprising International; Mari Copeny, a 13-year-old youth activist from Flint, M.I. with aspirations to become president; and Levi Draheim, a 13-year-old climate activist and the youngest individual suing U.S. president Donald Trump over his climate policies.

“Kids help unite us, fuel us and lead the way forward,” said Mark Breitbard, global head of Gap Brand. “Changemakers like Jerome, Alexandria, Mari and Levi are bold leaders who prove that everyone has the ability to ‘be the future.’”

To promote the campaign, GapKids called on Instagram followers to share signs that include “#BeTheFutureThatWill___” and to finish the sentence however they wish.

With this campaign, Gap joins other fashion brands becoming more politically vocal. The brand announced a partnership with nonprofit organizations When We All Vote and Rock the Vote to promote voter registration, just as heritage denim brand Levi’s launched a similar campaign.

To coincide with its new partnership, Gap designed face masks with the words “Vote” and “Be the Future” prominently displayed, available now in stores and online.

“When We All Vote is on a mission to increase participation in every election, change the culture around voting and close the voting age and race gap,” said Crystal Carson, vice president of culture, communications and media partnerships at When We All Vote. “This partnership with Gap and GapKids—particularly this strong group of young activists—is the perfect platform to help reach new voices and the next generation of voters.”