Toilet paper company Who Gives a Crap has released a limited edition re-illustrated version of the children's classic Winnie-The-Pooh. The Deforested Edition tells the original tale of a Pooh and his pals with new reworked illustrations, reflecting the sombre reality of deforestation caused, in part, by toilet paper manufacturing.
Known for its bright packaging and playful advertising, the brand's latest campaign is a more grounded take on the company's sustainable ethos, creating a sense of nostalgia that intends to spark a movement towards eco-conscious change. (If you're after more art inspiration, check out our collection of illustration books that every artist should read).
While the campaign holds a sobering message, the new illustrations maintain the charm of A. A. Milne's classic, adhering to the wistful illustrative style of the original. It's this fact that perhaps makes the campaign so heartfelt, as the innocence we associate with the original tales is jarringly out of place against the visual destruction of deforestation.
"Winnie-The-Pooh’s eternal positivity made him a great fit. And, his famous home of The Hundred Acre Wood is not only a huge part of what makes these A. A. Milne stories so special, but is home to trees and animals which sit at the heart of the issue of deforestation," says co-founder and CPO of Who Gives a Crap, Danny Alexander.
"Redrawing these illustrations felt like a great vehicle for our message, providing the perfect backdrop for us all to consider the small changes we can make for the benefit of our environment."
When asked about the process behind the campaign, Alexander shared a study commissioned by the company that revealed "over 1m trees are cut down globally, to provide the world with loo paper, every single day" – a staggering amount that has remained fairly under the radar for general consumers, revealing the importance of highlighting this environmental harm.
The design process was guided by the original illustrations, digitally redrawn to "reflect the devastating impact of deforestation on our forest friends". According to Alexander, the process took around a month to create, and "while the images themselves were confronting, the tone throughout needed to remain hopeful". "Milne’s character was thoughtful, friendly and kind-hearted, and the message behind these illustrations are similarly rooted in all of those things," he adds.
While the campaign certainly plays at the heartstrings of sentimental adults, it speaks to the wider generations around a topic that can no longer go unnoticed. Alexander explains: "We knew we wanted to rally people with a vehicle that would speak to them with something nostalgic, relatable and ultimately, optimistic. We want to inspire current and future generations to take action!"
It's clear that the campaign resonated with audiences, as the gorgeous limited edition hardcover books sold out in under 48 hours. "Seeing the overwhelming response to the book has been incredibly rewarding, and testament to how such a beloved book has provided a new framework for conversations between those of all ages around deforestation and its impact," Alexander says.
While it's a harsh reflection of the state of the world, we love the company's bold move to target our emotions with this poignant campaign. Its introspective effect allows readers to consider their personal impact on the world, and will hopefully lead us all to a more mindful way of living. While stocks are currently sold out, the re-illustrated edition is available to download on the campaign website and check out the Who Gives a Crap site for guilt-free TP.