This 'Jurassic World: Dominion' Merch Collection Is Sustainable, Fair Trade and Made by Artisans in India and Nepal
When "Jurassic World: Dominion," the final chapter in the six-part "Jurassic Park" film saga, hits theaters on June 10, everything about it will be larger than life: the dinosaurs, the action set-pieces, the box office numbers. The merchandise, however, will be considerably smaller-scale.
That's because Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, the studios behind the movie, have teamed up with Accompany, a design and fashion marketplace focused on sustainable and ethical styles, for a merch collection where every item is hand-made by artisans in Nepal and India.
The capsule collection, available online at Accompany and Ten Thousand Villages, includes throw pillows, bags, kitchenware and more, all of it sustainably made and fair trade. Currently, 11 items are available, with 18 more coming in fall.
There are hand-carved wooden serving dishes shaped like T. Rex feet and kids' hooded towels decorated with traditional screen-printing techniques. There are totes and drawstring bags. Most of the items are unbranded, but the throw pillows feature the classic "Jurassic Park" logo.
Each item page in the store features a note about the maker. For example, several of the items are made by Sasha, a nonprofit marketing outlet in India, with the following description:
Sasha offers design services and training in business skill development and other management principles. Sasha empowers artisans to run their businesses independently, building livelihoods for socially and economically marginalized producers. The wide range of crafts and textiles offered by Sasha draws on tradition, retaining cultural context, yet making products contemporary for present-day living. Sasha also hopes to revive a wide variety of dying handicraft traditions. For many artisans, handicraft production is their main source of income. Ten Thousand Villages has purchased products from Sasha Exports since 1979.
Universal has typically gone all out in marketing the "Jurassic World" films. The last movie, "Fallen Kingdom," had a promotional budget of $185 million, with a host of major brand partners and audacious efforts that included cereal boxes with built-in video screens and Amazon trucks made to look like they were transporting dinosaurs.
The marketing budget for "Dominion" is a bit smaller, but still pretty massive at $165 million. So it's not as if Universal is going fully sustainable and grassroots here. But it's nice to see part of that budget going toward sustainable, small-scale, handcrafted merchandise that directly supports the people who make it.
Accompany supports makers in a variety of ways. And, with its connection to a massive property like "Jurassic World," the whole effort raises the profile of fair-trade merchandise and might inspire other large brands to go this route. At minimum, it shows that sustainable and socially-conscious merch has a place in any promotional marketing campaign.
“We see a huge opportunity to make a positive social impact on disempowered communities and nonprofits worldwide through mission-driven merchandising,” said Jason Keehn, founder of Accompany, according to Ethos. “By harnessing the powerful pull of an entertainment property like the Jurassic World franchise, and connecting it to the demand for purposeful artisan goods in the home décor, fashion and gifting categories, we believe we can spark a new, meaningful era in licensed consumer goods."