Maternity clothes for 12 year olds unveiled in child pregnancy campaign for Plan International Finland

Every year in developing countries, seven million children under the age of 18 become child mothers.   

That’s why we teamed-up with child rights organisation Plan International Finland to conceive a fashion collection that the world should not need – Maternity wear for a 12-year-old.

We want to highlight the shocking facts about child mothers and to drive donations, so that Plan International can continue its incredible work to help prevent this modern tragedy or support those who need help.

Meet Fridah, she’s not a model, she fell pregnant when she was 12-years old, today she is eight-months pregnant and the unlikely star of our campaign. Fridah is lucky, she has her family to support her, many young children who fall pregnant every year risk being abandoned by their family, lose out on education, get bullied by friends, forced into marriage; some even commit suicide.

The collection consists of a set of six maternity dresses designed by one of Finland’s most respected fashion designers, Paola Suhonen. The mood for the collection, called “Hamptons”, is a familiar theme in kids’ clothing:  fringes, bright, bold colours and soft pastel blues. The playful prints of kittens are a stark contrast to the severity of the life these child mothers live.

The collection launched on Monday 14 August in Esplanadi, a Helsinki street famed for its designer brand shops, where the clothes are displayed on child mannequins.

Two online films, billboards, international social media and PR support the campaign, which was shot by award-winning photographer Meeri Koutaniemi whose images brought worldwide attention to female genital mutilation.

The campaign was conceived by Anu Niemonen, senior creative at hasan & partners, who said: Designing a maternity wear collection for young children is unnatural and disturbing, which is exactly the point we want to make. The clothes expose a shocking truth about the seven million children who become pregnant every year. This is a collection that shouldn’t exist or even be needed in the first place.

Eva Anttila, CX lead for marketing, fundraising and loyalty at Plan International Finland, added: Plan International tackles tough issues such as child marriage, child labour and girls’ lack of access to education. We wanted to bring the issue of childhood pregnancy closer to the Finnish audience in a way they could relate to, which is why we chose to develop a maternity fashion collection for kids. hasan & partners’ thought provoking campaign tackles the problem in an unconventional but effective way.”

In the west, women joyfully carry their unborn child, but every day 5,500 very young girls become mothers when they themselves are still children. In the worst cases, child pregnancies cause the girl to commit suicide because she doesn’t want to bring any shame to her own family.

These girls also have to stop going to school and stay home under the burden of motherhood. Fridah’s case is typical – she will miss out on a year of school and fall behind in her education. She may also likely drop out completely due to peer pressure, even though she loved learning English and wanted to become a nurse.

To donate to Plan International Finland click here.

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