Dr. Martens’ Made Strong Campaign: Supporting Future Generations

Dr. Martens’ Made Strong Campaign: Supporting Future Generations

This month Dr. Martens continues their commitment to supporting the next generation of talent by launching Made Strong and 14XX. Since its inception in 1960, Dr. Martens have been synonymous with resilience and representation; these initiatives ensure that this core part of the brand’s DNA is ingrained in the future and not just the past.

Made Strong celebrates the resilience and strength of Dr. Martens. Not only in the quality of the iconic yellow stitched footwear known for being made to last, but also the activities, workers and musicians that made DMs a core part of their visual identity. Dr. Martens now offer a much wider variety of silhouettes, fabrics and shapes moving away from the monolithic view of being tough and closed-off, instead now emphasising that strength is fluid, creative and inclusive. This strength has its source in having courage to make change and push society forward: strength in knowing who you are and strength in community. Radical self-expression, especially in a society that often tries to pigeon hole people, is in itself rebellion.

To reflect this, the Made Strong initiative has brought together 14 vibrant stories from the DM global community. Connected by the ability to find power in vulnerability, the courage to make change and create vibrant stories; they were asked the question “what does strong mean today?”. Their answers were captured in a campaign film, showing both the differences and similarities in their world view.

The celebration of the collective kicks off this month with events in New York, with London and Tokyo events to follow. A key part of this launch are the charity partners that have been invited to the pop up events in all three cities. Attendees will be able to donate at each event, and the Dr. Martens Foundation will also be donating £5 for every popup attendee.

These events will also launch Dr. Martens new design concept: 14XX. A platform for wearers’ expression, embracing the core DM value of rebellion. By allowing the design team to draw inspiration from archival functional workwear, classic silhouettes have been disrupted, evolved and ultimately elevated to create new design language for wearers. 14XX fully epitomises what the future of DM is, further fortified by a creative laboratory where experimentation will continuously take place, driving the brand towards an undefined and therefore exciting future.

AW23 Jadon Boot in cow print, released as part of the Made Strong campaign

To positively impact Gen Zs outside of the 14 stories celebrated in the Made Strong campaign, Dr. Martens have also commissioned creative agency The Digital Fairy to produce a report on how today’s world impacts young people’s ability to feel strong as a generation and individually. Using their editorial platform and creator network they were able to explore and analyse the global nuances of modern perceptions of strength among Gen Z.

The depth of the report allowed social and cultural contexts to be uncovered that explained the tensions that young people of today experience, and their hopes for the future. The Dr. Martens Foundation aims to empower charities, individuals and communities committed to championing social justice and the right to rebellious self-expression.

Since the establishment of the foundation in 2021, DM has committed £3.7million of funding for causes focused on levelling the playing field so that marginalised communities have equal rights and opportunities of self expression. 

Dr. Martens power lies in the ability to speak to many different subgroups, youth cultures and tribes thanks to the simplicity of their designs, good quality workmanship and easy customisation. It is this active commitment to ensuring their brand’s rebellious, loved-by-youth-culture history doesn’t become a thing of the past. From their work with Original Shift to collaborating with Central Saint Martins on a competition for its MA Fashion students; Dr. Martens continues to prioritise youth. future. We can’t wait to see what they do next, to support future generations.