ASTI and McCann Health London enlist British fashion photographer Rankin to help end global acid violence

Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTi) has enlisted the help of renowned British fashion photographer, Rankin, on a brand new campaign that aims to prevent acid attacks. Partnering with McCann Health London, an IPG Health company, Rankin has created a Look Book – an essential fashion industry guide to latest styles and fabrics.

Using acid attack survivor Patricia Lefranc as his model, Rankin has created standout photography for the ‘Tear Couture’ Look Book to highlight the devastating effects of acid attacks, and in particular the specific link to the use of acid in the fashion, textiles, retail and manufacturing industries. It raises awareness of the issues associated with acid violence in a format that is familiar to those industries.

With a foreword by HRH The Princess Royal, the campaign follows the format of a traditional fabric swatch Look Book as commonly used in the fashion industry. Using fabric and textiles to highlight the core issues it tells Patricia’s personal story of the pain and suffering she has endured, illustrated by portraits of Patricia by Rankin and with Patricia’s own teardrop printed on silk.

With this campaign, ASTi aims to engage industry partners to strengthen processes for a more responsible supply chain. The book is being shared with fashion, retail and textile business leaders to encourage them to engage with ASTi in helping improve standards of acid control. Reference copies will also be shared in libraries in the hope that it will become part of the conversation around ethics and sustainability in the fashion industry.

Rankin commented: “I have a special affinity with the fashion industry and I’ve been delighted to see the changes that have taken place within the industry in recent years to make it more sustainable and responsible. When ASTi explained to me the issue of acid misuse within supply chains, I knew I had to take action.”

Guy Swimer, Executive Creative Director at McCann Health London, added: “We needed to talk to the fashion and retail industries in a language that was specific to them, but with a hard-hitting message. We hope Patricia’s bravery to tell her story can help stop these attacks.”

Jaf Shah, Executive Director of ASTi, said: “Industry has a key role to play in stopping incidences of acid attacks. With their support we aim to partner with businesses and make the changes needed to achieve this goal together.”


About Tear Couture 

Research1,2 suggests a correlation between legitimate business uses of acid and the incidence of acid attacks in parts of the global south. This was especially noticeable in areas with industries including fashion and textile that require sulphuric acid in large quantities.

The Tear Couture Look Book has been created with McCann Health London, an IPG Health company. It is a continuation of the agency’s multi award-winning Tear Couture campaign which launched an ASTI report at St. James’ Palace in March 2022 in the presence of HRH Princess Anne. In partnership with Thomson Reuters Foundation, Trustlaw and international law firm Covington, ASTi’s report on supply chain considerations for dangerous corrosives, such as acids, contains a toolkit with five key recommendations for corporates.

Maurice Mikkers’ photography of microscopic tears - which also features in the Look Book - was turned into an immersive VR experience where the user journeys through a 3D tear landscape while listening to survivors’ testimonials and a specially composed track by Nitin Sawhney. 

About Acid Survivor’s Trust International - ASTI

ASTI is a UK registered not-for-profit charity and the only international organisation whose sole purpose is to end acid violence at a global level. It has partnered with and received grants from the United Nations, the British Government and numerous foundations on delivering medical, legal, awareness raising, advocacy, rehabilitation and livelihood projects in multiple countries including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Uganda and Cambodia. ASTI was awarded an Impact Award in 2019 by the Thomson Reuters Foundation for its work on changing UK law.

About McCann Health London

McCann Health London, an IPG Health company, is one of the most awarded healthcare communications agencies. We are guided by our founding philosophy, Truth Well Told, and united by one vision: to help our clients’ brands and businesses play a meaningful role in people’s health. We combine science, creativity and strategy to deliver best-in-class services to some of the world’s top, as well as emerging, health and wellness brands. We do this by challenging convention and bringing to life smart, creative ideas that push boundaries and leave the world a healthier place than we found it. In recent years McCann Health London has been named European Health Agency of the Year at the London International Awards, won Grand Prixes and Golds at Cannes Lions and featured in AdWeek’s Top 25 global campaigns.

McCann Health London is part of IPG Health, a truly global network with over 45 agencies and 6,000 employees across six continents. 


1 Acid Violence, Fostering effective implementation of pro-women and girls laws, a report by Acid Survivors Foundation Pakistan, Australian Aid and National Commission on the Status of Women.

2 Combating acid violence in Bangladesh, India and Cambodia, a report by the Avon Global Center for Women & Justice and International Human Rights Clinic at Cornell Law School, New York City Bar Association and the Virtue Foundation.