By Sophie Sonnenberger
When the eccentric lady with the ginger hair hears terms like ‘famine wage’ or ‘sweatshop’ she becomes really passionate. This is why famous fashion designer Vivienne Westwood fights for change in the garment and fashion industry since decades. She doesn`t see her own designs as art. Her clothes are much rather a way to air her views on the environment.
At last year’s London Fashion Week she made her models wear t-shirts with the message ‘Climate Revolution’ and told a journalist from The Telegraph after the show: ‘Buy less, choose quality, not quantity. Everybody’s buying far too many clothes.’ This is why she actually decided not to expand in China any further. Instead of that she states: ‘I think it’s ecologically friendly that the clothes should be expensive.’ But Westwood isn`t just concerned about the prices she also strives to improve her supply chain constantly in order to get rid of any hazardous chemicals used in the dying process. She advises costumers to inform themselves before they purchase clothes. Consciousness is definitely key, no matter if one buys fast fashion or high-end clothing.
One of her most beautiful coups in the last years: the ethical fashion Africa collection. Having teamed up with the Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI), Westwood designed a gorgeous bag collection featuring all sorts of colourful African prints. After training the Kenyan communities they were able to produce the eclectic bag collection made from a variety of up cycled materials. After all Westwood doesn`t even want any compliments for her humanitarian mission. She claims: It`s ‘not charity, just work.’