“We might be able to save the world through fashion’, says Vivienne Westwood
You must be tired of hearing crazy predictions that world would end in 2012, don’t you?! Since there’s no other option simply wait and see if it’s true, how about to take some actions to try at least to postpone them a bit? In fact, given the clear message of the climate change, I believe the world has never been so concerned about preserving the environment as nowadays. But it’s not enough just to worry about it, we have to do something. And the fashion industry has already started to do so. One way is to question the origin of the product to be purchased.
The great British designer and businesswoman Vivienne Westwood and the team were joined on their first venture to Africa by the World renowned photographer Juergen Teller for this season’s Autumn/Winter 2011/12 Ethical Fashion Africa collection created through the programme in partnership with International Trade Center (ITC), United Nations and Yoox.com.
TO WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE NEW CAMPAIGN, CLICK HERE: http://www.viviennewestwood.co.uk/multimedia/made-with-love-in-nairobi
The Autumn/Winter 2011/12 Vivienne Westwood’s ethical bags are made from recyclable materials by communities of marginalized women. The long term programme has helped more than 7,000 women living in extreme poverty but had a great desire to improve their quality of life.
‘What I do, making bags, can make a difference. This project gives people control over their lives- charity doesn’t give control, it does the opposite, it makes them dependant. These people have more control over their lives and can therefore choose not to exploit the environment because they have an alternative way of making money’, says Vivienne Westwood.
The Autumn/Winter 2011-12 collection is made of recycled/ offcuts of canvas with a press stud closing, the bag is lined in a patchwork of recycled clothing fabric. Due to the nature of the recycled fabrics used in the making of this bag they will have some marks, from their former life, and slight variations in colour from the image shown.
The Africa Clutch Bag Red is finished with a colourful tassel, and giant golden metal orb, the Clutch comes with a detachable shoulder strap and internal pocket. The Handle length is 55cm. The price is £140.00
Entre elas está a “Africa Clutch Red bag” feita a mão em Quênia, à venda por 140 libras, finalizada com um pingente (tassel) colorido, e uma esfera gigante de metal. A bolsa vem com uma alça removível de 55 cm para os ombros e um bolso interno.
The Twin Eagle Applique Shopper with Tassel is finished with a detachable patchwork fabric tassel and patchwork eagles created with offcuts of plastic and fabric. The Handles measure at 51cm. The price is £155.00.
‘Our project enables some of the world’s poorest people to enter fashion’s value chain as producers, while also allowing designers, who want to source ethically, to do so knowing their collaborators in the slums of Nairobi or impoverished rural areas are being paid a fair wage following the Code of Conduct stipulated by the Fair Labour Association.’, says Simone Cipriani, head of the ITC.
NOT CHARITY, JUST WORK.
Vivienne Westwood Ethical Africa bags are available from www.viviennewestwood.com and www.yoox.com
Another initiative in Africa that’s worth to mention is Soul of Africa, a South African company founded in 2004 by British Lancelot Clarke of Clarke shoes with Mike and Sarah Geyde of Froggie shoes. The not-for-profit company has applied the craft of making fine shoes to the need for African women to make a living for themselves.
“Black Africans have pride and will not take charity.” said Mr. Clarke,
“They need sustainable skills and to work for their living, so I co-founded Soul of Africa to provide employment for African people and to make a difference using the profits made. All profits are fed back into community projects, such as the caring for abandoned babies and HIV awareness. So far the charity has raised £1.8 million.”
The shoes are available from www.soulofafricacharity.org, the websites of Clarks and Next, and in Clarks shops across the country.