Vivienne Westwood Presents A/W 2011 – 12
by Daniel Haim
“Handmade with love” in Nairobi, the Vivienne Westwood Ethical Africa collection has been produced in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) – a joint body of the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and YOOXYGEN.
The collection builds upon the success of Vivienne Westwood’s debut capsule collection. The range of styles has been extended to include weekenders, key rings, the classic Westwood Yasmine bag and a number of men’s designs. These new designs also introduce a number of new materials – recycled electrical wiring, recycled aluminum and plastic bags which would otherwise end up in landfill – keeping a strong focus on creating a collection which minimizes the impact on our environment.
The programme currently supports the work of over 7000 women in marginalized African communities, the ITC empowers informal manufacturers and craftspeople to enter the international value chain – providing income for some of the poorest people in the world. This promotes the growth of sustainable business in place of aid dependency and creates stability among these impoverished communities.
Not charity, just work.
In Nairobi’s industrial area where the Vivienne Westwood collection is produced, the growth of this collaboration is helping women to build their skills and expand production which, in turn, helps to generate more work for the entire community.