Vivienne Westwood’s new handbag collection will benefit the people of Kenya
Dame Vivienne Westwood is one of fashion’s most influential designers and at the age of 70, she shows no signs of slowing down. The first lady of punk has teamed up with Yoox.com and the International Trade Centre to provide much needed employment for the people of Nairobi.
The impoverished people of Nairobi will be given fair labour conditions to be able to make the products for Westwood’s new Ethical Fashion Africa Collection of handbags in a scheme which she says is not about charity, but purely about work. Her new collection comprises handbags and tote bags made by the people of Nairobi out of different refuse materials and transformed into much wanted accessories for the fashion lovers of the world.
Talking about her new scheme and the new collection, Westwood said: “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.”
The designer recently visited Kenya and documented her trip with photographer Juergen Teller, who’s striking images will celebrate Westwood’s creations in the African community. Simone Cipriani, head of the ITC Poor Communities and Trade Programme said about the scheme: “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.”
*Image courtesy of FamePictures.com