Vivienne Westwood Says Don’t Buy Clothes

Outspoken fashion designer Vivienne Westwood details her plan for Climate Revolution writing, “The fight is no longer between the classes or between rich and poor but between the idiots and the eco-conscious.”

British Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood is encouraging people to have a less is more attitude when it comes to buying clothes, even her own designs.

In an interview before her London Week Fashion show this week, she said, ‘‘Of course I try not to waste and my way of not wasting is to try to concentrate on quality not quantity. And you know my message, it is buy less, choose well, make it last. Even better, don’t buy anything. Don’t buy any clothes for ages until you really have to.” When questioned by a reporter whether she meant she didn’t want people to buy her latest collection, she insisted she was more interested in using fashion as a way to air her views on the environment.

More than ever Westwood is passionate about  social and environmental change. Dressed as an eco warrior in military-style shorts and a painted-on black eye Westwood strutted down the runway at the close of her preview show, while two models unfurled a banner with the words “Climate Revolution” behind her.

It may seem contradictory as the head of a multi-million dollar globally-recognized fashion business, but Westwood puts her money where her mouth is; this year she donated $1.6 million to rainforest charity Cool Earth. She is also a patron of UK-based human rights charities, Reprieve and Liberty and supports Amnesty International, Environmental Justice Foundation, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace’s Arctic Campaign.

Her personal brand of anti-consumerism finds an alternative in high art, believing, “an art lover is a freedom fighter.” Five years ago Westwood wrote her manifesto, Active Resistance to Propaganda, an ode to culture and learning designed to inspire young people to get out from behind the TV and off the consumer treadmill.

Her latest campaign to attack the issues of climate change is detailed on her diary blog Get a Life, which reveals “bits of my daily life to show you when I’m busy or relaxing. In my case fashion is a big part of my life. But the real reason for the site is to get my ideas across so that more people will join the Climate Revolution.”

Vivienne Westwood’s advice for changing our way of living and joining the Climate Revolution:

1) Money is a means to an end, not an end in itself. “I never waste money I spend it”- Oscar Wilde. Maybe you’ll give a donation to an NGO or charity. You can give your support in other ways. Just by following one you will learn a lot, this is support.

2) Quality v Quantity

3) Buy less, choose well, make it last (we don’t want the “latest thing” just for the sake of it.)

4) Prepare and cook your own food.

5) Cut out plastic.

6) Inform yourselves.

7) Consider the responsibility of not having or having children. Chances of survival will be clear by next Olympics.

8) Take an active part in events of the Revolution as it starts to build.

9) Engage in art and culture.

10) Your own idea.

Rowena Ritchie

Rowena is EcoSalon’s West Coast Fashion Editor and currently resides in San Francisco, CA.