The British Fashion Council Teams Up With Vivienne Westwood

by: Well Made Clothes Staff | 2 years ago | News

Image: Vivienne Westwood sporting a ‘Climate Revolution’ scarf. Image source

At the recent opening of London Fashion Week, the British Fashion Council (BFC) announced the latest iteration of its Positive Fashion initiative, which is in partnership with none other than Dame Vivienne Westwood. An innovative designer and avid environmental activist, the partnership couldn’t be a more perfect fit and it brings us a ray of hope when it comes to the future of fashion. As part of this project, for instance, the Fashion Switch program – which is backed by London mayor Sadiq Khan – will encourage brands to commit to switching to green energy providers by 2020. While other initiatives within the Positive Fashion campaign also focus on sustainability, local manufacturing and craftsmanship.

“We started this project five years ago through a dialogue with Marks & Spencer,” explains BFC chief executive Caroline Rush. “It is our hope that the Fashion Switch campaign encourages brands and businesses to increase the demand for green energy, helping to accelerate investment and the rate and scale of renewables in the UK.” The scheme aims to deliver advice to brands on how to negotiate contracts with green energy suppliers. Operating on an information-sharing basis, the structure will allow smaller brands to gain from the sustainable know-how of bigger companies like Marks & Spencer.

“We’re sharing knowledge in a series of really easily-digestible guides,” says Rush. “When you talk about sustainability in the industry, there’s a real willingness for sharing information because everybody recognises that the more we can share, the easier it’s going to be for us to collectively be more sustainable.” Things are already off to a flying start, too, with brands such as Stella McCartney, E. Tautz and Christopher Raeburn already on board, alongside department stores including Selfridges and luxury group Kering. 

Spearheaded by the sustainability campaigner herself, Vivienne Westwood describes Fashion Switch as a long-term project – after all energy contracts for businesses can’t happen right away. But the timing of the initiative is vital. “We’re at the point of no return, and if we go beyond it then there will be a chain reaction where everything accelerates, all the methane kicks in: life on earth faces mass extinction, and as the Pope has just announced, 'If we don’t go back we will go down,'” Westwood explains

The designer also touches on the civil and cultural responsibility that fashion has as an industry. “People are really interested in fashion and it’s so important that we’re working with the BFC, it’s a fantastic place to start: the fashion industry. It’s a stimulus to get everyone else involved,” she says. “If we can get half the country to switch as soon as possible, it would have a global effect”. Which is why the pioneering fashion figure has been busy lobbying other brands to commit to the cause.

Via Business of Fashion


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