Business, Eco-friendly, Environmentalist, Sustainability

Vivienne Westwood’s Step Forward Means Scaling Back

vivienne westwood
Vivienne Westwood is moving he focus from quantity to quality.
Image: UK in France / Flickr CC

The fashion industry isn’t exactly known for being eco-friendly. In fact, it’s considered the third largest when it comes to environmental impact across the globe. Like so many other businesses, in fashion it’s “good” practice to constantly expand and grow. But that expansion comes with an environmental toll as well.

In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of more eco-fashion companies, which seek to be a part of the fashion industry—but not at the cost of inflicting damage on Mother Nature. Vivienne Westwood is one big name designer who’s taking a huge step forward and adding her brand to the short list of eco-fashion designers.

Though Westwood has been an ecological activist for many years—she’s brought attention to big issues like fracking, rain forest deforestation, and, most recently, climate change. Working with Greenpeace, George Clooney, and Chris Martin, she also launched a photo series called “Save the Arctic.”

Now, Vivienne Westwood is taking the next necessesary—and giant—step forward: instead of continuing to expand and make more clothing, she’s chosen to scale back. She says she wants the focus to be on making better clothing that will last longer for customers.

“Generally we want our customers to ‘Buy less, Choose well, make it last,” Westwood wrote on her website, Climate Revolution. Now that’s not a statement you’d expect to hear out of the mouth of a fashion designer.

“Do I feel guilty about all the consumption that the fashion world promotes? Well I can answer that by saying that I am now trying to make my own business more efficient and self-sustaining. This also means trying to make everybody who works in it happy, if I can,” she said.

Now, if only other designers would follow in her footsteps. Can you imagine a time when going shopping for new seasonal and trendy clothes every few months wasn’t the norm? A time when everyone bought quality clothing when they needed it and didn’t toss it out when the next season came around or they decided they didn’t like it any more? A time when an article of clothing could last for years? What a world that would be.


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