Craving- Vivienne Westwood ‘Yasmin’ bag, £235.
Many might recognise Vivienne Westwood as the 71 year old, flame-haired eccentric, who even walked down the catwalk at her Red Label Spring/Summer 2013 London Fashion Week show dressed as a pirate. However, it isn’t all fun and games with the edgy designer. Westwood is known for raising awareness of worthy causes such as nuclear disarmament, climate change, and for saving the world in general. Her latest project, ‘The Ethical Fashion Programme’, has provided some of the poorest communities in the world with jobs. Through the production of her Africa Bags line, Westwood has helped over 7,000 women who live in extreme poverty. The collection, made by these women, and from recycled material, is ethically sourced and sustainable. My favourite piece from the collection is the ‘Yasmin’ bag. The bag is handmade in Kenya, and the lining of the bag is made from a recycled t-shirt. Priced at £235, it is a bit of a splurge. However, the Massai beading on the front of the bag is wonderfully authentic and unusual, whilst the trademark gold orb still echoes a sense of the iconic British style that Westwood’s brand encapsulates.
Saving- H&M jumper, £14.99.
Devoted to producing fashionable, yet sustainable and ethically sourced clothing, high street favourite H&M succeeds with it’s Conscious line. The company comments on its desire that all business operations should ‘be run in a way that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable’. It’s quite amazing to read what the brand has achieved through the sustainability programme; H&M are the largest user of organic cotton worldwide, 2.3 million of their garments are donated to charities, and the company has saved 300 million litres of water in denim production. Without wanting to preach (because I am as guilty of this as the next person), it’s easy to walk into a shop, pick up an item of clothing, and buy it, without giving a second thought to how it has been produced and where it has come from. However, it really does feel good to know that the line is created with the best interests of those who produce the clothes, and the environment, at heart. It also means that this jumper is both a bargain, at £14.99, and a guilt free buy. Made from 50% viscose and 50% recycled polyester, the pretty piece also comes in a pastel-mint green, black and white. If the conscientious don’t-spend-money voice inside your head tells you not to buy it- tell it to be quiet. It’s good for the environment.
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