Op/Ed: Vivienne Westwood’s Climate Revolution – call to arms or empty gesture?

She’s famous for being daring, innovative and for giving fashion a well-deserved makeover during the 70s and 80s. But Vivienne Westwood’s latest collection of Menswear Autumn/Winter 2013, showcased in Milan on Sunday, stunned audiences.

The 71-year-old ‘punk’ designer has been an outspoken voice for the environment and sustainable practices in an industry that has been slow to adopt change.

Her fashion notes for the show read:

Climate revolution is the only means toward a sound economy. When the general public massively switches on to this fact we will win.

Inspired by global warming, and in connection with the United Nations International Trade Center Ethical Fashion Program.

Her message was simple – buy less, choose well, make it last.

But is this more of a symbolic gesture rather than a way to get the fashion industry to pay attention to climate change impacts?

For example, where is the talk of responsibly-sources, sustainable fabric? Or of reclaimed materials, donations to charitable causes, or the root issues behind climate change?



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