“The Africa bag collection evolves each season, introducing new styles and in turn skill development of the artisans in Africa.
The collections are brought to life through the use of distinctive Westwood archive prints, shapes and finally stamped with Vivienne’s latest political or environmental Climate Revolution message. For Autumn- Winter 2015/16 the Vivienne Westwood EFI collection takes on the brands iconic Squiggle, Scribble Tartan and Argyle prints and introduces the new Snakes and Ladders, and the Democracy Fracking prints. The new season prints echo Vivienne’s environmental and political message -in particular her antifracking and anti-capitalism campaigns. A new style for the season is the Snake Board Game Shopper, complete with a hand painted Snakes and Ladders board print with accompanying limited edition dice and game counters, which have been cast in brass using recycled car parts and taps by the artisans in Nairobi – transforming the playful bag into a board game.”
Vivienne Westwood and the International Trade Centre’s Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) celebrate their 10th season in collaboration. The Vivienne Westwood EFI bags are handmade in Kenya by a social enterprise set up by EFI. Over the past 5 years the work has supported thousands of micro-producers from marginalised communities, developing their artisan skills and improving their financial prospects, promoting growth of sustainable business in place of aid dependency. ‘Sustainability is about having projects and products that last.
Vivienne Westwood has provided sustainability to the work of the Ethical Fashion Initiative by engaging for ten consecutive seasons with a significant number of African artisans, mostly women, who have struggled their way out of poverty through this work. The products are beautiful and last: the exact opposite of fast fashion. This is responsible fashion. This is working for a better world’ -Simone Cipriani, Founder and Head of the EFI.
The impact assessments regularly carried out on all Vivienne Westwood orders with the Ethical Fashion Initiative in Kenya demonstrates measurable and concrete change in the lives of those involved in production: · So far 1558 artisans have worked on these orders, from 21 different communities. 76% of which are women. · 86% of the artisans involved received training during the production, offering them internationalstandard skills. · 72% of artisans were able to save from the income received from the order, enabling them to plan for their future. · More than 950 children were enabled to go to school as a result of Vivienne Westwood orders. ‘What a wonderful experience it’s been.
I really want to thank the International Trade Centre and the team in Africa. It’s been, and still is, such a gratifying experience to know the opportunities we are able to give to people. And the bags we make in Africa are still my favourite!’ Vivienne Westwood.