Vivienne Westwood uses fashion to save the planet

Vivienne Westwood

When did you first become conscious of the environment and our impact on it?

For a couple of decades I’ve been really upset about the problem of climate change, and I couldn’t bear the idea that we’re still cutting down the rainforests. I just couldn’t believe that the statistics were getting worse, not better. And then I read an interview with James Lovelock. He is a genius, the scientist who launched the “Gaia” Theory. Gaia is the name the Greeks gave to the earth goddess. James Lovelock thinks we are too late to stop climate change and that by the end of this century there will be only 1 billion people left. Fortunately!?The consensus among almost all scientists is that we have [until] 2020 to do something — eight more years. And it’s important for Americans to know that the [people who deny that climate change exists] are few, but they are well-funded and well-publicized.

Do you consider yourself an environmental activist??

A name I prefer is freedom fighter. I’ve got a voice because I’ve got a lot of credibility as a fashion designer. So I have been using my fashion for the last five or so years as a medium. I use slogans and graphics in lots of my designs. I also give my fashion shows titles related to saving the planet or climate change like, “Plus Five Degrees.” Plus five degrees is uninhabitable, it looks good on a T-shirt and promotes awareness.

What would you say to people who view your fight to save the planet and reduce consumption from the helm of a global fashion empire as contradictory?

My aim is quality not quantity. Timeless clothes that last, for people who make choices and don’t just consume. For people who can’t afford my clothes, I hope to provide a standard of good design — which will help them to choose clothes that will suit them.

What are some changes that you’ve made in your own life to live in a more sustainable, ecologically minded way?

I ride a bicycle for convenience and I’m a person who doesn’t like to waste things. I never waste food, for example. I also don’t eat meat. I’m a very privileged person living in this part of the world so I can make choices, and my preferred food really is just fruit and vegetables. You don’t need other food. This is optimum health. Once you get into it, nothing else tastes so good.

Tips for living sustainably

Buy less “Buy less, choose well and make it last. I really do think that people should exercise choice and not just consume without thought — sucking up stuff all the time, one thing after another.”
   
Go to art galleries “The art lover is not consuming. He invests in the present world by engaging with the genius of the past. ‘You get out what you put in’ is my motto.”
   
Read “The best fashion accessory is a book.”
  
Prepare your own food “Buying and preparing your own food is to engage with the world. It gives you a sense of reality.”
   
D.I.Y. “Wear a piece of beautiful fabric, borrow stuff from your friends and style it in with your own clothes.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.