Vivienne Westwood Designs Chic Limited-Edition Recycled Bags for the Africa Project

vivienne tote photo


Vivienne Westwood is a wild, pink-haired British designer who has been around since the punk rock days. She practically invented them; she certainly dressed them.

Dame Westwood, as she is now known, has always been a radical and now an environmental activist. She is involved with the Ethical Fashion Africa Project designing three limited-edition bags all made out of recycled materials.

heart orb photo

Photo: bellanaija

There are three styles: Gaia Heart (above), Get a Life (below) and the Orb. They are all handmade in Nairobi, Kenya. The banner bag is made of recycled banners used for advertisements. The Gaia is made of old and ripped safari tents. Each one is £99 ($US 158) and the money goes towards an important business venture.

The Ethical Fashion Africa Project is a part of the International Trade Centre, the joint body of the United Nations (UN) and World Trade Organisation (WTO). They work with marginalised communities of women such as single mothers, widows, HIV/AIDS victims and those living in extreme poverty.

banner bag photo

Photo: bellanaija

This is not charity, this is work. The programme links up international distributors and fashion businesses with poor communities. It was set up to "allow international fashion companies to develop product lines that incorporate skills and materials from Africa, its communities and its designers." It helps them to get their products made by some of the poorest and most needy communities. Through orders from companies such as Vivienne Westwood, some of the poorest people in the world have access to a job and an income that subsequently benefits the entire community.

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