A few weeks ago, Vivienne Westwood appeared in the back window of a double-decker bus parked up by the Thames. Her son Joe Corré had just set light to his collection of punk memorabilia on a floating barge (reportedly worth a figure in the region of £3m) and Westwood seized the opportunity to capture the attention of the crowd below, rallying them to convert to using eco-friendly energy and to do their part to stop the damage caused by climate change. “I never knew what to say before, ever since punk,” she admitted, megaphone in hand. “We never had a strategy then, that’s why we never got anywhere.”
The same idea was on her mind today, when she returned to London to merge her MAN and Red Label collections into one mainline show, staged during London Fashion Week: Men’s. To a remix of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet march, her models took to the catwalk in makeshift crowns which declared ‘Ecotricity’ – the name of the company founded by Dale Vince which uses its own windmill farms to provide the UK with renewable energy. Founded in 1996, they are the world’s first green energy company, who use the money made from customers to directly fund the building of new sources of eco energy. “We like to refer to this as turning ‘Bills into Mills’ – energy bills into windmills,” reads their site. “Our profits go back into our mission.”
“I just think it’s fantastic,” Vince declared backstage of the show and of Westwood’s personal support. “She got in touch many months ago and we met, talked about renewable energy and green gas – that’s when it really clicked.”
Westwood’s manifesto for the season, which declared switching energy to be a political act and rallied against the fact financial elites, politicians, and world leaders control the global population, came patched and printed on garments. “What’s good for the planet... is bad for the economy” read one pair of trousers, while waistbands referenced her ‘Intellectuals Unite’ student initiative, and a magazine cover found its way onto t-shirts and the back of a jacket.
To learn more about switching to green energy, head to Ecotricity, and see the collection in the gallery above.
Follow Emma Hope Allwood on Twitter here @emmahopeall
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