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Vivus by Kai-Isaiah Jamal vivenne westwood earth day canopy
Stills from Vivus, by Kai-Isaiah JamalCourtesy of Vivenne Westwood

Watch Kai-Isaiah Jamal recite an urgent poem for Earth Day

Jamal joins forces with Vivienne Westwood to celebrate the legendary designer's partnership with the not for profit environmental organisation, Canopy

Long an outspoken voice in the fight against climate change, Vivienne Westwood has continued to use her platform to implement environmental changes in the fashion industry and beyond. Now, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the legendary designer revealed a new collaboration with the not-for-profit environmental organisation, Canopy.

Announced through a specially made video, the two-minute clip features activist Kai-Isaiah Jamal, who recites a poem on the subject of climate change. Seeking to make clear the connection between the deteriorating state of the planet and the fashion we consume, Jamal says, “Sometimes I put on a plain black t-shirt… Pull it over my head and forget that in this basic tee laid substances of ancient forests that no longer exist.” 

The poem accompanies a series of collage-like clips, each spotlighting the environmental damage the world is currently facing. From polluting cars to flooding rivers and deforestation, Jamal continues: “If a tree falls anywhere let it be from wind too heavy or age too old, let it not be folded down and be reduced into nothing but a basic black tee.”  

Capturing the urgent need to reverse the growing climate and wildlife crisis, the poem speaks to the work being put forward by Canopy, an organisation dedicated to protecting forests and animal species, and fighting back against climate change. 

Westwood, meanwhile, has also been finding ways to protect our ecosystems through her eponymous label. From adapting her clothes to highlight how the fashion industry operates to using environmentally friendly packaging, with Canopy, Westwood is hoping to put pressure on the industry at large. “Vivienne and her team know that brilliance coupled with imagination and pragmatic action will transform how our economy interacts with vital ecosystems,” says Canopy’s Founder and Executive Director, Nicole Rycroft. “Jamal’s poem and video provide us with the dream of a future we all want to be part of.”

Watch the video below.