The Vivienne Foundation, a not for profit company founded by Vivienne in 2019, exists to create a better world and implement Vivienne’s plans. Built upon Four pillars of Change: Halt Climate Change, Stop War, Defend Human Rights and Protest Capitalism, the Foundation’s goal is to work with NGO’s and individuals to raise awareness and create tangible change across these pillars:
Halt Climate Change
Halt climate change is our priority. We are in a climate crisis and if the status quo persists we face mass extinction. We are fighting to cut emissions, whilst protecting and restoring biodiversity and wildlife.
We exist within a war economy that profits from death and destruction. We stand against war and the arms trade, whilst supporting those most impacted by its devastation.
Defend Human Rights
Free speech threatens the global status quo. Governments oppress free speech to conceal their corruption. We seek to protect human rights, freedom of speech and those who defend them.
Capitalism is the root cause of all our problems. It is a system in which politics, finance and law are corrupted into one totalitarian matrix. We are working towards a more equal and green economy.
“STOP Climate Change. This is a fight for the very existence of the human race. And that of the planet. The most important weapon we have is public opinion. Become a freedom fighter” ~ Vivienne Westwood
Vivienne’s continuous innovation through fashion and activism is testament to her title as a true originator, she was a pioneer- from the creation of punk clothing through to the reinvention of historical dress and haute couture. Vivienne used her position as a designer and public figure as a platform for her activism and ideas. Her relentless campaigning on climate change over the last twenty years or more has been a catalyst for change.
With a career spanning over five decades within the fashion industry, she was the recipient of numerous accolades and awards both nationally and internationally. Her slogan “Buy Less, Choose Well, Make it last” is now a worldwide mantra for the fashion industry. However, it was her activism that she lived for. She spent much of her life speaking out on the issues encapsulated in the Foundations “Four Pillars of Change” – mobilising international attention around these subjects.
Fearless in the face of adversity. Undaunted by criticism, driven by conviction. A belief that with sincerity of application everything is achievable. Vivienne used her platform to enter into debate and dialogue on a myriad of subjects. Discourse with writers, artists, NGO’s, politicians and leaders formulated her opinions and objectivity.
In 2012 Vivienne inaugurated the ‘Climate Revolution’ at the London Paralympics closing ceremony.
She was a Trustee of the human rights organization Liberty, a patron of Reprieve and supporter and campaigner for Amnesty International and War Child, the Environmental Justice Foundation and Friends of the Earth. She campaigned, donated and fundraised for hundreds of NGO’s and grass roots charities.
Vivienne actively supported the charity CoolEarth.org in their efforts to save the rainforest and stop climate change. She became an ambassador for Greenpeace and played a crucial part in their “Save the Arctic” campaign to stop drilling and industrial fishing in the area.
Since 2011, she worked with the UN on the Ethical Fashion Initiative helping and empowering women from marginalised African communities. Producing products from recycled materials to provide them with a critical source of income.
In 2017 she launched the ongoing SWITCH campaign with the London Mayors office and British Fashion Council asking the fashion industry to commit to switching all their UK premises to a Green energy supplier. In 2018 Vivienne was awarded with the Positive Change award at the British Fashion Awards for her global campaigning work within the industry.
She was a tireless supporter of Julian Assange and Wikileaks.
Vivienne was always willing to change her mind and strategy – but never her objectives to change the world for the better.
The Vivienne Foundation are the custodian of Vivienne’s designs’ and will continue to honour her legacy.
“Charities and NGOs can save lives; however, we cannot achieve systemic change without government cooperation. The only way we can save ourselves is with government help and our strategy must be put into law” – Vivienne Westwood
Photographed by Juergen Teller