I don’t believe money buys happiness, but it does boost my serotonin levels, albeit briefly, from time to time. So if I seem a little too adamant, lately, about working a few extra hours at the office, or trading my latte for a cup of drip coffee, or not buying that cute, cheap top at Marshall’s so I can save just a little bit more money, it’s only because this new ethical collection by Vivienne Westwood, which is now available at Yoox.com and is juuuust* out of my price range, makes me very, very happy.
“Fashion notoriously loves a good cause, but Vivienne Westwood actually delivers on the premise. The famed designer—Dame Vivienne to you—has always followed her own rules. Here, once again, she is setting the agenda with an innovative and bold initiative that goes beyond the realm of fashion and luxury.
The idea is disarmingly simple, and yet something of a first: Westwood traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, not simply for a week and a photo op, but to teach a craft. Under Westwood’s tutelage, African women have learned how to use locally-sourced, recycled materials to produce fashionable bags and accessories. The result is a series of attention-getting pieces that will endure in every sense; they are the fruition of work, not charity, the culmination of the mastery of new and important skills—skills that are sure to sustain these women both now and in the future.
-Yoox.com (emphasis mine)
While I don’t knock companies like TOMS for their charity work, I think that “teaching a man to fish” is always better than “giving a man a fish.” By partnering with the Ethical Fashion Programme, Vivienne Westwood is not only giving back to women in Kenya, she’s creating a long-lasting trade that will support and uplift an entire community.
And, of course, the bags themselves are gorgeous. This is Vivienne Westwood, after all.
I promise: I will forsake all other laptop bags.
I think I’d love this laptop bag even if it wasn’t ethically made. Along with every other bag I’m about to show you, this one is made entirely of recycled materials, including roadside advertisement banners and safari tents. This specific design is exclusive to Yoox.com, and costs $118. (Is it weird that when I saw the price I thought, “That’s it?” I really am entranced by it.)
Take a close look at the side view of this purse. The almost-hidden-but-not-quite contrasting brown zipper is what makes it perfect.
Why hello, cute little clutch of adorableness.
Have you noticed that Westwood’s logo – which is a punk, planetary take on the orb of the British crown jewels – looks a little like a spaceship here? I have. And I love it.
Vivienne Westwood in space. Stay tuned.
Take that to the grocery store, and see what happens. (Actually, I’m more inclined to bring the above bag with me to the library. It’s begging to be filled with interesting books.)
This is it. Right here. All I ever wanted. It’s $325, so as soon as I finish writing this, I’m going to pen a letter to my day job bosses telling them exactly how much I need a raise.
“The Ethical Fashion Africa Project has been backed by the International Trade Center, a joint effort of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. On June 15th, Westwood’s initiative will be celebrated by yet another international audience, courtesy of a launch party hosted by yoox.com. Against the enchanting backdrop of Florence, Italy, glamorous guests will experience Westwood’s Kenyan project up close and personal via a series of short films shot by the legendary photographer Juergen Teller.”
One of the short films by Juergen Teller is available at Yoox, as are all of the above bags.
What do you think of this collection, and of Vivienne Westwood’s decision to travel to Kenya and teach this craft, instead of just donating the proceeds of her own designs?
*By “just,” I mean completely. Totally. Out of my price range.