Last year marked the 5th year anniversary of the collaboration between Vivienne Westwood and the International Trade Centre’s Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI). Together, they created a collection of 10 handmade bags in Kenya that were featured in the Gold Label, Red Label, and MAN catwalk shows. These iconic bags have also been featured in several advertising campaigns.
Over the past couple of years, these bags have help support thousands of people from marginalised communities. Not only does the collection help develop their artisan skills, but it also provides a stable income for those involved. This collaboration aims to improve financial prospects in their communities and improve growth sustainability.
This ‘Handmade with Love’ collection is created out of recycled materials that are found in Nairobi’s biggest slum, Kibera in Kenya. The collection is a range of handmade bags for men, women, and unisex totes, rucksacks, and drawstring bags.
Westwood has also been involved with artisans in Burkina Faso, who produce hand-woven fabrics for her womenswear lines as of 2013.
Westwood had this to say about the collaboration, “What a wonderful experience it’s been. I really want to thank the International Trade Centre and the team in Africa. It’s been, and still is, such a gratifying experience to know the opportunities we are able to give to people. And the bags we make in Africa are still my favourite!”
Check out the video of Vivienne Westwood discussing her collab with ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative, Kenya back in 2011 below.