Earth Day: Vivienne Westwood Forges Partnership With Environmental Organization Canopy

LONDON — Vivienne Westwood is marking this year’s Earth Day by furthering her environmental commitments and forging a new partnership with the not-for-profit organization Canopy.

Canopy’s work revolves around “protecting forests, species and climate,” and by joining forces with Westwood, the aim is to further the organization’s mission of safeguarding the world’s endangered and ancient forests and highlighting the link between clothing consumption and deforestation.

To launch the tie-in, the British label has released a video, produced by artist Aidan Zamiri and featuring the model and activist Kai-Isaiah Jamal, reciting a poem that celebrates being alive and the natural world. It also puts the spotlight on the juxtaposition between a vision of a world that values forests, and the tearing of trees to create viscose — by way of striking imagery of trees being burnt down and a moody soundscape.

“Sometimes I put on a plain black T-shirt, pull it over my head, and forget that in this basic T lay the substances of ancient forests that no longer exist,” reads Jamal.

Protecting the forest ecosystems has been at the top of the British label’s sustainability agenda, by ensuring its packaging only comes from responsibly managed forests. It’s also working toward making sure that 100 percent of its wood pulp derived fabrics are certified, by next year.

“Fashion has a disproportionate impact on the environment, and to remedy that we have for some time been changing the way we make clothes to reflect the need for the industry to change the way it operates,” said Christopher Di Pietro, global brand director at Vivienne Westwood.

“We hope the video will help draw attention to our campaign in support of the work Canopy has been doing to transform unsustainable supply chains to protect forests around the world — and with it our climate and wildlife.”

Canopy’s founder and executive director Nicole Rycroft added that both the climate crisis and the pandemic the world is facing “illustrate how consequential our every action is.” The remedy, according to Rycroft, lies in creativity and positive action.

“Vivienne and her team know that brilliance coupled with imagination and pragmatic action will transform how our economy interacts with vital ecosystems. Jamal’s poem and video provide us with the dream of a future we all want to be part of,” she added.