Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Vivienne Westwood to come to IFLAS in Cumbria


Vivienne Westwood, iconic fashion designer and environmental activist, will come to the Lake District to give a talk and take part in a question and answer session at the University of Cumbria’s Institute of Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) on Tuesday, 20 June 2017.


“Exploring and Challenging Ideas on Sustainable Leadership, Climate and Social Change”

Vivienne Westwood (Image by J├╝rgen Teller)



“We’re delighted to welcome Vivienne to our Ambleside campus in the heart of the Lake District and offer her an ideal platform to deliver her thoughts and inspirations on subjects close to her heart and ours,” Prof Julie Mennell, Vice Chancellor, University of Cumbria said. “In our 10th anniversary year we could not think of a better place than Cumbria and the University of Cumbria for this kind of debate. We’re sure Vivienne will spark a stimulating and exhilarating discussion as she is exactly the kind of thought-provoking guest we love to welcome at our university.”

Vivienne is looking forward to talking about steps she believes everyone can take to help make a difference to one’s own life and the future of locations such as the Lake District.

“My fashion and my activism support each other; they are driven by the same motor. I want a better world. I say “Buy less, choose well, make it last.” Quality not Quantity. I use my green politics for graphics on clothes and my shows carry my activism themes. I use every opportunity to open my mouth.  I try to select, analyse and concentrate the most important information so people can cut through lies and propaganda and see what is real,” the designer said. “People ask, what can I do to help save the environment? In all my time as an activist, I’ve never had a satisfactory answer to give: Inform yourself, talk to your friends, support the NGOs, save a plastic bag; every one of your decisions count. This is the answer, but doesn’t go very far to solving the total problem which is overwhelming. Now we realise the answer: SWITCH to a Green Energy supplier.”


“It’s a war for the very existence of the human race. And that of the planet. The most important weapon we have is public opinion: go to art galleries, start to understand the world you live in. You're a freedom fighter as soon as you start doing that.” 

Vivienne is a Trustee of human rights organization Liberty and Patron of Reprieve. She has continually campaigned for the release of Leonard Peltier for many years and is also a campaigner for Amnesty International.

As well as Human rights, Vivienne is passionate about the environment and actively supports the charity, Cool Earth, in their efforts to save the rainforest and stop climate change, as well as supporting the Environmental Justice Foundation and Friends of the Earth- amongst others. Vivienne is also an ambassador for Greenpeace and in 2013 designed their official ‘Save the Arctic’ logo and in 2015 launched a global campaign to stop drilling and industrial fishing in the area.



Vivienne has worked with the United Nations, Environmental Protection Agency to re-establish the fragmented forests of Europe, and has also joined forces with the International Trade Centre- a joint body of the UN, since 2011 to produce bags through their Ethical Fashion Initiative. The programme currently supports the work of thousands of women from marginalized African communities and empowers informal manufacturers and craftspeople to enter the international value chain - providing an income for some of the poorest people in the world. The collections are created using recycled materials from slums and land fill and the income helps to stop the need to continue deforestation in the area.

Vivienne inaugurated the 'Climate Revolution' at the 2012 London Paralympics closing ceremony and continues to rally charities, NGO's and individuals to join forces and to take action against disengaged political leaders and big business.

Vivienne has also written her ideas in a Manifesto called “Active Resistance to Propaganda”. The AR Manifesto evolved through her fashion shows which she uses as a platform for her cultural and environmental concerns.  It is a call to become more cultivated and in doing so gain the strength and wisdom needed to live life well now and to save the planet for the future.  Vivienne’s monthly diary and more information on her concerns, passions and campaigns can be found at www.climaterevolution.co.uk


Vivienne Westwood will appear from 5.30-7pm in the Percival Lecture Theatre, University of Cumbria, Ambleside LA22 9BB
The event will be open to all with a percentage of tickets reserved for students. Tickets will be free and will be released shortly.

To register an interest email rsvpevents@cumbria.ac.uk

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