28 January 2011.
Vivienne Westwood Ethical Fashion Initiative Collection

The Vivienne Westwood Ethical Fashion Initiative Bags are “Handmade with love” in Nairobi. Produced in collaboration with the Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) of the International Trade Centre – a joint body of the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) –which currently supports the work of thousands of women micro-producers from marginalized African communities. The EFI empowers informal manufacturers and craftspeople to enter the international value chain – providing an income for some of the poorest people in the world. This promotes the growth of sustainable business in place of aid dependency and creates stability among these impoverished communities. This is not charity, this is work.

All styles have been created using recycled canvas, reused roadside banners, unused leather off-cuts, and recycled brass, produced in Kibera slum (Nairobi’s biggest), where discarded metal like padlocks and car pieces are collected then melted down. The collections include a range of bag styles for men and women, including unisex rucksacks, totes, patchwork drawstring bags and Maasai hand beaded clutches and key rings and are inspired by the African fabrics and surroundings they are produced in.

Thanks to the great success of the collections so far the Ethical Fashion Initiative has sustained its success and is providing more and more employment for impoverished communities. NOT CHARITY. JUST WORK.

Shop the collection online now.

For more information on the Ethical Fashion Programme please visit

Vivienne Westwood and the Ethical Fashion Project