Yesterday Vivienne Westwood launched a new series of bags for her Ethical Fashion Africa Project, a program that supports the work of over 7,000 Africans who live in conditions of extreme poverty but who also have a strong desire to improve their lives.
Through the program's extensive network, some of the poorest people in the world now have access to a job and income that subsequently benefits the entire community.
Ranging in price from $83 to $339, the collection is a colorful array of chic prints, interesting textures and easy-to-wear shapes. The pieces are available online at yoox.com, with a special video shot by her campaign photographer, Juergen Teller. Handmade by men and women in Nairobi, Kenya from recycled materials — electrical wiring, tent canvas, aluminum, plastic bags — the accessories are not only environmentally friendly, they're also community-sustaining. "It's not charity, it's work," Westwood says of the project's aim.
Westwood believes that she is creating possibilities for people to pay for school fees, medical care and other basic needs. Everyone involved in Vivienne Westwood’s Ethical Fashion Africa collection are empowered by the pride they take in their work and the new skills learned.
One day, they hope to have their own companies and train the next generation of skilled workers, building the economy and raising the standard of living in Kenya.
You can see more pictures of the final product after the break.