I really am delighted to support the Save the Arctic campaign. I am incredibly proud of the design that we came up with — and we launched a new T-shirt as part of the collection at Paris fashion week. We superimposed the image on a polka-dotted T-shirt and also used the design in the invitation for the show.
For me the Climate Revolution is about naming something that is already happening. Man-made climate change is accepted as a fact by most people and through every walk of life people are changing their behaviour. Hope lies with the people all around the world who are prepared to stand up and be counted. That is why it is so important to me to use fashion as a way to send a message; we have to put the planet first. In the long term what is good for the planet is good for the economy, but we need a new sort of economy that puts the environment and social justice before the greed of big business.
After the Paris show, I came back to London to judge the flag for the future competition — a global youth design competition based on a mission to find a new sort of flag — a flag that says, ‘this is no longer about big business or any particular country — the fate of the Arctic is about all of us.’ It will make a statement of peace, hope and global community when it is planted on the seabed under 4km of icy water at the North Pole.
I wanted to make reference to the competition and in my design used the classic white flag — a symbol of peace. Of course the final winning design we chose was not white; it was brightly coloured with doves and flowers in a beautiful design by 13-year-old Sarah Batrisyia from Malaysia. I love the fact that young people around the world wanted to use their creativity to say ‘the future of the Arctic is our future too.’
And of course they are right. As the sea ice melts and oil companies scramble to stake their claim, the Arctic has perhaps become the most poignant battleground in the struggle against climate change. To me it could not be simpler; if we don’t Save the Arctic, we won’t save the world.
Dame Vivienne Westwood is a world renowned fashion designer from England.