At Vivienne Westwood, we have long championed craftsmanship and heritage. Traditional British textiles and Savile Row tailoring traditions have informed and influenced our collections since the 1980s. We have always partnered with local industries and artisans in the UK, as well as Europe, India and Africa.
How we support artisans and small heritage brands
Today, we are proud to say that we still work with many small, highly skilled independent businesses. Together, over the last 30 years, we have created some of our best-known products that are recognised globally as a sign of durable quality and style, and that support the preservation of traditional skills.
Through our work with artisans and small heritage brands we aim to both utilise more environmentally sustainable forms of production, and to help support and sustain traditional skilled jobs and the communities around them.
Established in 1971, 430 Kings Road is where Vivienne and Malcolm McLaren first showcased their ideas and designs. Using fashion as a platform to make political statements, and constructing garments using unconventional techniques, the pair were at the forefront of London youth culture and famously created the template for punk style. Their shop was renamed and redecorated regularly to reflect the designs sold inside, ending up as Worlds End in 1980 to showcase the “Pirate” collection, the name it holds to this day.
For well over a century, islanders of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland have woven the beautiful and intricate cloth known as Harris Tweed. It is the only fabric in the world that is protected by its own Act of Parliament, meaning that by law, the cloth must be made from pure virgin wool which has been dyed and spun on the islands and handwoven at the home of the weaver. From start to finish, the cloth is in the hands of skilled and experienced artisans who oversee every stage of production, utilising generations of knowledge to produce a product that is defined by quality and style. Harris Tweed is crafted by hand without the aid of automation or electricity, using natural materials.
Scottish tartan is another fabric which is central to our collections. From the punk look of the 70s onwards, Vivienne has always used this traditional cloth, which has been sourced from Lochcarron of Scotland for over three decades.
Since 2010, we have been producing an accessories line in Kenya thanks to a collaboration with the Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) of the International Trade Centre – a joint body of the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation – which currently supports the work of thousands of artisan micro-producers from marginalised African communities.