Lower Impact Materials banner


We look beyond the aesthetic qualities of the materials we use. We consider their social and environmental impacts at every stage of their lifecycle, and we endeavour to know where they come from. All of our suppliers are required to complete our sustainability standards and traceability tool.

Today, our Ready-to-Wear collections are made from 90% lower impact fabrics, meaning materials that offer a better solution to the fashion industry’s social and environmental issues when compared to their conventional alternatives.

We trial material innovations with our suppliers every season, and we are working to deliver the highest standard of sustainability across every product we make, in every category.


We know the impact the cotton industry has on people and the environment, and we understand this impact varies depending on where the cotton is grown, how it is grown and how it is used as a fibre.
We are committed to increasing the amount of recycled cotton fabric in our collections due to concerns around water use and soil contamination through pesticides from growing new cotton fibre. While we do still use some virgin cotton, we are committed to using certified organic cotton as organic farming systems are more financially resilient for farmers and more regenerative for soil health. In our current collection, over 90% of the cotton used is certified organic, and a further 3% is recycled cotton.
Our focus on recycled cotton pertains particularly to our denim ranges, where the majority of our denim fabrics consist of recycled cotton. For our recycled denim range, most of the cotton yarn used comes from the production waste of the supplier. After the indigo dyeing process, there is always unavoidable waste. This waste is regenerated and transformed into new yarn. The production of this regenerated fabric saves 70% of water consumption, 85% of chemical consumption, and 60% of CO2 emissions compared with a conventional cotton denim fabric.
For next season, we will introduce poplin made of cotton sourced through regenerative agriculture. Regenerative agriculture refers to land management practices for farming and grazing systems by rebuilding and restoring soil’s organic matter and biodiversity, supporting the power of photosynthesis in plants to close the carbon cycle and improve soil health, crop resilience and nutrient density. We want to increase and expand the use of regenerative practices across our lines.


More than 150 million trees are logged every year and turned into wood pulp-derived fibres such as viscose, rayon, lyocell and modal fabrics, threatening the survival of ancient and endangered forests worldwide.
Currently, all non-blended, and the majority of blended viscose we use in our clothing is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. This means it is fully traceable back to forests that are responsibly managed, balancing the needs of forest communities, local workers, the environment and wildlife while conserving forests for future generations. We work with the environmental organization Canopy and fully support their goal of transforming our industry’s unsustainable raw material supply chains.
We are working toward 100% FSC certified viscose across all blended and non-blended fibres.


Linen, derived from flax, requires no fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides for growing its fibres. We source linen from the EU, where it is estimated that every year flax-growing captures 250,000 tonnes of carbon in soil.
Hemp also requires little-to-no use of fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides, controls topsoil erosion and does not need irrigation. Hemp production can regenerate vital nutrients in the soil and acts as a carbon sink – meaning it absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere during its growth than is emitted by the equipment used to harvest, process and transport it. Our design and fabric development teams are continuously seeking opportunities to include more linen and hemp in our collections.


As part of our goal of eliminating virgin plastic from all our product categories, we are swapping out ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) and synthetic rubber in our shoe soles. Over 40% of our sole styles now contains natural rubber.
Today, thanks to our Portuguese rubber supplier, Bolflex, over 55% of our footwear collection offer contains recycled rubber. We aim to increase the recycled content for future collections.


We are phasing out the use of wool from farms that practice mulesing (a painful method of protecting certain breeds of sheep from a deadly fly infestation, which involves removing strips of skin). With our current collection, we have achieved our goal of 100% mulesing free wool.
In addition, our approved standards for farming and processing wool used in our products are Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), ZQ™, NATIVA™, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and OKEO-TEX® 100 certification.
In this collection, we introduced wool from a farm with regenerative agriculture practices in place, certified by NATIVA™. The NATIVA™ Protocol certifies every step of the supply chain, from farm to brand, ensuring high levels of animal welfare, farm land-management and the socio-economic welfare of farmers and their communities. The majority of this wool comes from farms that take a regenerative approach, focusing on enhancing local ecosystems and strengthening the health, vitality and fertility of farm soil. We want to increase and expand the use of regenerative practices across our lines. https://www.nativapreciousfiber.com/blockchain/NATIVA_QR_VivienneWestwood


We are deeply committed to our Animal Sourcing Principles that demand care and respect for the animals in our material supply chains. Our Principles are based on the internationally recognised ‘Five Freedoms’ for animal welfare. They are a must for all our suppliers to ensure that we do not knowingly use any material or process in our products that inflicts suffering on animals or has a negative impact on biodiversity.
We do not use any leather in our clothing collections, but we do use it for our shoes, bags and small leather goods for its quality and durability.
We require all leather in our products to come from farms with high animal welfare standards. However due to concerns about animal welfare, deforestation and hazardous chemicals used in leather processing, we are reducing the use of new virgin leather in our accessories.
Currently, over 45% of our accessories and small leather goods are made from alternatives to animal leather, making the product entirely or partially vegan. These alternatives include recycled polyester, PU leather or, for our footwear ranges, innovations such as bamboo and apple fibres.
We continue to explore alternative materials – such as cactus leather, apple leather, cotton canvas, wool and recycled synthetics – in an effort to reduce the amount of leather we use overall.


Silk is a key feature for our Bridal & Couture collections, where peace silk is used for a select number of styles. Also known as Ahimsa silk, it is produced slowly according to the natural cycle of the silkworm, allowing them to hatch as butterflies from their cocoons before the silk is collected.
For future collections, where possible, silk used in our Ready-to-Wear collections will be GOTS certified.


The mother of pearl used in our jewellery is sourced from Lumea, one of the only sustainably managed fisheries in the world, overseen by the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries. Lumea's harvesting practices are in line with local heritage and laws, ensuring that complex ecosystems are protected against overfishing and exploitation of the seabed.


We have been working to eliminate all virgin synthetic fibres from our products and these now make up less than 10% of the materials in our Ready-to-Wear collection. All fully synthetic materials are 100% recycled. Where we use synthetics for our accessories range, we mostly use Newlife™ mechanically recycled polyester, which ensures no hazardous chemicals are used in the recycling process.
Our goal is to substantially increase recycled synthetics, finding alternatives to virgin materials used in our vegan ranges.
In our jewellery, we have switched from plastic and resin-based pearls to glass pearls in more than 70% of styles and will continue to work towards replacing all virgin plastic in future collections.
Our preferred certification for recycled synthetic fibre across all product categories is the Global Recycle Standard (GRS). While using recycled synthetic materials is good for tackling textile waste, microfibre shedding occurs from washing them so we aim to only use recycled synthetics for garments and accessories that do not require frequent washing and care. We are following research and innovation closely in hope and anticipation of an industry-wide set of protocols for addressing microfibre pollution.


All sterling silver in our jewellery collection is from certified recycled sources. Silver scrap metal from the jewellery manufacturing industry is repurposed by our supplier Umicore in Thailand, who are members of the Responsible Jewellery Council and have been accredited by the LBMA (London Bullion Market Association).
We are currently testing the feasibility of switching to recycled alternatives for the other metals used in the collection.