Act Fast, Slow Down, Stop Climate Change.
As part of Back to Earth, fashion designer and activist Vivienne Westwood is developing her campaign SWITCH. Westwood’s long history of fighting for climate justice today culminates in her campaign for Back to Earth, asking and encouraging us to SWITCH to green energy, a moment of calling to action together with partner organisations, with whom she has developed strong and crucial relationships with over the years.
Westwood is calling for clear change: “First step to save the environment: SWITCH to Green Energy.” We must change our energy source, we must do it quickly, and then we must reflect on our behaviours to commit to, and make long term difference. Westwood is encouraging us to make changes now that will translate into a significant impact in the environmental effort and reminds us that the consumer has the agency. Westwood’s campaign for Back to Earth, specifically focuses on switching to green energy. “We’ve got 5 years to fix it”, as Westwood declares.
Our attention now needs to shift to our homes, our businesses, our choices and to SWITCH to Green Energy. Westwood prompts us to think about both energy and power as a source, where does it come from, who has it and who can yield it?
About the Project
In September 2017, Vivienne Westwood, along with the British Fashion Council, and support from the London Mayor’s office, launched the SWITCH to Green campaign to encourage the fashion industry to switch all UK offices and stores to a green energy supplier. Concurrently, Westwood has been developing a long term relationship with Cool Earth, a charity that works alongside communities to reduce deforestation and its impact on climate change. For her campaign for Back to Earth, one of Vivienne’s main priorities was to raise funds for the charity, in their ongoing effort to support local and indigenous knowledge to develop the best ways to address threats to the forest while making communities stronger and more resilient. The culmination of Westwood’s 2021 campaign, exemplifies the need for collaboration and uplifting. Everything is connected, as Vivienne says: “Tropical rainforests are the lungs of the world – they breathe for us, they give life. We need to cultivate and respect nature. We must rely on cooperation and collaboration to maximise our impact: we must act now! What’s good for the planet is good for the economy.”
About Vivienne Westwood’s WePresent collaboration
Serpentine has teamed up with WePresent on Groundwork, a series of monthly deep dives into Back to Earth projects which will unfold between January and May 2021, presented in support of artists’ chosen NGOs and organisations. For the second issue of Groundwork, Vivienne Westwood has shared her call to action for the planet: SWITCH to Green Energy, supported by punk visuals and her history as an environmental activist. Westwood has nominated Cool Earth as her chosen charity.
About Vivienne Westwood
Vivienne Westwood was born in Glossop, Derbyshire 1941 and later moved to London where she began designing in 1971 along with her then partner, Malcolm McLaren. In 1984 she launched her own fashion line and in 2006, Vivienne’s contribution to British Fashion was officially recognised when she was appointed Dame of the British Empire by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Vivienne has spent many years tirelessly speaking out about the effects of climate change and over-consumption. In 2012 Vivienne inaugurated the ‘Climate Revolution’ at the London Paralympics closing ceremony and continues to rally charities, NGO’s and individuals to join forces and to take action against disengaged political leaders and big business. For a number of years Vivienne Westwood has actively supported CoolEarth.org, a charity that works with local communities to halt rainforest destruction.
In September 2017, Vivienne Westwood, along with the British Fashion Council, and support from the London Mayor’s office, launched the SWITCH to Green campaign to encourage the fashion industry to switch all UK offices and stores to a green energy supplier.
Vivienne has written her ideas in a Manifesto called “NO MANS LAND”. Using her graphics, Vivienne has designed a set of playing cards as a cultural led-economic strategy to save the world. These campaigns and philosophies are recorded in: www.climaterevolution.co.uk