As well as being one of the world’s most renowned fashion designers, Vivienne Westwood has been an icon of pop culture ever since the 1970s, when she was a leading figure in the punk scene alongside the Sex Pistols and their legendary manager Malcolm McLaren. In more recent years, however, Westwood has made the news for a different reason: her political activism.
Here are just a few of the political movements and statements Vivienne Westwood has been involved with:
Westwood has been one of the most outspoken protesters against UK government policy on fracking. In September 2015, she sat atop a white armoured vehicle that drove through the then-Prime Minister David Cameron’s Witney constituency to make a point about the controversial shale gas-extraction process, which the government was on the verge of backing, despite protests and concerns about its safety. In the same year, Westwood also joined an anti-fracking rally in Preston, Lancashire, close to where one of the first locations for fracking had been approved by the local council.
Westwood is notable for her activism regarding the environment. In addition to the fracking protests mentioned above, she has also demonstrated against climate change and unethical fashion. Probably her most famous protest in this area though came at the 2012 London Paralympics closing ceremony. During this event, Westwood unveiled a black ‘Climate Revolution’ banner while stood atop a float.
The Scottish independence referendum of 2014 was fiercely contested, with famous names on both sides of the debate wading in with their opinions during the campaign. Westwood was one of the fiercest proponents for Scotland becoming independent from the rest of the United Kingdom. She sent a number of her models down the catwalk wearing ‘Yes’ badges during the spring/summer 2015 campaign to drive her point home.