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Sunday, 6 February 2011

Please Give Fashionably

This weekend I looked at local and national campaigns that offer 'fashion for a good cause'. Earlier in the week I was delighted to hear about one of my favourite designers, Dame Vivienne Westwood, designing this years t-shirts for Comic Relief sold exclusively at TK Maxx stores across the UK. I couldn't wait to see the designs for myself and yesterday I trotted into town with the boy in tow to grab a piece of the action. I found a good selection of t-shirts featuring a range of designs for men, women and even teeny tiny children's' ones. If only I got to wear Westwood when I was that little!

Vivienne Westwood is no stranger to advocating the need to contribute to a good cause. It's rare that we see her do mainstream media interviews, but when she does she uses the platform to raise awareness for cultural and political issues - most recently acting against climate change - more than to promote her designs. Her manifesto, Active Resistance to Propaganda and her blog have more detail on her campaigns and her thoughts. As a pioneer of statement fashion, Westwood has displayed her views and campaigns through her collections for several years (see Spring/ Summer 2007's I Am Expensive collection as a noteworthy example), so it seems like a natural choice for TK Maxx to collaborate with her on their latest 'chari-tee' range for Red Nose Day (which takes place on March 18th).

The collection features striking prints of historical figures, art, classic Westwood images and even characters from Blackadder on soft, fairtrade organic cotton and given a Comic Relief twist. Never ones to shy away from a bit of Westwood, the boy and I both got t-shirts, coming in at a total of just under £25:

'The Laughing Audience' by Hogarth T-shirt, £9.99 by Vivienne Westwood for Comic Relief

'Louis XIV Lady' T-shirt, £14.99, by Vivienne Westwood for Comic Relief (featuring a pair of cheekily placed red noses)

With at least half of the proceeds going towards Comic Relief, which promises to help people across the UK and Africa, this is a win-win situation. Nice one, Viv. If accessories are more your thing, TK Maxx are also selling limited edition Liberty print scarves and tote bags for the same cause. All the Comic Relief pieces can be bought in-store or by visiting TK Maxx's website.

On a more local level , I headed off to Oran Mor today to Say No To Plastic's vintage, charity and craft sale to enjoy a rummage through the vintage rails and show my support to home-grown designers. This wasn't my first visit to Say No To Plastic, so I was already aware of their campaign, set up over three years ago to help encourage the eradication of plastic and polythene bags. As there was a similar vintage fair being held over at Hillhead Bookclub at the same time (the rather excellent Granny Would Be Proud event) I was unsure if it would still be busy today, but I was glad to see lots of keen shoppers and lively ladies excitedly browsing at both Oran Mor and Hillhead Bookclub. I guess us West End Girls were blessed with a double whammy of retail therapy too keep us occupied during today's football! Lucky us!

Taken at Say No To Plastic, earlier today at Oran Mor

Say No To Plastic gently encourage a charity donation on entry, which most people are only to happy to contribute to. It's a small price for a great selection of handmade and pre-loved pieces. I meandered round the stalls and saw old favourites We Are The Robots selling their ever popular Scrabble and Lego inspired jewellery, countless vintage treasure and had to stop and look at Bunny's Beads' cool cameo pendants (really wishing I'd bought the skull one now), sweetie jewellery and cute rings.

A selection of goodies from Bunny's Beads

More vintage trinkets at Say No To Plastic

I always enjoy these events, and setting them up to help a good cause is even better. So whether it's a national campaign or a local held event, 2011 could be the year that sees feel-good fashion with a heart go from strength to strength.

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