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Talking Fracking

Vivienne Westwood on why we have to win the fight against fracking

14-07-2014 | Fracking - the controversial process of blasting water, sand and chemicals deep underground to extract gas and oil - has encountered widespread resistance as exploratory wells spring up across the UK. Designer and activist Vivienne Westwood tells us why for her, fracking is on the front line in the battle against climate change.

Fractured earth

Our government wants to impose fracking on this country. When you look into it is the most crazy thing. It’s bad for the economy and is certainly bad for the planet. Everybody knows that fossil fuel is the greatest contribution to global warming and pollution. We want governments throughout the world to start addressing climate change in a way that’s going to stop it, instead of just dabbling and pretending, doing bits and pieces while at the same time promoting fossil fuel.

We’ve just finished our anti-fracking tour. We wanted it to be a debate, but none of the politicians or pro-frackers from industry would join in, so we just had to say what is wrong with fracking. But we are starting to see the media take this up, which is what we wanted. I believe that we’ve taken the first step; we’ve won the first skirmish in what has to be a battle.

The fight starts here

Everything’s connected to fracking. If I want to fight for the Arctic and fight for the rainforest and I don’t fight against fracking, then I’ve already lost. The point with fracking is that it’s happening near to me and it’s possible to win this fight; we have to win this fight.


  Vivienne Westwood 270

“If I want to fight for the Arctic and fight for the rainforest and I don’t fight against fracking, then I’ve already lost.”

Vivienne Westwood, designer and activist

I think this is the most important problem the British people will ever have to face, because we still hope that we’ve got a chance to stop runaway climate change. If we don’t fight this we’re one step closer to climate change and we’re still left with all the harder battles to win.

Get engaged

People need to inform themselves. You can do that on your own to some extent, but it’s better to do it with someone else. We need people to pull together and work together against this, and you’ve got to start somewhere. With fracking you might want to visit on of the sites - there’s over 200 of them now.

We must do what we can to raise public protest. At the moment I’m putting my hopes in trying to get young people to know how they can protest, how they can get a life, how they can change things. Young people are really idealistic, so they’re my hope that we can get them against fracking. They should be as climate change is getting nearer and nearer to the danger point.

Everything you do to try and engage with world we live in is important. To me, true culture is about people understanding what human beings are capable of doing, how wonderful they are, the great things we’ve done in the past, how we could become even more perfect if we had the right reasons and values. We’ve been trained to be consumers for so long and we have to rebel against that. Otherwise you’ve just living a kind of virtual experience. You’re not yourself, you’re not who you could be, you’re just a cipher in the whole thing.

photography LUSH interview by WILL FERGUSON

CV: Vivienne Westwood

Dame Vivienne Westwood is one of the UK’s most individual and influential designers, playing a key role in shaping British fashion since she started designing in 1971. She is also a active campaigner for social and environmental causes, including being a being a trustee of human rights charity Liberty and an ambassador for Greenpeace. Vivienne launched the 'Climate Revolution' to rally charities, NGOs and individuals to join forces and fight the battle against climate change together. This year she launched ‘We Need to Talk about Fracking’; a campaign and tour intended to raise awareness of government plans to introduce fracking and kickstart a wider debate around the issue.

Climate Revolution

Vivienne Westwood's Climate Revolution brings together to fight climate change and human rights issues – using protests, campaigns, petitions and public action for a better future. Find out how you can join in:




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