Handbags with Soul

Vivienne Westwood handmade Ethical Fashion Shopper

Not only just another Christmasgift, but a special gift, which I got just for me.

When I first read about the Vivienne Westwood Ethical Fashion Initiative Bags last year, it was very clear that I have to add one to my private handbag collection. Just a matter of time. As I own some pretty beautiful handbags, which get more precious to me the older they are, I was not in a hurry to wait for the right model. And this season I was lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time.

Vivienne Westwood Shopper

Big enough to carry A3 folders, outside pockets where my water bottles fit in, a inside pocket with zipper, a beautiful red tartan lining that unfolds my belongings much better than a dark lining and squashy natural leather straps long enough to carry the bag over the shoulder. And on top of all and very important to me: lightweight enough for days without car. Well, just the perfect companion for public transport.

Vivienne Westwood handmade Ethical Fashion Shopper

And here some additional facts about the story behind the bag, which makes it even more special:

The Vivienne Westwood Ethical Fashion Initiative Bags are “Handmade with love” in Nairobi. Produced in collaboration with the Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) of the International Trade Centre – a joint body of the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) –which currently supports the work of thousands of women micro-producers from marginalized African communities. The EFI empowers informal manufacturers and craftspeople to enter the international value chain – providing an income for some of the poorest people in the world. This promotes the growth of sustainable business in place of aid dependency and creates stability among these impoverished communities. This is not charity, this is work.

All styles have been created using recycled canvas, reused roadside banners, unused leather off-cuts, and recycled brass, produced in Kibera slum (Nairobi’s biggest), where discarded metal like padlocks and car pieces are collected then melted down. The collections include a range of bag styles for men and women, including unisex rucksacks, totes, patchwork drawstring bags and Maasai hand beaded clutches and key rings and are inspired by the African fabrics and surroundings they are produced in.

I guess you understand why this bag fits perfectly my daily lifestyle and has to be mentioned right now, when so many people just grab anything to have a present for Christmas. Take your time and think twice, then you will find presents with soul. Otherwise rather give nothing and spend time together.

And let the famous words of Vivienne Westwood be our guideline:

buy LESS

choose well

make it last

Vivienne Westwood handmade Ethical Fashion Shopper

read more about the project:
Ethical Fashion Initiative
Worlds End Blog: Africa Bags

Vivienne Westwood handmade Ethical Fashion Shopper

You will find the bags in the Worlds End shop as well as in Vivienne Westwood stores and online: viviennewestwood.co.uk
Vienna Store:
Tuchlauben 12, 1010 Vienna
+43 1 532 09 04

Vivienne Westwood handmade Ethical Fashion Shopper

Christmastime is about Storytelling

Christmastime is about storytelling

Christmastime is about story telling. So why not live the viennese dream of Christmasmarkets in front of palaces and handmade gifts from resident artists, craftsmen and producers? Let me share with you my favorite food and gifts this season.

where to go

Christmastime is about storytelling

1. outside: Schönbrunn was and is my favorite place to walk around the palace park and then have a Sissi Punsch (with white wine).

2. inside and outside: Labstelle offers inside delicious Austrian cuisine and outside after 4PM around the corner in a small passage small appetizers and hot drinks liked mulled wine and Punsch. (I promise to write an english review soon, please find my german review here and enjoy the photographs for now: click)

Christmastime is about storytelling

3. Christmas Village on Maria Theresa Square is a wonderful location in the middle of two museums (Art History Museum and Natural History Museum) and I had the best freshly baked Kiachls, kind of doughnuts, there.

what to collect

for the home

Every Christmas season I pick one of the classic viennese pewter tree decorations from Urbanke. What started as a modest hobby grew into a delightful collection of winter decoration in our home.

Christmastime is about storytelling

what to make

Admiting, that I like the british fruit cakes much more than the austrian and therefore baking every year a new variation of Mich Turner’s rich fruit cakes, and even handprinted a recipe version on tea towels this season as a gift-wrap for the cake.

Christmastime is about storytelling

what to buy

Those little wood-quotes are the cutest small presents for a small budget. Screenprinted by Barbara and Christoph, you will find the signs handmade of fruit crates on Etsy or around little Christmasmarkets in town.

Christmastime is about storytelling

Another fair priced gift source I found and can’t wait to give as a present as it is so special in details: Paper Republic offers notebooks with  Japanese handmade Chiyogami and Katazome covers, associated with natural writing paper from Sweden. Each piece is unique, hand-numbered and crafted in Europe according to traditional bookbinding techniques.

Christmastime is about storytelling

Last but not least the storytelling highlight of the winter-season: a viennese student who draws dream sequences for his own graphic novel had the idea to screen print parts of the story of the Schlafwandler on organic and fair produced T-Shirts. Can you imagine that I feel double cosy with my long-sleeved oversize T-Shirt in front of the fireplace? (Yes, it was a gift to me this time.)

Christmastime is about storytelling

Are you edel enough?


Girls, leave your heels at home and wear your boots made for walking. It’s a weekend full of great events scattered throughout vienna. Simultaneously to the kick off of the Vienna Design Week, it is all about the popular Edelstoff Design Market at the wonderfully rising art district at the former Anker Bread Factory this Saturday and Sunday.


And guess what? My blogger camera stays at home and instead of the blogger equipment I packed lots of boxes with my work in the Screenprint Studio and am participating with over 100 independent designers with my screen prints on the market.

Vanportrait-Edelstoff stationary

What to expect?

2.000 qm with art, fashion and design with 90 national and around 20 exhibitors are arriving from Hungary, Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia and Germany.  The Sound comes from Superfly and DJ Beats by Mrs. Lovett. Espressomobil, Hildegard Wurst, essthetikum and the Baking Ladies will ensure that you do not have to starve or thirst ;-)

So let’s rock the weekend together! See you!

see you @ edelstoff04

previous posts:
Edelstoff 01
Edelstoff 02
Edelstoff 03
Wegweiser Edelstoff04
facebook: Vanportrait Designs