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Vivienne Westwood Leads Anti-Fracking Protest

The ever-vocal designer led a protest march in central London on Wednesday.

MARCHING WESTWOOD: The ever-vocal Vivienne Westwood led an anti-fracking protest march in central London on Wednesday, taking 180 demonstrators — many of them stylishly dressed — from her Battersea headquarters to Knightsbridge as part of the Fracked Future Carnival. On Wednesday in London, government officials and the heads of various energy companies were attending the Shale Gas Forum to discuss opportunities in the U.K. for hydraulic fracturing, a method of retrieving gas and oil from shale rock using high-pressure drilling.

Those who oppose hydraulic fracturing — known colloquially as fracking — say it comes at a huge cost to the environment.

The British designer led the crowd, which included many of her own employees, with a chant of “Frack off!” as they marched over the Thames, onto the King’s Road and into Knightsbridge. They carried signs that read “Go Frack Yourself,” “What’s Good for the Planet is Good for the Economy,” and “We Need to Talk About Fracking!” and wore caps that said “Climate Revolution” and pins emblazoned with the word “Revolution.”

“The fight against fracking is the most important battle the British people will ever fight,” Westwood told WWD. “It is the first battle in the war against climate change, and we will win.” Westwood’s husband Andreas Kronthaler said: “We need more time, and it needs to be looked at more closely…The government is trying to rush us into this, and I don’t think that’s right.” Westwood’s activist calendar has been packed this week: On Tuesday, she hosted a vegetarian lunch in London to launch a video for PETA. The one-minute video features the British designer taking a shower wearing a bathing cap.

“I am an eco-warrior, but I take long showers with a clean conscience because I’m vegetarian,” says Westwood in the video. The video aims to underline the amount of running water used by the meat industry and how rivers are allegedly being modified for farms and crops raised for livestock.

The lunch was held at Tibits, a vegetarian restaurant off Regent Street. Westwood offered press and PETA members falafel mini-burgers, dried bean salad, bulgur wheat salad, and Indian Dhal. She recently shaved off most of her red hair to support the climate cause. “We must all wake up to climate change,” said Westwood. “I’ve cut the red out to show the gray for a while as I’m proud of my age.”