Buy a Westwood Tree-shirt to GreenUp! Europe Tue, Oct 11, 2011

At the launch of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)'s new '/GreenUp' initiative, conceived to bring the Green Economy closer to Europeans, Dame Vivienne unveiled a Tree-shirt to raise funds for re-connecting Europe's forests.

Fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood (r.) unveils the 'Tree-shirt' at the GreenUp launch in Brussels.

Vivienne Westwood, Achim Steiner and Isabelle Durant launch a citizens' green economy initiative ahead of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development "Rio+20"

Brussels, 11 October -
Fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood today put art in the service of sustainable development.

At the launch of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)'s new 'GreenUp' initiative, conceived to bring the Green Economy closer to Europeans, Dame Vivienne unveiled a Tree-shirt to raise funds for re-connecting Europe's forests.

Forests across the globe will be central to combating climate change and a key part of realizing a low carbon, resource efficient Green Economy studies show.

The essential Vivienne Westwood design was printed on shirts donated by the Anvil Eco T-Shirt Collection- and each shirt includes a Shirt Scan- Code with additional information on the GreenUp programme.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, underlined at today's launch: "GreenUp, with the help of Dame Vivienne, can assist to demystify the Green Economy and make it practical so that people can make a difference."

European forests may be expanding by around 7,000 hectares a year but many are still under threat from 'fragmentation' as a result of felling, fires and conversion to agricultural land according to experts with the United Nations.

Not only are these isolated and fragmented forest systems more vulnerable to climate change, but they are also less able to support wildlife, stabilize soils and supply sufficient water to the cities, companies and communities that rely on such ecosystem services.

'Buy a Tree-shirt, plant a tree' is the first of 10 actions of the new GreenUp programme - a UNEP initiative launched jointly with the European Climate Foundation. As of today, the Tree-shirt is available online at's eco-friendly initiative YOOXYGEN, giving all net sale proceeds to replanting programmes.'s involvement in the GreenUp Tree Shirt initiative fits perfectly with their history of collaboration with Vivienne Westwood and ongoing involvement in the promotion of eco-sustainable fashion and design.

The Tree-Shirts, are meant to be thought-provoking and to inspire a new way of thinking. "The antidote to consumption and climate change is culture. It's art," the designer and environmental advocate Dame Vivienne said. "It's a way of thinking. We are dangerously short of culture and of people's appreciation of what is actually a good life."

GreenUp is about triggering new habits for a greener Europe and for greener economies. Eight months ahead of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development 'Rio+20', GreenUp is taking the idea of shifting to a sustainable economic model to the streets. It's not just for private and public sectors, it's everyone business.

"Programs such as GreenUp which plant trees in European forests are an essential reminder that we cannot continue to deplete our natural resources faster than we replenish them", noted Anvil's CEO Anthony Corsano.

Dame Vivienne emphasized that "the most important part is that it is absolutely crucial to involve the public. Public opinion is the only thing to save us. Without it, it I do believe we are an endangered species."

Isabelle Durant, Vice President of the European Parliament, spoke about the power of citizens as governments prepare for Rio+20. "The Green Economy will never exist with only directives and international agreements," she said. "We have to mobilise the citizens through programmes like GreenUp. It's absolutely necessary for citizens to have the capacity to exchange their ideas and experimentation. And to share their progress and successes."

Each month leading to Rio+20 in June 2012, GreenUp's actions for European citizens will convey how smarter development is achievable, and how a green economy can protect our economies and our future.

The citizen actions are designed with social media in mind, and GreenUp's centrepiece is its innovative website: a social media hub that Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP, presented at the launch. "The goal of GreenUp," said Steiner, "is to bring an understanding to the people and to inform them about the Green Economy; that every single citizen, young or old, rich or poor, can make a difference. Without information, a citizen is powerless."

To learn more, buy a Tree-shirt or design your own, join us on:

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UNEP's Green Economy Initiative

Many of UNEP's reports and publications are available at the online bookshop Earthprint at

For more information, please contact: Isabelle Valentiny, Information Officer for Europe, +41 79 251 82 36 or

Nick Nuttall, Acting Director UNEP Division of Communications and Public Information/Spokesperson, on Tel+254 733 632755, e-mail:

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