Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has teamed up with designer Sadie Frost and Greenpeace UK to launch their #SavetheArctic campaign.
The campaign is calling on celebrities and civilians to oppose to Shell Oil’s Obama-approved plan to drill for oil in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. Sixty celebrities, including models Kate Moss and Lily Cole; actors Judi Dench, Tom Hiddleston and Sienna Miller; and pop stars Kylie Minogue and Jessie J; have all joined the campaign, appearing in photographs that are being featured on the walls of London Underground’s Waterloo Station. (The official t-shirts they wear have all been made at a Peruvian cooperative that uses organic, unbleached cotton.)
Stylist points out that the photographs will be seen by employees of Shell’s London headquarters, which is adjacent to the station.
“People all over the world understand that the Arctic melting will affect us all,” said Dame Vivienne Westwood. “If we’re to save it, the time to act is now. […] There are seven million people signed up to Save the Arctic, with global public opinion still growing – we need to continue this momentum until it becomes a torrent they can’t afford to ignore.”
Arctic drilling has been condemned by a multitude of scientific and environmental experts, including, at one time, the same government entity that eventually approved Shell’s drilling permit. Over a year ago, the Interior Department released an environmental impact statement that concluded developing Shell’s oil leases in the Chukchi carries a 75 percent risk that one or more large oil spills will occur.
“Our Arctic ocean is flat out the worst place on Earth to drill for oil,” Niel Lawrence, Alaska director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement. “The world’s last pristine sea, it is both too fragile to survive a spill and too harsh and remote for effective cleanup.”
In January of last year, a massive coalition of environmental groups (including the Native Village of Point Hope, Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope, Alaska Wilderness League, Center for Biological Diversity, National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, Oceana, Sierra Club and World Wildlife Fund) issued a joint statement that “[t]he government has no business offering oil companies leases in the Chukchi Sea… Drilling for oil puts at risk the region’s wildlife and people, and it takes us off the path toward a clean energy future.”