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Fashion guru's a real girl guide

PUBLISHED: 13:47 04 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:30 23 August 2010

WOMAN ON A MISSION: Katherine Hamnett wants to promote equal rights across the globe.

WOMAN ON A MISSION: Katherine Hamnett wants to promote equal rights across the globe.

ONE of the biggest names in fashion for the last 20 years has spoken to the Times about a new campaign she is backing calling for action on girls rights. Katherine Hamnett, 62, the woman behind slogan t-shirts in the 1980s such as CHOSE LIFE and CLEAN

ONE of the biggest names in fashion for the last 20 years has spoken to the Times about a new campaign she is backing calling for action on girls' rights.

Katherine Hamnett, 62, the woman behind slogan t-shirts in the 1980s such as 'CHOSE LIFE' and CLEAN UP OR DIE' is considered a pioneer of ethical clothing. In her latest venture she is supporting The Because I am a Girl campaign, launched on Monday, to encourage political leaders to prioritise the fight against violence and discrimination against girls in the developing world. Mrs Hamnett said: "It is all about education. Women need to be educated to the same level as men, wherever you are in the world. A girl's got to have her own. It's not 'woman gets married, woman has babies, man leaves, woman looks after babies' anymore. We have got to make sure that doesn't happen."

She joins other high-profile women like Esther Rantzen, Fiona Phillips and Beverly Knight, who are also backing the campaign.

"You know we're not asking for anything radical here, just equal rights," she added.

Although Mrs Hamnett, who was born in Gravesend, moved around with her parents as a child, she often stayed with her grandmother in Greenhithe.

Reminiscing, she added: "I used to go and stay there when I was a kid and I used to go down to the riverside and just take it all in.

"Nobody in London seems to enjoy going down to the river, but I used to love it, it was kind of other-worldly. The Cutty Sark used to be moored there and after that The Worcester. I used to sit on the shore and imagine all the sailors inside.

"And of course all of that influences what I do now, like all childhood experiences."

Mrs Hamnett has long fought to make green fashion a reality and she now has her own line of ethical clothes. Her trademark t-shirts have been worn by pop icons such as Wham, Queen and now by Lily Cole, Peaches Geldof and Dirty Pretty Things. For more information about Because I am a Girl visit www.becauseiam

agirl.org.

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