Britain's grand dame of fashion Vivienne Westwood urged the nation to vote for the environmentalist Green party ahead of the general election in May, to move votes away from the main parties.

The designer, who is famous for her political views as well as her bold fashion, said on 22 February that she hoped the public would vote for leftist party even though it was not likely to capture new parliamentary seats because she believed both Britain's Conservative and Labour parties did not look after the interests of British people.

"There's only 1% who get rich, and the others all get poorer and that is how the system is designed and the Green party is about equality, it's about having a comfortable life, not a quick, get rich life where you don't get rich anyway and so you have got real human values," Westwood said.

"This is what it would be and the potential for people to develop their talents and to have power and control over their own lives. A green economy is not just about more green jobs, it's about more school teachers, more health workers, you get the economy working with real values and real people, you don't just work an economy that goes to the banks in the end," she told journalists backstage ahead of her show at London Fashion Week.

At the last national ballot in 2010, the Greens claimed their first Westminster seat but polled only 1% of the vote. The party, seen as fringe activists, has never been the major political force in Britain that it is in European countries such as Germany where, since merging with the Alliance 90 party, it has over 60 seats in the Bundestag.

Despite its low presentation Westwood said that she thinks the British public could be ready for a government that includes the Green Party.

"I think that people are very much more aware than we think because it's not reflected in the press. The press is mostly owned by the 1%. And they support all that draining of the money. People know what's going on. It's very difficult to know what to do and I am suggesting one thing you can do that's helpful is to vote Green. It's something I feel I can do," she said.