When I think about a leading sustainable fashion designer, the first name that pops into my mind is Stella McCartney. The daughter of The Beatles’ Paul McCartney was one of the first fashion designers to stand against animal cruelty since the very beginning when she opened her brand in 2001. She has certainly been very vocal against the use of leather and fur over the years and in her A/W 2020 runway show. Still, is Stella McCartney really sustainable?
Sustainability in Stella McCartney’s personal life
The mother of the British fashion designer, Linda McCartney, was a fierce advocate for animal rights and vegetarianism. So, Stella McCartney grew up in a vegetarian home, and she transported this philosophy to her luxury fashion label. She has been consistent over the years, both in her personal and professional life, using her name and brand to promote sustainable fashion.
How sustainable is the fashion brand Stella McCartney?
1 – Leading Animal cruelty-free fashion
The luxury fashion house is totally against animal cruelty. Not only the products do not contain leather, fur or feathers; they are also not tested on animals. This is why McCartney chose not to sell perfumes in China, where the government requires animal testing.
In 2013, the designer stopped using Angora, and all wool comes from farms that don’t allow mulesing the sheep. The designer uses vegetarian leather made of recycled polyester. By talking about it and taking concrete steps, Stella McCartney differentiates her label from most of the others in the fashion industry. She is also leading the way for younger designers to follow her footsteps as a sustainable fashion designer.
2 – Leading traceability and transparency in the fashion industry
Sustainability also means that Stella McCartney traces all cotton used back to country and farm, making sure not to buy from countries that may use child labour or forced labour, like, for example, Syria and Uzbekistan. The sustainable fashion designer also traces all of the viscose back to its origin to ensure that it doesn’t come from ancient forests but sustainably-managed forests in Sweden.
Among the brand’s policies, Stella McCartney wants everyone in the supply chain to be treated with respect and dignity. For example, the brand banned sandblasting to give the denim a distressed look. They did so because it is now known that sandblasting causes lung diseases in the workers.
Every single step, from production to the sale, is traced and measured; water pollution, gas emission, waste, packaging. This helps the luxury fashion house to become more and more sustainable.
As for transparency, Stella McCartney lets customers know about the non-biodegradable faux-fur and faux-leather materials hence encouraging them to wear the garments for as long as possible.
3 – Leading innovative materials for sustainable fashion
Stella McCartney is a leading sustainable designer when it comes to circular fashion, which uses regenerative and restorative production methods. Since 2010, all products are PVC-free. Additionally, recycled polyester and fabric made from recycled bottles are used to make handbags. Thanks to innovative technology, McCartney creates Econyl, a synthetic material made of nylon waste like fishing nets found in the oceans. Also from the oceans come the marine plastic pollution that is recycled and transformed into sneakers and backpacks. The latest addition to these innovative materials is Koba Fur-Free-Fur, a recycled and recyclable plant-based material that is the most sustainable faux-fur to this day.
Stella McCartney A/W 2020 fashion show at PFW
At Paris Fashion Week A/W 2020, Stella McCartney took life-size animals to the runway to make her point in the best British style; with humour. Models walked in animal costumes, carrying this season’s bags made of vegan leather and recycled plastic. The sustainable luxury fashion designer explained; “What we try to do here at Stella is to sugarcoat a powerful, meaningful message in a little bit of humour and fun, to make our point in a palatable and digestible way so that people listen. These animals are the ingredients of everyone else’s fashion shows. We are the only luxury fashion house in the world that isn’t killing animals on the runway. I wanted to make that point, but in a joyous way.”
Check the highlights of Stella McCartney Fall 2020.
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