Through her couture house, the designer has been promoting sustainable and ethical fashion since 2001. An approach that is being adopted by more and more brands.
Stella McCartney has a world famous surname. But nowadays she is known more for her role as a pioneer in ethical and sustainable fashion than for being the daughter of the Beatles’ bass player. Having been raised on an organic farm in Sussex, in southern England, the stylist is a stalwart ecologist. And when in 2001 she created her own brand, she also imposed her vision of eco-responsible fashion.
This innovative approach is an example for all the brands now trying to adopt a more responsible model. It isn’t perhaps a well-known fact, but fashion is one of the most water, energy and raw material greedy industries.
Eco-responsible materials, renewable energy offices
Stella McCartney's first brand commitment is that when making its products no animal-based raw materials such as leather, fur, feathers, fish glue, etc. are used. To prevent animal suffering of course, but also - as explained on its website – because the livestock industry is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Stella McCartney uses innovative eco-responsible materials in her pieces. In 2013, she began using Eco Alter Nappa, an alternative to leather, made using polyester, vegetable oil and renewable natural resources.
She also uses polyester made from recycled plastic bottles or bioplastic - in particular for sunglasses and biodegradable soles on shoes.
The brand also uses regenerated cashmere, made from industrial waste, and viscose – a plant-based textile with a texture similar to silk - produced from wood harvested from certified and sustainably managed Swedish forests.
Some fabrics, like viscose, start life as a tree - often from endangered forests. We are committed to the use of a whole new generation of sustainable fabrics and together with @CanopyPlanet are working on solutions to protect our forests. Check out the Deforestation Series on #StellasWorld #StellaCares @KassCarmen
Stella McCartney's sustainable approach extends to her entire business. Therefore, as far as possible, she uses renewable energies in her shops and offices. In the United Kingdom, these are supplied by Ecotricity, a company that supplies green electricity produced by wind power. In the United States, many of her stores are equipped with solar panels and energy-efficient air conditioning systems. Generally all her sites across the world benefit from low-energy lighting and apply a strict recycling policy.
Raising awareness on the planet fashion
Stella McCartney has raised environmental awareness in the fashion industry. Since she first began collaborating with major fashion and cosmetics players (Adidas, L'Oréal, H & M, etc.) in the early 2000s, she required sustainable supply and production processes be applied. A little revolution that gave rise to new ideas.
In 2014, in partnership with H & M, the British stylist participated in the launch of CleverCare, a new labeling system that teaches consumers how to care for their clothes with fewer washes.
In a little more than fifteen years, Stella McCartney has become a fashion world celebrity. And she has imposed her vision by proving that fashion and sustainability do indeed go together.