Stella McCartney: A Leader in Luxury Sustainability

 By: Katie @thehippyedit

When I set out to start my own clothing reselling business, I knew I wanted to do it sustainably. A huge inspiration for that was Stella McCartney and the mission behind her company. When I discovered her a few years ago, I was blown away by the steps she’s taken to create a brand centered on animal rights and sustainability, something many other luxury brands seem able to ignore. 

Stella McCartney got her start with a simple jacket at just thirteen years old.

Stella McCarney with mother, Linda McCartney; source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/382665299565585743/

From there, she launched one of the most influential brands in the luxury world. Carrying on her mother, photographer, and animal rights activist, Linda McCartney’s vision of helping the world, Stella has chosen practices for her company that have proven revolutionary to the fast-fashion industry.

She received a degree in fashion design from Central St Martins in 1995. After proving her signature style of sharp tailoring, natural confidence, and sexy femininity in her first two collections, she was appointed as Creative Director of Chloe in Paris in 1997. 

Stella branched off to start her own fashion house, with the help of Kering as a 50/50 joint venture, with her first show in October 2001. As a lifelong vegetarian, she vowed to never use any fur or leather products in any of her designs. In 2015, The Guardian described her as a “consistent and vocal” advocate of animal rights and sustainable practices.

Stella McCartney Ready to Wear; source: https://www.stellamccartney.com/ie/online/stella-mccartney/women/ready-to-wear

She also is an avid supporter of PETA, and several of her designs feature elements that drive home her policy of using vegan products, such as one of her jackets for her collaboration line with Adidas, which reads “suitable for sporty vegetarians” down the sleeve.

Her brand has grown to a sustainable empire, with 51 freestanding stores around the world in high-profile locations such as Manhattan’s Soho, London’s Mayfair and Brompton Cross, LA’s West Hollywood, Paris’ Palais Royal, Milan, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Beijing. Her collections can be found in 77 countries, through 863 stores including specialty shops and department stores, and her website ships to 100 countries around the world.

Stella is considered one of the pioneers of sustainability in the luxury fashion

Stella McCartney Summer 2020 Collection; source: https://www.stellamccartney.com/ie/shop-by-look-summer20_grd5471

world. Her company was one of the first to dedicate their efforts to help the environment while creating collections that last, with their mission statement “We are committed to operating a modern and responsible business” guiding them every step of the way. Her website contains a section that fully explains the moves they have made to change the way clothing is produced around the world. Her vision and ideas have led to stronger regulations and more accountability for the fashion industry as a whole.

Along with vowing to never use leather or fur, they pioneer new materials and try to utilize all the cutting edge technology they can to be a sustainable brand. Stella believes that the future of fashion is circular, and her brand puts a heavy focus on pushing the industry to circularity. She describes the current system as broken and linear, emphasizing the need for a restorative and regenerative, circular economy. To make that simpler, we need to find a way to design waste out of the system and move away from using finite (non-renewable) resources.

Stella McCartney Circular Fashion; source: https://www.stellamccartney.com/experience/en/sustainability/circularity-2/

Now, circularity is clearly going to require massive and unprecedented levels of collaboration across the fashion industry, but Stella seems sure that we can achieve it. Her company has already made incredible moves towards making it a reality through initiatives like Clevercare, a garment labeling system created in collaboration with H&M and Gintex, the Swedish company behind clothing-care symbols and labeling, that helps remind us to consider the environment when washing, drying and taking care of our clothes.


For more information on how Stella McCartney is helping to transform the future of the fashion industry, check out her website because there is so much more to learn. Her ideas are revolutionary and they are paving the way towards a more sustainable world, something we should all be striving for! 

Shop more Sustainable Luxury Items on our website here!

Sources

All information sourced from the official Stella McCartney website.

https://www.stellamccartney.com/experience/en/sustainability/

https://www.stellamccartney.com/experience/en/sustainability/clevercare/

https://www.stellamccartney.com/experience/en/about-stella/