London designer Stella McCartney introduces the sustainability issue into the highest echelons of the fashion establishment. Hers is the only vegetarian label in the entire luxury segment of the market. Animal products have an enormous effect on the environment, and processing them often requires the use of hazardous chemicals. Stella McCartney drew her conclusions and switched promptly to sustainable alternatives such as vegan leather, recycled fabrics and organic cotton. Her company has been PVC free since 2010, and none of her denim undergoes sandblasting.
As a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative, the label strives for an ethical way of working and a fair treatment of all its employees. The company guarantees a safe work environment where there’s no room for inequality or discrimination. To make this happen, the brand builds long-term relationships with its manufacturers, who have to share this ethical vision. Furthermore, McCartney’s ready-to-wear collection is produced entirely in Europe. McCartney also invests in smaller-scale projects, like the production of handbags in Kenya. Together with the United Nation’s International Trade Center Ethical Fashion Initiative, McCartney wants to en courage the collaboration between luxury brands and local craftsmen. This boosts commercial growth and development in Third World countries, as well as reducing poverty and inequality.
The British label is committed to communicating openly and honestly about its production process. This commitment is reflected on its website, which contains information about the brand’s partners, materials and production methods. In addition, the site features a timeline listing McCartney’s previous sustainability projects. McCartney stresses that her label is not 100% sustainable yet, though this is her goal for the future.
Stella McCartney is part of Kering, a French luxury goods holding company that stimulates brands to contribute to a better world, both economically and socially, but also ecologically. In addition, McCartney frequently collaborates with sustainable organizations like Centre for Sustainable Fashion, Impactt, Million Trees Miami, Sustainable Apparel Coalition and many more.