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Published
Dec 3, 2018
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Stella McCartney says eco is largely a marketing ploy in fashion

Published
Dec 3, 2018

Stella McCartney has hit out at the fashion industry in an interview saying that urgent issues are being ignored and that much of the talk around eco-friendliness is part of companies’ marketing approach rather than being genuine.


Erik Madigan Heck, shot on Google Pixel 3



“Ninety percent of the environmental issues that are mentioned in the fashion industry are based around marketing,” she said in an interview in the latest edition of Wired UK. “They’re not heartfelt. They’re not really genuine.”

The designer, who is launching a UN charter on sustainable fashion, also said that she’s gone to great lengths to ensure the products bearing her name tick the right boxes on the eco front.

That includes the Adidas Stan Smith trainers that were the first vegan version of the heritage shoe.

“We pushed to get it vegan and they let me,” she said. “And we did it. I’m so proud. That is the future. I relish the thought that 99% of our customers see the Stan Smith and haven’t got a clue it’s a vegetarian shoe.” She added that her high-end Loop sneaker is fully recyclable and took 18 months to develop.

And she explained that her starting point for her twice-yearly luxury Stella McCartney collections is always sustainability rather than design. But technology counts too with McCartney saying that “we want to be the house of technology. [It] is, for me, the future of the conversation that we started in the fashion industry a very, very long time ago.”

Not that design is relegated to a junior position and she sees appealing design as a way of making her products more desirable and keeping them in use. “If I don’t design things that are desirable and sexy, and a must-have for people, then it just ends up in landfill anyway,” she said.

And keeping her products out of landfill really is a passion for the designer and those who work with her as the industry continues to generate vast amounts of waste. Claire Bergkamp, her Worldwide Sustainability & Innovation Director, added in the interview that “1% of clothing is recycled back into clothing. That means everything that is being produced in the garment industry right now is waste, basically.”

The full feature is in the January/February 2019 issue of Wired UK, available on December 6.

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