Stella McCartney: "Fashion production is frankly rather medieval"
Fashion Tech Lab (FTL) is a new investment platform focusing on alternative and sustainable technologies for the fashion industry. Designer Stella McCartney was recently co-opted on to FTL's board of directors and, on the occasion of FTL's launch event organised at Google's Parisian headquarters (as reported here), the British designer spoke to FashionNetwork.com of the motivations behind her own personal engagement in the efforts to make the fashion industry more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
FashionNetwork.com: What were your motivations for investing in Fashion Tech Lab?
Stella McCartney: I'm of course greatly attracted by this kind of innovation and technology. At Stella McCartney, we are looking to the future of fashion. We design and create responsibly, generating products that are, we hope, desirable, and which at the same time allow consumers to own apparel which has minimal impact on the environment. I'm greatly excited by the fact that fashion and technology are able converge in this way. As a designer, this makes me feel as though I'm ready to move on to the next level, to enter the future of fashion. I personally live and breathe these values as part of the fashion world. I'm therefore delighted that Fashion Tech Lab is appreciated by our industry colleagues, since everyone is welcome to jump aboard and think the same way.
FNW: Is it a duty for designers to be at the heart of this transformation?
SMC: I think that anyone who won't start thinking along these lines is incredibly out of fashion. There is nothing modern in fashion production and procurement these days. It is even, frankly, all rather medieval. We are killing billions of animals, and leaving an extraordinarily negative footprint on the planet. It is cruel, barbaric and unnecessary. But now we can harness technology and innovation to make a change. And, frankly, I cannot understand how designers can fail to be excited about sustainability.
FNW: Is it because, for you, this is a moral obligation?
SMC: It isn't simply a question of moral duty. Above all, it's something new and exciting. And what is fashion about, if it isn't about novelty? I'm less interested in the looks, the colours and in what is directional this season, than by the latest innovations. This is what excites me. Yes, we need designers. But we also need financial backers and all the other players within the fashion world. Through the Stella McCartney label, we can show that it is possible to think outside the box, to be an agent of change and to run a healthy business. It will be a very important moment when we'll be able to make these two worlds come together.
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