How Stella McCartney is shaping the Fashion Industry to become more sustainable

Fashion Designer and daughter of musical legend Paul McCartney, Stella McCartney has always been about the environment since her childhood where she grew up vegetarian on a farm and loving animals was really only the beginning. For Mccartney it’s not only about the clothing but saving the planet we love, even when her money-loving/ materialistically-steered peers and those in the industry tried and steer her in other directions.

Former Central Saint Martins Student Stella McCartney has won numerous awards throughout her career from British Designer of the year at the ELLE style awards in 1999 to being honoured with the humanitarian award at the David Lynch foundation annual ‘Women of Vision’. From the beginning of her career McCartney knew exactly what route she wanted to follow.

Managing a brand that has the environmental impacts that Stella’s sustainable luxury brand has for over twenty decades is notably revolutionary.

When speaking to Vogue at the beginning of her accomplished career In 2001, Stella explained the thorough criticism she received and elaborated many were skeptical about her entering the industry with a fur and leather free business,  “[In the beginning,] I was kind of ridiculed. I know people thought I was nuts—how can you go into the fashion industry and not use leather? I had a million people along the way say, ‘This is not going to work; you’re not going to have an accessories business; you’ll never be able to approach it in the way all of these big brands do.’ But regardless of the initial negative impact Stella managed to sustain a successful career despite the sceptics.

McCartney took sustainability long before it was an industry-wide issue and established this as a unique selling point of her brand.

Although from the beginning of her career Stella was already known for her highly candid views on the leather trade and many other animal oriented products, the appearance and broad popularity of her collection have shaped the wide demographic of consumers her brand attracts.

Sustainable and still fashionable: a branding triumph from both angles of the McCartney brand remains the sole driving force of her success.

In 2019 Stella pushed Adidas and created what they call the most sustainable sportswear collection yet. McCartney told Vogue how she feels with everyone she partners with “If I can work on solving those [waste] issues in a tiny way with our partners, then I’m here for it,” differently to the Stella x Taylor Swift ‘Lover’ collection which wasn’t welcomed with the biggest support and admiration by the industry along with Swift’s fans

Now in 2020 almost two decades after her arrival into the fashion scene, a number of high fashion and high street stores have been inspired to make their clothing more sustainable from the likes of, Gucci who have now become more sustainable and decided to put the environmental and social impact at the heart of the brand in 2017 when they announced they were becoming fur free joined the growing list of luxury designers who have done the same Michael Kors, Givenchy and Tom Ford. Just this week the president of Finland announced the future of textiles including a substitute material to cotton which is already used by several global fashion brands including Lee, Wrangler and Tommy Hilfiger.

It seems certain that in the near future there will be plenty more brands taking this route in becoming more sustainable where leading fashion giants will be at the forefront of this transformation and eco friendly ethics will be a non negotiable to environmentally minded consumers and the global impact it can and has had.

Being a designer is all about adapting to the types of fabrics and creating the styles that appeal to the demographic in which they are selling to.

Although I don’t necessarily regard Stella McCartney as one of my favourite designers, we must respect the level of commitment she puts into her designs and the astonishing results her work welcomes both an ethical and a stylistic sense. Appreciating a designers outlook and perspective on certain things often makes them more likeable we can all agree that McCartney is responsible in the shift the industry and its views on sustainable fashion since entering and learning that her passion has stemmed for over a remarkable number of years.

This certainly is the case when it comes to the twenty- year career of Stella McCartney.

Producing eye-catching trends, constantly asserting her strong views regarding sustainability and shifting the ethical awareness of the fashion industry on a whole.

It is fair to say once understanding the process and perspective of McCartney, she is a likeable creator who contributes more to our closets than just throw away fashion.


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