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Sustainable Luxury Fashion with Stella McCartney

Last updated: May 10, 2021

Whether Stella McCartney originally garnered attention because of her famous father or her slinky lingerie, she is now a fashion industry powerhouse.  Creating jaw-dropping shows every season and leading the sustainable luxury fashion charge, McCartney appears unstoppable.

Many other brands are following her lead by removing leather and fur, two of the industry’s highest valued elements, from their collections.  But McCartney remains out front…and firm in her conviction that we don’t have to hurt the planet to be draped in fashion-forward apparel.  Sustainable fashion was waiting for a name like Stella McCartney.

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Product quality and ingredients sustainability

From the outset, Stella McCartney promised not to use animal hides in her seasonal collections.  Nixing materials synonymous with luxury was an incredibly bold step for a luxury brand.  But that’s only where the story begins…

McCartney is pioneering high-end cashmere recycling, while also integrating recycled nylon and polyester into her collections.  The company is moving toward synthetic spider silk as a silk alternative, thereby eliminating the use of silk worms.

In October 2020, Stella McCartney became one of four prominent fashion companies comprising the Bolt Threads consortium. Members will have exclusive access to Bolt Thread’s unprecedented vegan leather Mylo, which is made from mycelium, or mushroom roots. There’s no question that Stella McCartney is on the front edge of eco-friendly fabrics.

Packaging/shipping materials and practices sustainability

On their website and in many ads, McCartney uses videos to showcase garment care, placing a clear emphasis on maintaining the goods you have.  They also use recycled paper for packaging.

Manufacturing and corporate practices sustainability

Stella McCartney goes beyond what’s in clothing to improve other aspects of the business.  By keeping accessories the same from season to season and keeping her ready-to-wear collections small (a couple dozen pieces instead of the usual hundred or so), McCartney pushes consumers away from fast fashion and toward lasting style.

Sustainability extra credit

When you buy Stella McCartney, even fashionistas won’t know if your bag is from two seasons ago!  While the fashion industry runs on short life cycles, McCartney pieces hold steadily en vogue.

Finally, in all their UK stores, and increasingly in their US stores, McCartney utilizes renewable energy.

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McCartney is Luxury Fashion

My Stella McCartney Eva top is among one of my favorites to wear.  It’s a statement without being gaudy, and different enough to be fashionable but never goes out of style.  You’d think the silvery thread would make the top scratchy, but somehow regardless how long the day or evening is, it remains comfy.

McCartney goes for it when it comes to sunglasses.  It’s the item she seems to have the most fun with, definitely going the trendier route.  Whether chains or a ski goggle influence, Stella has tried it all.  While they may not be as timeless as her other designs, they’re made well with thick rims, and you can find a pair for every occasion.

My only issue with Stella McCartney is the footwear.  Yes, it’s the best faux leather I’ve ever seen (you’d NEVER be able to tell the difference on a new pair), but they don’t last for years.  After a couple dozen wears, the tell-tale peeling begins, and then it looks like you have a pair of cheap shoes, which of course, you don’t.  It’s happened to all three pairs I’ve owned. If you have any tips for keeping faux leather from splitting I’m all ears!  Her shoes are beautiful, but I suggest waiting until manufacturing with Mylo begins to make the investment. Hopefully we won’t be waiting long 🙂

Stella McCartney Sustainability Sum Up

McCartney has been leading the pack in luxury sustainability – nothing seems to slip her mind. She’s helped make eco friendliness fashionable, and hopefully that’s something that will never go out of style.

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