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By Arwa Lodhi
Although for many, Stella McCartney seems to have set the environmental standard across the fashion industry with her dedication to vegan fashion, we here at Eluxe have previously criticised the British designer for her lack of concern for using organic materials. Sure, her collections don’t use animal products, but with a high polyester, PU, rayon, acrylic and nylon content, they’re far from eco-friendly, we argued. To date, 53% of its womenswear business being made from sustainable materials – but we thought it could certainly be more.
Well, I’m pleased to announce it may well soon be. Stella has slowly but surely made progress with her sustainability, now including regenerated cashmere, sustainably-sourced viscose, and ethically sourced wool (from her own farm), and most recently, she’s partnered with Bolt Threads, a Bay Area-based biotechnology company that engineers fibres based on proteins found in nature and develops cleaner, closed-loop processes for manufacturing, using green chemistry practices.
The partnership will see Stella McCartney combine her “relentless pursuit of sustainable materials with Bolt Threads’ proprietary breakthroughs in industrial biotechnology”, and represents “a step-change for the future of apparel production, and the fashion industry at large.”
And Stella seems pretty excited about the partnership: “This is something that I’ve been personally on a journey to find for much of my career and I just feel like there is finally a new opportunity to bring so many industries together and for them to all work as one for a better planet. It is a truly modern and mindful approach to fashion,” she said.
This new partnership is great news for cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, sustainable luxury fashion. Dan Widmaier, CEO of Bolt Threads says: “Not only does she have an unparalleled aesthetic, but her values and pioneering sustainable fashion align perfectly with our vision for the future of fashion.”
In keeping with this stronger dedication to sustainability, the latest Stella McCartney ad campaign mirrors the garbage dump couture shoot Michael Cinco did on the ‘green’ edition of America’s Next Top Model several years ago: she’s juxtaposed her luxurious designs against a backdrop of stinking mounds of rubbish, to highlight the impact our consumption of all kinds – including fashion – has on the planet.
Stella’s signature tailoring, knitwear, Falabella Bags, Stella Popper bag, and Sneak-Elyse runway sneakers may seem incongruent against such a nasty backdrop, but the reality is — when we’re tired of such beautiful items, this is often where they end up.
For us, this impactful campaign indicated that key players in the fashion industry like McCartnery are doing their part to fight for the future of our planet. Despite our previous criticism, it’s pretty clear to us that McCartney’s head — and heart — are in the right place.