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Stella McCartney launches the "Future of Fashion" material innovation exhibit at COP26

Lauretta Roberts
03 November 2021

Stella McCartney launched "The Future of Fashion: An innovation conversation with Stella McCartney" travelling exhibit at COP26 today, which the trailblazing sustainable British fashion designer was attending as part of HRH Prince Charles's Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI).

The exhibition seeks to engage the world to discover and participate in a more "nature-positive fashion industry" by exploring her brand's next-generation materials.

Among the items on display were garments made from Bolt Threads' Mylo, Mycelium "unleather", grown from mushrooms, and the recently unveiled world's first vegan football boots, created with Adidas by Stella McCartney and Manchester United footballer Paul Pogba.

Also being showcased are regenerative cotton from SÖKTAŞ along with regenerative nylon from ECONYL and Evrnu NuCycl. These exhibits surround a living fungi display, elaborating on a message begun with the designer's SS22 show.

McCartney will also be inviting delegates and the public to sign a pledge to end the use of animal leather and fur in the fashion industry, which are harmful for the climate and biodiversity crises.

“This is the Decisive Decade and if we do not act decisively, we know the consequences. A football pitch is disappearing from the Amazon every minute and 80% of that area is being used for animal agriculture. The future of fashion and our planet is vegan. I hope that by representing our industry and revealing my current material innovations at COP26, I can inspire action among private sector and government leaders by driving more nature-positive investments and incentives. To not collaborate now would be an injustice to future generations and to those already suffering the worst of climate change’s effects. This is our chance and I do not believe in waste," the designer said.

The exhibit's vision is aligned with SMI's Terra Carta charter, which provides a roadmap for businesses to move towards an ambitious and sustainable future by 2030. HRH Prince Charles paid a visit to the exhibit and was briefed on its content by McCartney.

McCartney will be taking part in various events during COP26 including the New York Times' Climate Hub where she will be interviewed by its fashion director Vanessa Friedman. She will also sit on the closing panel for the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) Fashion Forum in conversation with British Fashion Council CEO Caroline Rush.

The “Future of Fashion: An innovation conversation with Stella McCartney” will run from 3-5 November, and then be reactivated on 8-9 November for student and next-generation activists. The space will host discussions from youth climate leaders, the British Fashion Council and The Great Campaign.

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