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Stella McCartney unveils most sustainable collection yet following trip to G7 to lobby world leaders

Lauretta Roberts
14 June 2021

Stella McCartney has unveiled her most sustainable collection yet following the designer's trip to the G7 to lobby world leaders on incentivising sustainable businesses.

McCartney has been trailblazing fur-free and cruelty-free fashion for the past 20 years and for AW21 she has unveiled the "Our time has come" campaign to support her latest collection, shot by Mert & Marcus and supported by a "mockumentary" narrated by British comedian David Walliams.

The light-hearted campaign projects "a stylish fantasy of animals rewilding London, living freely and taking their places amongst humans" while wearing sustainable luxury pieces embodying "J is for Joy" from the McCartney A to Z Manifesto.

It communicates a message of animals as equals and supports Humane Society International’s (HSI) campaign petitions to end the fur trade both in the United Kingdom and globally. While fur farming has been banned in the UK since 2000, HSI wants to see fur sales banned completely.

“While this campaign is light-hearted, I wanted to address a serious issue: ending the use of fur. Whether it is being sold here in the United Kingdom or farmed globally, barbarism knows no borders and this effort is key to my life’s mission of bringing a conscience to the fashion industry. I am proud to partner with Humane Society International and to help raise awareness of the incredible work they do – please join us in ending this horrendous practice by signing their petitions now,” said Stella McCartney.

Jeffrey Flocken, president of Humane Society International, added: “Stella McCartney's inspiring leadership on fur-free fashion is second to none, so we are thrilled to partner with her on this exciting new initiative calling for a global end to fur cruelty. Millions of animals on fur factory farms endure deprivation and pain for the fur trade, and animals trapped and drowned in the wild suffer terribly too – simply for fashion items no-one needs. We’re proud to stand with Stella McCartney and her celebrity advocates to say it’s time to call time on fur."

Stella McCartney's AW21 collection is made with 80% eco-friendly materials, making it the British fashion house’s most sustainable to date. Vegan bags include the iconic Falabella playfully exaggerated as an oversized Maxi edition and the Frayme, a bold new style remixing classic brand codes.

"Our time has come" shot by Mert & Marcus

The unveiling follows McCartney's trip to Carbis Bay to lobby leaders of the G7 to make them aware of fashion's impact on the planet, to consider incentivising businesses to be more sustainable and to invest in sustainable suppliers.

McCartney told Sky News: "This is really powerful opportunity for me to bring light to an industry that has gone under the radar on sustainable issues; I don't think anyone knows that the fashion industry is one of the most harmful industries. I don't think they know that 150m trees are cut down for viscose whereas I've managed to source a sustainable wood pulp in Sweden.

"I'm desperate to get across some of the facts and realties of how unfashionable the fashion industry is [on sustainability]."

"Over 60% of the positive work I do is in how we [source] our raw materials. We basically use the same amount of materials in the fashion industry, we use a huge amount of animal products. I'm a cruelty free brand. That is one of the most harmful [aspects], the agriculture of animals within the fashion industry, how many trees it's cutting down in the rainforest, how many resources it uses and one other side is it's deeply cruel."

Stella McCartney and French President Emmanuel Macron at G7

"There are a lot of problems that can be solved. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I think a little bit goes a really long way and I'm here to encourage these world leaders to really look at laws, look at the policy change, how to incentivise the young designers of tomorrow, the young fashion houses."

McCartney went on to say that far from being incentivised to be more sustainable, brands can be hit for doing good. "I'm not incentivised at all. In fact I can be hit by up to a 30% tax when I export a non-leather good into the United States of America, and I have to put that into my margins and that doesn't help me as a business. I'm penalised for doing good if you like. If I put a slither of pig leather onto that vegan product, my tax is exempt.

"So these are the conversations I want to have. I want to be encouraged to work this way, I want the young designers of tomorrow to be encouraged to work this way."

McCartney said she would be raising awareness of her sustainable suppliers to the G7 leaders to encourage them to invest in them and to allow for sustainable practice to be scaled up.

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