Stella McCartney Issues Dramatic Plea for Critical Sustainability Changes in Fashion Industry

Amber Valletta, Chu Wong + Emma Laird Front Stella McCartney Fall 2019 by Johnny Dufort Stella McCartney Fall 2019 Ad Campaign

Stella McCartney’s Fall 2019 ad campaign features Amber Valletta, Chu Wong and Emma Laird lensed by Johnny Dufort./ Makeup by Thomas De Kluyver; hair by Gary Gill

Stella McCartney Open Letter on Sustainability Sept. 15, 2019

In advance of her Spring 2020 Women’s Ready-to-Wear show McCartney issued an industry letter published in London’s Sunday Times Style magazine. The designer known for her relentless work with the fashion industry around issues of sustainability is calling for immediate action in all sectors of garment manufacturing.

"The fashion industry is at a crossroads, and I believe that this is a moment for us to come together to achieve systemic, sustainable change in our industry. “

Designer Stella McCartney

Designer Stella McCartney

McCartney is calling for a shift towards circularity and reuse of what we already have, helping to reduce the insatiable need for newness that has ravaged the planet in the last 20 years.

"The fashion industry is one of the most polluting and damaging industries in the world. Every single second, the equivalent of one rubbish truck of textiles is sent to landfill or burnt.

"The fashion industry accounts for more than a third of ocean microplastics, while textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water globally. If nothing changes, by 2050 the fashion industry will be using up to a quarter of the world's carbon budget.

"This way of working is not sustainable. The world is crying out for change, and it is our responsibility to act now... The science is clear, and we need to do more than just incremental shifts; keeping business as usual is no longer an option."

As well as encouraging rental, resale and recycling of clothing, Stella wants companies to embrace new "tools" and "innovators" to create their garments.

As well as encouraging rental, resale and recycling of clothing, Stella wants companies to embrace new "tools" and "innovators" to create their garments.

"The Ellen MacArthur Foundation tells us that only 1% of textiles are recycled back into textiles each year -- this is simply unacceptable. Supporting innovators will help to drastically increase this number, but we need this shift now.

"Companies we work with, like Econyl and Evrnu, are enabling true textile-to-textile recycling. More brands could help these innovators scale, and governments should support their development.

"For decades the fashion industry has relied on the same 10 to 12 fibres to make almost all of our garments, and I believe that it is time for us to add some new tools to our toolbox. Incredible innovators like Bolt Threads are using cutting-edge technology and biology to develop new textiles and materials.

"They are reimagining what the building blocks of our industry could be, and we are working closely with them as they develop incredible mycelium-based 'leather', grown in a lab and not harming a single creature in the process.

"The production of leather, which can account for up to 10% of the commercial value of a cow, shares full responsibility for the same environmental hazards as the meat industry; most critically, it is a leading cause of climate change. I believe with these new technologies that we are on the brink of something very exciting."

New AOC Writing on Sustainability

Zoe Ghertner Captures Vogue US 'The Present Is Female': Designers Behind Fashion Revolution

Zoe Ghertner Captures Vogue US 'The Present Is Female': Designers Behind Fashion Revolution

Sarah Mower is the first person voice behind Vogue’s August 2019 in-depth ‘The Present Is Female: The Designers Behind a Fashion Revolution.’

A FEMALE CULTURE runs far and wide across the landscape of 21st-century fashion. It’s there at the top of the canopy, in major Parisian houses; it pervades the uprising of young, self-made independents and generations of established entrepreneurs: a multifaceted critical mass of women steadily working to change an industry for the better. What’s remarkable is the way they talk about feeling, their agile ability to intuit the time we live in, and their quiet but steady turning of the fashion world toward the overthrow of bad and old institutional behaviors.

Amber Valletta's Fall Mood Is Lensed By Daniel Jackson For Sunday Times Style Magazine

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Amber Valletta's Fall Mood Is Lensed By Daniel Jackson For Sunday Times Style Magazine

Supermodel Amber Valletta is styled by Paul Cavaco in noble origins fall menswear looks lensed by Daniel Jackson for The Sunday Times Style Magazine UK June 23, 2019. / Hair by Teddy Charles; makeup by Romy Soleimani

Campbell Addy Eyes Alek, Amber, Gemma + Karen For WSJ Magazine May 2019

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Campbell Addy Eyes Alek, Amber, Gemma + Karen For WSJ Magazine May 2019

Rising star photographer Campbell Addy captures model quartet Alek Wek, Amber Valletta, Gemma Ward and Karen Elson in a neutral mood. Clare Richardson styles the old and new top women models in Max Mara, Givenchy, Dries Van Noten, and Nina Ricci for WSJ Magazine May 2019.

Amber Valletta Fronts Zara's 'Chasing the Light' Spring 2019 Nature Woman Campaign

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Amber Valletta Fronts Zara's 'Chasing the Light' Spring 2019 Nature Woman Campaign

Supermodel Amber Valletta is one of fashion’s loudest and consistently-articulate voices on sustainable fashion. AOC has taken the time to research any sustainable credentials behind Zara’s newest ‘Chasing the Light’ collection, and don’t that these beautiful all-white summer styles are part of Zara’s sustainable ‘Join Life’ project, currently estimated to be only 1.5-3% of sales. We wish ‘Chasing the Light’ had green credentials but can’t find any.

With Amber Valletta appearing as the nature-woman model, it’s easy to think the collection is sustainable, especially coming on the heels of last week’s release of H&M’s exciting Conscious Exclusive Collection. H&M actually used orange peels from the end of the juice production cycle for their Orange Fiber. If Valletta was also eating pineapple, I’d call foul. Piñatex, a leather alternative made from the cellulose fiber of pineapple leaves (which become waste after the fruit is harvested) is a key new fake leather product used in H&M’s 2019 Conscious Exclusive collection.