n an age of fast fashion, next-day delivery and ubiquitous single-use plastics, what does it mean to produce a truly sustainable fashion collection? With advancements in fabric technology making sustainable materials, such as mushroom ‘leather’ and Econyl recycled nylon, a viable option for big businesses, textiles have become an obvious place to start. Undoubtedly, one of the pioneers in this space was Stella McCartney.
The brand has long been known for its ethical and sustainable credentials, famously never using fur or leather in its collections. For AW21, the company has gone one step further, with its most sustainable collection to date. Inspired by the idea of joy – something we could all do with a little more of right now – the bold, sporty collection has been created using 80 per cent eco-friendly materials, upping the bar for other high fashion houses looking to add sustainable claims to their runway looks.
And how better to celebrate this achievement, and showcase Stella McCartney’s recycled nylon skiwear, vegan leather jackets and handbags, organic cotton floral dresses and military trousers, than with an eye-catching campaign shot at some of London’s most famous landmarks? Created in collaboration with fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott (of Mert and Marcus), the ‘Our Time Has Come’ campaign imagines impeccably- (and sustainably-) dressed animals rewilding the capital and reclaiming spaces including Somerset House and Trafalgar Square.
The imagery is accompanied by a tongue-in-cheek nature documentary narrated by David Walliams, while Stella McCartney has also teamed up with the Humane Society International to promote its petition to end the fur trade both in the UK and internationally.
“While this campaign is light-hearted, I wanted to address a serious issue: ending the use of fur,” says McCartney. “Whether it’s being sold here in the United Kingdom or farmed globally, barbarism knows no border and this effort is key to my life’s mission of bringing conscience to the fashion industry.”
While fur farms are illegal in the UK, the import and sale of fur is not, and it remains a key part of many high-end fashion collections. Having never used fur, feathers, skins or leather in its collections, and with the sale of its vegan Falabella bag alone estimated to have prevented the death of 400,000 cows, Stella McCartney is keen to highlight the desire of most of the British public to end the fur trade. According to research by the Humane Society International, 93 per cent of the UK public is opposed to wearing fur, with 72 per cent supporting the banning of the fur trade completely.
You can show your support for the Fur Free Britain campaign here. The Stella McCartney AW21 collection will be available in-store and online from 15 June. Look good while feeling even better? We’re on board.