A dive into Stella McCartney and her efforts into making the fashion industry more sustainable.
Few established fashion designers have committed themselves as wholly to their beliefs as Stella McCartney. Raised by the famous musician Paul McCartney, she was introduced to the world of art and fashion at a young age. Both of her parents were also environmentally conscious, especially her mother who was an animal rights activist. These influences amounted to a lifelong dedication to environmental preservation and conscientiousness.
This profoundly influenced McCartney and led her to a career which could merge both interests. Combining her love for fashion with her admiration for activism, she launched her own clothing brand, Stella McCartney. This company sought to create memorable and sustainable fashion.
Many activists have lofty dreams of changing an industry from the ground up, but it takes a great deal of dedication to succeed in that endeavor. It is fair to say that McCartney’s activism could not have reached the audience it did without her fashion, and her fashion could not have been fully realized without her activism. The key to McCartney’s success was her willingness to hone her skills and understand the industry before stepping foot into it. She spent many years studying fashion under masters like Christian Lacroix and Edward Sexton, as well as gaining formal education in her field through Central Saint Martins.
Before examining her work in fashion and how it was able to highlight her activism, it is important to understand the value in her fashion alone. McCartney has garnered much recognition for her work, including awards like the Special Recognition Award for Innovation at the 2017 Fashion Awards, and even more prestigious recognitions like being appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her services to fashion. She is known for her characteristic simple elegance, bold palettes, and functional forms. Her work has been worn by the likes of celebrities, supermodels, and socialites alike.
Despite the fame of her parents, her talented fashion designs were the key to her success and continued relevancy in the industry.
McCartney has taken the initiative to give back to others through communities in need. One of her most recent and impactful initiatives was the launch of the 2018 Stella McCartney Cares Foundation.
With her proficiency established, she was able to move forward with ever more bold acts of activism through her work. From her brand’s infancy in the early 1990s, she was a very vocal animal rights activist. She ensured her work did not use any animal products, including beloved fabrics and materials like leather, fur, and feathers. Her brand is well known for being committed to vegan-friendly fashion, which comes as no surprise as McCartney herself is a lifelong vegetarian.
This is one of the main attractions of her brand, as anyone considering animal rights when purchasing an item of clothing knows they should take a look at Stella McCartney. Her activism does not stop at the production end however, as many of her designs allude to her passion for environmental awareness and animal rights activism. She frequently incorporates nods to animal rights concerns and vegan issues in her work, occasionally going so far as to include textual graphics with her message.
Although her animal rights activism is at the heart of her concerns, she has also made her concerns about the environment known to the public. McCartney has exhibited her health consciousness and environmental concern through ventures such as her organic skincare line. She has also taken internal measures to reduce her brand’s impact on the environment, such as utilizing recycled materials and more environmentally friendly textiles, such as Econyl, which is made from recycled nylon found in ocean waste.
McCartney has also taken the initiative to give back to others through communities in need. One of her most recent and impactful initiatives was the launch of the 2018 Stella McCartney Cares Foundation. This organization is dedicated to providing support and assistance to women suffering from breast cancer, a disease that claimed the life of her mother. McCartney has also worked with organization such as the United Nations, to support and encourage other fashion brands to adopt sustainable practices.
McCartney is an established fashion designer who has used her weight in the industry to lead the movements she admires. Not driven by external causes, her dedication is compelling because it originates from her lifelong activism and earnest desire for change.
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