Stella McCartney has partnered with plastic recycling company Protein Evolution Inc, or PEI. in hopes to create resources and materials from nylon and polyester waste. The British designer is most popular for being the daughter of singer Paul McCartney and owning her own luxury clothing and accessory brand. McCartney just appeared in this past Paris Fashion week displaying her Spring collection for 2023.
The clothing industry is one of the largest contributors to waste and enhancing the world’s carbon footprint. An estimated 92 million tons of textile waste is produced per year and can be seen to increase by 60% by 2030 – unless those in the industry push for change. McCartney has already taken a seat in the sustainability world when she designed and showcased her first mushroom leather bag back in the 2021 Paris Fashion Week. Now she has partnered with PEI to try and develop textile materials that are made from textile waste.
PEI is centered around the concept of creating new and sustainable textiles, that when disposed of again can be degradational. Using their improved recycling process from natural science and artificial intelligence, they are able to collect end-of-life textiles and transform them into new textile materials or plastic products for many companies. Officiating the goal to reduce fossil fuel use and increase processes in sustainability. Due to the chemical and enzyme make up of nylon and polyester, it is extremely difficult to biodegrade and can lead to many health hazards. PEI has created a process to harness the chemical bonds within fabrics through their synthetic engineered enzymes, changing the make up, transforming them into safe waste, and ultimately developing resources that can inherently be 100% recyclable.
PEI has also made it official that microplastics will not be released from the new materials during the recycling process. The materials not dissolved will be collected for reprocessing or disposal.
Beginning in 2023, PEI will use their recycling technology to process leftover fabric and textiles from McCartney’s collection into new materials for clothing, shoes, accessories and other products.
“Through our partnership with Protein Evolution Inc, we hope to pioneer a new type of polyester from old materials. Establishing climate goals is one thing; taking meaningful steps toward a more sustainable future is what truly matters.” - Stella McCartney
McCartney solidified the partnership through her finance packaging collaboration she helped launch in partnership with Collaborative Fund in August of 2022. The Collaborative Fund invests in companies working towards sustainability solutions for materials, resources, products, energy, and ingredients – investing over $200 million in PEI.