“Fashion is the second most polluting industry on the Planet”. A refrain that echoes amongst the industry insiders more often than ever. Sustainability is becoming an increasingly discussed and sensitive subject throughout every business and fashion is one of them. During the last few years, a higher number of designers and brands in the fashion environment adhered to initiatives to promote better practices towards the use of natural and human resources that translated into a more ethical way of producing garments and accessories. A few examples of the movement are names such as Vivienne Westwood, one of the first to use her popularity to expose the improper use of nature and to actively take part to initiatives to raise the awareness on the matter, or huge brands like Armani and Gucci, that decided to give up on fur respectively from the autumn/winter collections of 2016 and spring summer 2018.
Another player in this virtuous revolution is definitely Stella McCartney. The London-based designer is increasingly more involved in the fight against pollution and gives her contribution not only through productive innovations, but also by supporting and sponsoring events to help save the planet. Inside Stella's World -a section of her online platform- she explains her philosophy and commitment to the cause. Starting from more technical aspects related to production, such as the use of dyeing techniques that do not require the use of chemical solvents and harmful acids as well as a lower need of water, to the complete substitution of leather with vegan leather, along with the study of a new type of material, created in collaboration with BOLT Threads, that resembles real leather but it is obtained from mycelium. Mylo, as the new fabric was dubbed, was used to recreate the iconic Falabella bag, now displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, for the "Fashioned from Nature"; exhibition, a collection of pieces ranging from the 17th century up until today, that testimonies the complex relationship between fashion and nature.
Together with these initiatives to favour sustainability of production, McCartney is also active in collaborating with environmental organisations and participating in activities to save the Planet. The next one is scheduled for June 9, in occasion of the World's Oceans Day, recurring on June 8. The designer gave her contribution to the cause, teaming up with Thames21, an organisation that wants to educate communities to reclaim the local rivers through their cleanings and intervention. The partnership between the brand and the volunteers will translate into the cleaning of the bed of the river Thames during the low tide. For the occasion Stella made a plastic bag, - renamed "Stella Trashion"- produced using recycled and recyclable materials, in which the people involved will be able to put the waste that will be then partly used to produce pieces of the Adidas by Stella McCartney collection. The project is particularly significant because it wants to limit the huge problem of the pollution of the oceans and the consequent damage of the invaluable ecosystem contained in them. The event will also take place in other cities of the world such as Milan, Paris and New York.
This activism promoted by the big fashion houses underlines how a positive change is not only possible but also necessary and how this can extend and involve everyone both through a more responsible and conscious consumption of fashion goods and through actions of respect and protection of the environment.