Fashion needs to ditch animal leather, Stella McCartney says

Stella McCartney in a green outfit looking at Prince Charles and Leonardo DiCaprio
Stella McCartney speaks with Prince Charles and actor Leonardo DiCaprio at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Scotland, November 3, 2021, photo: Owen Humphreys/Pool via Reuters

The fashion industry must prepare to eliminate waste and ditch animal leather, British designer Stella McCartney said during an eco-fashion show on Wednesday in Glasgow.

“Sadly, we are one of the most harmful industries to the environment,” McCartney told news agency AFP, adding that fashion houses must “swap out bad business with good business” for the sake of the planet.

Since entering the fashion industry three decades ago, McCartney has never used animal leather.

During the UN climate change conference COP26 in Scotland, McCartney hosted the eco-fashion event at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow, attended by Britain’s Prince Charles and American actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

McCartney’s eco-fashion line includes vegan luxury items like lab-grown mushroom leather handbags and vegan football boots.

Animal glue
As well as being more ethical and better for the planet, McCartney believes that animal substitutes have a much stronger selling point.

“We need to let people know that, you know, hundreds of millions of animals are being killed every single year for fashion, for leather, for skins and animal glues,” McCartney said.

According to McCartney, younger generations are less willing to wear animal products. “I think we’re in a moment though, where… we are becoming irrelevant very quickly and … generation X, Y, and Z will not buy into bad fashion, evil fashion, dirty fashion,” McCartney said.

“People wear fast fashion maximum up to three times before they throw it away. And that’s creating over $500 billion worth of waste,” she said.

“That, for me, is a business opportunity. So I’m trying to flip everything around. Something like, ‘Hey, you know what? You can take that waste. And I’ll show you a hoodie that I can make completely out of waste.”

Fashion is responsible for up to 8 percent of all carbon emissions, according to research by the World Resources Institute.

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