stella mccartney on why fur isn’t punk

“Even if you don’t care about the millions of animals killed for fashion, it’s not sustainable, and it’s not modern,” says the designer and lifelong vegetarian.

by Alice Newell-Hanson
18 July 2016, 9:56pm

Image via @stellamccartney

If Stella McCartney hadn't stayed true to her beliefs, she estimates that her accessories business would be five times as large as it is now. In a new interview with The Telegraph, the designer discusses her strict stance against using leather and fur, and what it means to compete in an industry with brands that do.

Since launching her namesake brand in 2001, McCartney (a lifelong vegetarian and outspoken animal rights advocate) has refused to use any leather, fur, skins, or feathers in her designs, carefully sourcing leather alternatives for her successful shoe and handbag lines. But "there are a lot of designers who are very f­*** you when it comes to using fur," she says. "If it's wrong to do fur, then they're going to do it."

Those designers, McCartney continues, aren't "being very punk," given how few brands are brave enough to jeopardize their margins for the sake of ethics and the environment. "They're just complying with every other fashion house," she says. "The fur industry gets to fashion students so young, paying them to use it. But even if you don't care about the millions of animals killed for fashion, it's not sustainable, and it's not modern. Every other industry tries to move forward, apart from the fashion industry."

According to its website, the Stella McCartney brand is "the world's first and only vegetarian luxury brand." In addition to the obvious arguments about cruelty to animals, the site details the lethal effects of the meat and leather industry on the environment: "Meat and leather production is responsible for 18% of all manmade greenhouse gases in the world [...] Compare this to transportation, which only accounts for 13% of global greenhouse gas emissions."

That's EIGHTEEN PERCENT of all manmade greenhouse gases. In the world. Which is about as punk as Christmas.


Text Alice Newell-Hanson

animal rights
stella mccartney