- Words by
- Bibby Sowray
- Edited By
- Polly Knight
Sustainable fashion is an ever-growing field, with increasingly more designers taking on the task each season. But Stella McCartney has been there since the very beginning, staunchly refusing to use animal products, pioneering planet-friendly alternatives to commonly used materials and encouraging the development of a circular economy. Her passion for the cause came from her mother and muse Linda, a committed vegetarian and animal rights activist as well as a photographer, whose values continue to imbue every aspect of the Stella McCartney brand.
Since the conception of her own fashion house in 2001, Stella has become known for her wide-ranging aesthetic. Masculine shapes and structures in the form of pinpoint-precise tailoring (she gained experience on Savile Row) and ethereal femininity sit side by side, with her city-and-country upbringing informing the sway from one to the other, and her life as a working mother-of-four ensuring wearability is at the core of every design. This all-encompassing approach has seen the brand become one of the biggest in the world.
Forever seeking ways to make fashion more sustainable, the brand has been at the forefront of developing alternatives to materials including leather and in 2022 launched the Frayme Mylo, the world’s first luxury handbag made from mycelium – the root-like structures of fungi.
Stella McCartney is one of the most iconic British designers in history. The daughter of the late photographer Linda and Beatles legend Paul, she studied at the renowned Central Saint Martins before taking on her first major role as creative director of Parisian fashion house Chloé in 1997. In 2001, she launched her eponymous brand, vowing to never use leather, feathers, skin or fur in any of her designs and committing to creating a business that would lead the way in the field of sustainable fashion. She was awarded a CBE in 2023, in recognition of her services to fashion and sustainability.