In August, fashion designer Stella McCartney’s primary wool supplier in Argentina was featured in a PETA video that graphically documented cruel treatment of sheep at a subcontractor’s farm. The company responded by severing ties to the supplier, stating that it will also be looking into vegan “wool,” and reiterating it commitment to increasing oversight of its suppliers.
“I am devastated by the news but more determined than ever to fight for animal rights in fashion together and monitor even more closely all suppliers involved in this industry to end all innocent lives.”
Speaking at the Luxury Summit in Mexico, McCartney emphasized that building environmentally sustainable practices into her business has been a “long term commitment.” Some of these practices include taking a closer look at the company’s supply chain.
The Stella McCartney brand does not use leather, fur, or PVC, and incorporates recycled materials into the linings of bags. As a long-time vegetarian and someone who spent her childhood on a farm, Stella has been committed to sourcing ethical and sustainable products since launching her brand.
“People don’t always question the sourcing of their material, and it’s critical, it’s key…. In farming, you know you have to put back into the soil in order to get a good crop the next season. The fashion industry doesn’t always approach it from that point of view.”
The incident highlights the challenges international apparel brands face in maintaining reliable and responsible suppliers. While a brand may have clear, written agreements with its contractors, they can be tough to monitor, especially when subcontractors, with whom the brand has no direct relationship, are involved.
Fashionista.com: McCartney’s remarks on the PETA report.
Fashionista.com: McCartney discusses values-based trends in fashion.
by Colleen Ward
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