Dezeen Magazine

Stella McCartney calls for overhaul of "incredibly wasteful" fashion industry

Designer Stella McCartney and ex-sailor Ellen MacArthur are calling for the fashion industry to rethink textile production methods to radically reduce the amount of waste it produces.

The designer's comments back up a new report, which looks into textile industry's impact on the environment and what changes can be made.

The report titled A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion's future was produced by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. It found that the equivalent of one dustbin truck-worth of textiles is landfilled every second.

It states that less than one per cent of used clothing is recycled and lays out plans for a "new textiles economy", in which clothes are designed to be reused.

"What really excites me about [the report] is that it provides solutions to an industry that is incredibly wasteful and harmful to the environment," said McCartney.

"The report presents a roadmap for us to create better businesses and a better environment. It opens up the conversation that will allow us to find a way to work together to better our industry, for the future of fashion and for the future of the planet."

H&M, Nike and Google have already backed the report

Some of the suggestions made include the phasing out of harmful substances, "radically" improving recycling systems, changing the way clothes are designed to increase their longevity, and making better use of renewable resources.

The report has already been backed by industry giants, including Nike, H&M and Google, but the authors are calling on the entire industry to change its practices.

If not, they claim that the fashion industry will consume a quarter of the world's annual carbon budget by 2050.

Fashion's take-make-dispose model needs to be rethought

"Today's textile industry is built on an outdated linear, take-make-dispose model and is hugely wasteful and polluting," said Ellen MacArthur, a former sailor and founder of the foundation.

"The report presents an ambitious vision of a new system, based on circular economy principles, that offers benefits to the economy, society, and the environment. We need the whole industry to rally behind it."

McCartney, based in London, has become known for her ethical approach to fashion. Having previously designed trainers made from ocean plastic, she revealed earlier this year that she will collaborate with Parley for the Oceans on a long-term project named Ocean Legends.

The partnership will see McCartney's label use ocean plastic instead of woven or recycled polyester in its products.