Stella McCartney
Source: Courtesy of Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney’s Sustainable Autumn 2021 Collection “Celebrates Animals as Our Equals”

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Jun. 15 2021, Published 12:16 p.m. ET

Since founding her fashion house in 2001, Stella McCartney has kept animal-based leather, feathers, fur, and skin out of her designs. Now, 20 years later, she has launched her Autumn 2021 collection, which she is calling her most animal-friendly and sustainable fashion line yet, as it is driven by a goal of “[celebrating] animals as our equals” and creating a fur-free world.

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As various wild animals were reported to be thriving during pandemic lockdowns, McCartney saw them as “[living] freely and [reclaiming] their places amongst humans.” McCartney was inspired by this return to nature (however meme’d it was), as well as “J is for Joy” from the McCartney A to Z Manifesto, to make this collection all about animals — while using far less animal products than any other major luxury fashion house.

 Stella McCartney
Source: Courtesy of Stella McCartney
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Stella McCartney’s Autumn 2021 collection is colorful and celebrates animals.

The joyful collection includes sweatshirts, sweatpants, sneakers, boots, belt bags, new versions of her iconic Falabella bag, cardigans, jackets, dresses, and more. 80 percent of the materials used in the collection are supposedly eco-friendly, such as ECONYL recycled nylon, KOBA faux fur, forest-friendly viscose, sustainable beechwood, and various old-stock fabrics, as reported by VegNews.

That said, it’s important to note that not every material included is animal-friendly — multiple pieces are made with silk and wool.

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Stella McCartney
Source: Courtesy of Stella McCartney

To launch the collection, McCartney released a short nature mockumentary, filmed by fashion photographers Mert & Marcus. In the video, titled “#StellaAutumn21: Our Time Has Come!” models wearing mascot heads and carrying McCartney’s iconic Falabella bags are seen moving through London streets. Comedian David Walliams (in a David Attenborough-inspired cadence) narrates the lighthearted two-minute video, pointing out the similarities between humans and animals.

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Stella McCartney wants customers to sign Humane Society International’s petition.

The entire collection aims to support Humane Society International’s (HSI) petition titled “End cruel and deadly fur farming worldwide!” as part of Fur Free Alliance’s global campaign. In the text of the petition, which is aimed at G20 leaders around the world, HSI explains how ending fur farming could help prevent future pandemics (COVID-19 is just one example of a zoonotic disease, meaning it was transmitted from an animal to a human), and save the lives of millions of animals each year.

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Every year, McCartney’s fur-free fur has helped prevent the slaughter of about 60,000 animals; and since the Falabella bag first launched in 2010, it has helped prevent the deaths of an estimated 400,000 cows, according to the company.

“While this campaign is light-hearted, I wanted to address a serious issue: ending the use of fur. Whether it is being sold here in the U.K. or farmed globally, barbarism knows no borders and this effort is key to my life’s mission of bringing a conscience to the fashion industry,” McCartney said in a statement sent to Green Matters. “I am proud to partner with Humane Society International and to help raise awareness of the incredible work they do – please join us in ending this horrendous practice by signing their petitions now.”

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“Stella McCartney’s new campaign and brand is everything that the fur trade isn’t – fresh, innovative, sustainable, and cruelty-free," Claire Bass, executive director for Humane Society International/U.K., tells Green Matters in a statement. “We’re so thrilled to be partnering with her to magnify the growing movement for a global end to the cruelty of factory fur farms and trapping.”

A fur-free fashion industry is possible.

Stella McCartney
Source: Courtesy of Stella McCartney

As McCartney told Vogue in an interview announcing the collection’s launch, she is confident that we can achieve a fur-free fashion industry.

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“So many brands are going fur-free, which is a huge step in the right direction, but it’s not enough — fur is still being used at every level of the industry,” she told Vogue. “The way the animals are farmed and killed is barbaric, so why do it? Especially when the alternatives are so realistic.” 

She added that faux fur is becoming more and more sustainable —  the KOBA fur-free fur she uses is made with nearly 40 percent plant-based materials; plus, it’s recyclable.

The Autumn 2021 collection is a colorful celebration of honoring the Earth, respecting animals, and returning to life in many areas of the world after a difficult year, and we can’t wait to see Stella McCartney’s new pieces out in the wild. 

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