Stella McCartney Criticizes Other Designers For (Still) Using Fur

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Ethics are an integral part of Stella McCartney's eponymous business: The label proudly describes itself as "the world's first and only vegetarian luxury brand" on its website. The designer has spoken out about the fashion industry's sustainability issues, specifically pertaining to water waste. Now, in a new interview with The Telegraph, McCartney is shifting her focus to the prevalence of fur in designer collections, arguing that it's neither "modern" nor "sustainable" — regardless of whether a luxury house or individual believes in animal rights or not.

"There are a lot of designers who are very 'f**k you' when it comes to using fur," McCartney told The Telegraph. "If it's wrong to do fur, then they're going to do it." Her namesake label famously doesn't use any animal products — leather, skins, feathers, or fur — in its collections. Still, McCartney has managed to bring texture to her line in truly inventive ways: Her fluffiest designs are so realistic-looking, they've been dubbed "fur-free fur."

McCartney is very much aware that she's in the minority among luxury designers when it comes to her anti-fur stance. However, she believes the rest of her colleagues who haven't caught on are "not being very punk" by continuing to use fur, she told The Telegraph. "They’re just complying with every other fashion house." She credits this to the fur industry making a practice of connecting with designers while they're still in school and compensating them for incorporating pelts into their lines. This, she thinks, is what's holding the entire market back: "Every other industry tries to move forward, apart from the fashion industry," McCartney remarks.

Luckily, it seems like more designers are catching up to McCartney, albeit slowly. Last year, Hermès revisited its leather-sourcing practices after an undercover video surfaced allegedly showing the abuse of crocodiles in order to make Birkin bags — and Jane Birkin even got involved. This past March, Giorgio Armani announced all the brands across his portfolio — from Armani Collezioni to A/X Armani Exchange — would be going fur-free.

With an appearance in this month's Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie and widespread acclaim for her Team Great Britain Olympics kit, McCartney's profile is arguably higher than ever. Hopefully, key players within the industry (as well as fashion school students) are listening to what she's saying.

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