You’ve probably heard the phrase “sustainable fashion” thrown around many times over the past few years. A lot of people understand it to simply mean clothing made from environment-friendly materials–like bamboo, for example. However, sustainability can also refer to what happens after clothes are made. English fashion designer Stella McCartney knows this well.
It is important that we care for our wardrobes with attention. The way we wash and dry our clothing has a direct impact on our environment.
Stella McCartney is teaching us how to care for our garments in an environmentally conscious way.
Who is Stella McCartney?
Stella McCartney, daughter of Linda and Paul McCartney, has taken the fashion industry by storm.
After producing two collections following her graduation from Central St Martins, she was appointed the Creative Director of Chloé in Paris in 1997. She showed her first collection in Paris in 2001. McCartney found success early, and her creativity has yet to fade.
She now has 51 freestanding stories across the world, and her collections are sold in 77 countries. Her work has expended to include perfume, lingerie, children’s clothing, and athletic wear.
For the 2012 Olympic Summer Games, McCartney designed apparel for Team GB across all competitions for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Her impact in the fashion world is astounding. What is even more admirable is how she uses her influence to promote sustainable fashion practices.
Sustainable fashion has always been a priority of McCartney’s, starting with a refusal to incorporate any fur or leather in her work. Now, McCartney is inspiring us with her sustainable “Clevercare” initiative.
Clevercare is a simple but effective labeling system for clothing. The symbol on the inside of your garment reminds you how to clean it responsibly and sustainably. It specifies instructions for washing, temperature, drying, ironing, and dry cleaning. Not only will these Clevercare practices help the environment, but they’ll also make your clothes last longer, too.
In her YouTube video “Clevercare,” McCartney says, “The job that I do… it can be responsible for up to 60% of the environmental impact when I create the product.”
But the English fashion designer’s clients can be just as impactful as she is.
“You guys are involved,” she says, and “aftercare is really, really important.”
The decisions we make when caring for our clothing affect our air and our oceans. The good news is that garment-care practices that are good for the environment are better for your clothes as well. McCartney’s rule of thumb is, “the less you wash it, the better for the garment, the better for the environment.”
What part can we play?
Sustainable garment care is an important step toward an environment-friendly lifestyle.
We have a responsibility to care for the environment, and it starts at home.