Sustainability – not a word that springs automatically to mind in the fashion sphere.
Fashion has had a fairly clear split personality: ‘front-row’ status reserved for the super-rich and stick-thin; the rest of us finding joy in knock-off bargains that’ll cost us less than a round of drinks on a night out.
But times they are a-changing.
McCartney – who long ago shucked off her status as the daughter of The Beatles’ Sir Paul and his wife, animal rights activist Linda, to flourish in her own right – goes against the tide of ‘fast fashion’ with this dreamy, thought-provoking ad for her new platform, Stella’s World of Sustainability.
Juxtaposing hard edges, vivid colours and startling paints with naked skin glimpsed amid gentle country surroundings, it encourages us to understand fashion through a softer prism, under the slogan, ‘To Nurture, To Nature’.
This is the designer who sent her models stalking across a Scottish landfill for her Winter 2017 collection, and is indignant that only 1% of clothes are recycled: “what are we doing?” she exclaims.
She’s not the only one: both she and fellow Brit Vivienne Westwood, a keen environmental activist, have said it is better for someone to buy one pricey item from their collection than to scoop up 20 cheap ones and discard them after years of them hanging unused in a crammed wardrobe.
Protest has always been present in an industry that blends beauty and exploitation.
Creations by both McCartney and Westwood feature in a new exhibition, ‘Fashioned From Nature’, at London’s V&A Museum, which explores the relationship between fashion and the natural environment.
Meanwhile, can this kind of ad inspire us all to see our threads a different way and help build a more sustainable future for all? Or do we care less than bagging a bargain and wouldn’t be seen dead twice in the same outift?