We understand that it is our responsibility to do what we can to become a more sustainable company. We are responsible for the resources that we use and the impact that we have. We are always exploring new and innovative ways to become more sustainable.
Honesty goes hand in hand with responsibility. We know that we aren’t perfect. We also know that sustainability isn’t just one thing, it isn’t just organic cotton – it’s organic cotton, plus wind energy, plus not using PVC, plus thousands of other little steps that eventually make a more sustainable company. In many ways we are just beginning our journey towards becoming more sustainable, but we are dedicated to continuing our work towards being able to replace what we have taken from the environment. We will continue to consider the impact we have on the planet as we design clothing, open stores and manufacture our products. We will probably never be perfect, but you can rest assured that we are always trying.
We think that being modern means considering the future, not just the future of design, but also the future of the planet. We are dedicated to helping change people’s perception of eco fashion. We think that sustainability can take the form of beautiful and modern clothing and accessories.
In our consistent effort to be more a more sustainable and ethical company, these are a few of the things that we are doing today:
All Stella McCartney stores, offices and studios in the UK are powered by wind energy that is provided by Ecotricity, a company that invests the money its customers spend on electricity into clean forms of power like wind. Outside the UK we use renewable energy to power our stores and offices whenever possible. 45% of our operations are run on 100% renewable, green energy and 65% are run on partially green energy*.
To power our Dallas store we use TXU, who supplies us 100% renewable energy, in combination with our rooftop solar panels. Our NYC Green Street store is powered by ConEdison Solutions who also supplies us with 100% renewable energy (coming from wind and hydro).
We continue to use as much organic cotton as possible in our collections and we are always exploring new eco materials and processes. In 2012, 34% of our denim and 36% of our jersey for ready-to-wear was made from organic cotton and 50% of all knitwear for Stella McCartney Kids was organic.
We created a carrier bag that is 100% biodegradable and made from corn. They were developed exclusively for us six years ago.
In 2012, 34.3 metric tons of waste was diverted from landfill and recycled or reused. We are proud to say that all Stella McCartney locations have recycling systems – we are always working to reuse and recycle as much as we can. This year we added textile recycling to our recycling systems in the UK. We now recycle all textiles that cannot be used in the UK.
In Miami, we are working on a tree planting initiative with Million Trees Miami and Bio Planet US. In 2012 we planted our first 20 full-grown trees in our Stella McCartney sponsored public park in Florida.
Within the UK, all business taxi journeys are booked through Climate Cars – a service that deploys only hybrid cars.
We opened our first LEED (or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified store in 2011 in Dallas. The store is equipped with solar panels and a new energy efficient air-conditioning unit. Also, when opening a store in a shopping mall, we always attempt to be part of those that are LEED certified. We are now in two LEED certified malls: Crystals at CityCenter Mall in Las Vegas and Parkview Green in Beijing.
Our signature wood flooring is made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood, which means that it came from sustainably managed forests.
Whenever possible we buy our furniture from auctions or locally, for example for our Rome store we were able to buy antiques locally.
We created our Green Guidebook in 2012 to help our stores run more sustainably. The e-book provides guidelines on how to save energy and water, reduce waste, and lessen the overall environmental impact of Stella McCartney stores.
We are committed to our pledge to find innovative and ecological materials, pushing the boundaries of what sustainable products can look like. Read more about our eco friendly products here.
We do not use leather, skins or fur in any of our products, collaborations or licensed products and here are some of the reasons why…
Other than the obvious ethical issues surrounding the culling of animals for their hides, in recent years studies by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and NGOs such as PETA have discovered that the environmental impact caused by our reliance on meat and its by-products is not sustainable.
Factoring in the resources needed to rear cattle, producing a fur or animal skin jacket consumes 20 times the amount of energy needed to produce a coat made from natural fibers or synthetic materials.
Animal skins used for clothing and accessories are loaded with caustic, toxic chemicals that prevent them from decomposing – the very opposite of what we expect from an organic resource.
Although leather-makers like to tout their products as “biodegradable” and “eco-friendly,” the process of tanning stabilizes the collagen or protein fibers so that they actually stop biodegrading.
Groundwater near leather tanneries in developing countries has been found to contain critically high levels of lead, formaldehyde and even cyanide, causing cancer and other fatal illnesses in nearby populations.
To see more about the cruelty perpetuated by the meat, leather, and fur industries check out these videos that Stella McCartney made for PETA.
Clean by Design
Stella McCartney has been involved with Natural Resource Defense Council’s (NRDC) Clean by Design program since its inception and was the first luxury brand to join. Clean by Design is an innovative program that uses the buying power of multinational corporations as a lever to reduce the environmental impacts of their suppliers abroad. Clean by Design focuses on improving process efficiency to reduce waste and emissions and improve the environment.
Textile manufacturing has a big environmental footprint, polluting as much as 200 tons of water per ton of fabric with a suite of harmful chemicals, and consuming tremendous amounts of energy for steam and hot water.
In 2012 we launched the Clean by Design program in our own Italian mills. By working with the NRDC, we will improve the efficiency and decrease the impact of our mills. The program focuses on reducing water and energy use. It is divided into 10 best practices that can easily be adopted by the mills. The NRDC’s best practice can save approximately 25% of water and 30% of fuel.This is the first time that the Clean by Design program is being implemented in the EU. In the past, the program has focused primarily on China.
Ethical Trading Initiative
In 2012 we joined the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), an alliance of companies, voluntary organizations and trade unions, all working together to improve working conditions around the world.
International Trade Centre
We have created a range of printed tote bags in partnership with the United Nations’ International Trade Centre. The program goes beyond charity by providing work and livelihood to disadvantaged communities in Kenya. Our bags are created by hand from printing to stitching and in 2012 our production has reached 160 people in poverty stricken areas, having a considerable impact. Find out more
As part of the Kering Group Stella McCartney works with KERING SUSTAINABILITY towards the goal of reducing our impact on the environment by 25% over the next four years. KERING SUSTAINABILITY is an ambitious and multi-tiered new sustainability initiative that was launched in 2011. It moves beyond the conventional approach to corporate social responsibility by promoting a new business paradigm in which sustainability is driving creativity and innovation and vice versa.
KERING SUSTAINABILITY’S vision of a better world that is more sustainable – economically, socially and ecologically – than the world we know and live in today.
KERING SUSTAINABILITY challenges us to reconsider our products, services and our existing way of doing things. It aims to motivate us and our customers to be aware of the planet’s fragility thereby setting the pace for a new, more sustainable consumerism, helping good business become synonymous with good conservation, redefining sustainable shareholder value and building businesses that meet the needs of an evolving society.
KERING SUSTAINABILITY has set ambitious sustainability targets to be achieved by 2016. Some of these targets, such as getting rid of all PVC by 2016, have already been accomplished, while others are being worked towards. Many of the PPR sustainability targets address the issues with leather and precious skins — which are not an issue for us.
The Kering targets include:
• Reducing our carbon emissions, waste and water usage resulting from the production of products and services by 25%, while accounting for the growth of our business.
• 100% of paper and packaging will be sourced from certified sustainably managed forests with a minimum of 50% recycled content.
• Ensuring all hazardous chemicals have been phased out and eliminated from our production by 2020.
• 100% of gold and diamonds will be sourced from verified operations that do not have a harmful impact on local communities, wildlife or the ecosystems which support them.
Additionally, KERING SUSTAINABILITY has a set a target date of 2016 for all brands in the luxury group to complete an Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L). We have already begun work on a company Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L) and will have our first completed EP&L by the end of 2013 for ready-to-wear collections and accessories.
The EP&L is a strategic risk management and transparency tool. It provides an initial analysis of the risks attached to raw material costs and it provides insight into the problems of resource scarcity. It creates an understanding that these issues and their consequences can mitigate risk in the supply chain, as well as helping to guide investment in order to achieve better management of these challenges. The EP&L measures and assigns a monetary value to the key environmental impact associated with a company’s operational and supply chain activities. This includes greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, land use, air pollution and waste production.