Sustainability questions and answers

We’re often asked about our eco-credentials. Here are answers to a few of your most frequent questions…

Do you really use NO leather or fur?

We do not use leather, skins (i.e. python, crocodile and other exotics), or furs in any our products or licensed products. We also make sure that none of the glues contain animal products.

Are any of your products tested on animals?

No Stella McCartney products are ever tested on animals.

What about PVC?

In 2008 we began to phase out PVC from our products and since 2010 all Stella McCartney products have been PVC free. In addition to our own products we also assure that all adidas by Stella McCartney products are PVC free.

Does avoiding leather cause a lot of difficulties in production?

When it comes to shoes, because synthetic or woven materials are thinner and less elastic than leather, the main difficulty is achieving a uniform product. This is because many of the industrial techniques and machines used in leather shops are not appropriate for non-leather shoe manufacturing.

This means most of the steps in the production of both bags and shoes are executed solely by hand by skilled artisans – our bags, for example, can only be produced in a couple of factories in Italy that specialize in non-leather production. About 70% of the work is done by hand, and depending on the style, it can cost us up to 70% more to make a pair of shoes than any other brand – yet we don’t mark them up for the customer.

Both bags and shoes require the use of glue and this too is diligently tested to ensure the high ethical standards for which Stella McCartney is known. No fish glue, or any other glues derived from animal parts, are used in the production of our shoes and bags.

Your non-leather shoes and bags still look luxurious – how do you do it?

It can be a difficult task for our design team, sourcing, studying and testing a range of textiles that combine different blends of organic and synthetic fibres until they find a fabric that looks stunning, yet is versatile enough to undergo a variety of production techniques.

Because of the scientific research that goes into creating these blended fibres and subsequently, their scarcity, innovative materials could be considered a true luxury, rather than leather, which has become a commodity.

I’ve heard about the practice of mulesing sheep, and I don’t like the sound of it. What’s your position?

All our wool suppliers are required to show documentation stating that our wool comes from sheep that do not undergo inhumane mulesing practices. This means that if they are going to remove excess skin from the sheep’s hindquarters in order to prevent infection and death from fly strike, they must prove to us that that they are using aesthesia during the procedure. We are very careful to only work with suppliers that treat their sheep humanely.

What is Stella McCartney’s position on animal testing?

No Stella McCartney fragrances are tested on animals. As many as possible of our ingredients are of natural origin and none are of animal origin.

If you want to know more about our commitment to sustainability please email us at sustainability@uk.stellamccartney.com