Fashion with a Soul

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Dubbed “the cool conscience of the fashion industry” by Vanity Fair and a poster girl for ethical rights, fashion designer Stella McCartney is a 41-year-old eco-minded mother of two who is out to save the planet one ethical decision at a time.

This lifelong advocate of animal rights (who only wears cruelty free clothing) is successfully changing the views of the fashion industry by creating clothing and accessories that are both ethical and elegant.

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Campaigning tirelessly against the use of fur in the industry, McCartney’s eco-chic fashion proves that you don’t have to use fur to make it big in the industry. With profits of up to $2.9m made last year, McCartney’s eco-friendly clothing and accessories, which don’t eschew style of luxury, has put many designers to shame with their use of real fur in many of their designs this season.

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While many luxury brands virtually pay no regard to their ethical and environmental responsibilities, McCartney works her fashion magic by creating beautiful pieces with the basic principles of cruelty free and sustainability and uses earth-friendly decisions where ever possible. McCartney estimates that up to 30 percent of each collection contains some sort of sustainable element, including a leather-like plant derivative in her shoes and boots.

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Further cementing her eco credentials, McCartney also:
* Is the first designer to team up with the Natural Resources Defense Council on its Clean by Design initiative to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint;
* Has announced a new program for aspiring designers, the Stella McCartney Scholarship, which funds local and international master’s of fashion students for a one-year placement at her fashion house. Students who win the scholarship must eschew fur, leather, or products that harm animals within their designs; and
*Has announced her newly launched eco-friendly range of fashion-forward frames (due to hit Sunglass Hut stores soon). By using raw materials stemming from natural origins, these frames help reduce the use of petroleum which takes millions of years to regenerate after consumption.

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This ethics-driven approach also reflects other areas in her lifestyle. Her stores use biodegradable bags and recycled-paper products whenever possible, and the bespoke herringbone floors in some of her stores are also made from sustainable oak. For a big environmental impact, McCartney has also changed her power source, both at home and work, to Ecotricity, which invests in wind power.

And to top that, not only does she buy organic where ever possible, McCartney has her very own line of skin-care called Care which contains no endangered plants, genetically modified ingredients, petrochemicals, paraben preservatives, or synthetic fragrances — and it mandates 100 percent certified organic active ingredients.

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Doing things her own stylish way, McCartney proves that ‘environmentally sound’ can also be uber chic!

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