Stella McCartney told Sky News the world needs to realize just how old-fashioned “the fashion industry” is when it comes to the climate crisis, as she prepares to meet with G7 leaders, alongside the Prince of Wales.
The fashion designer, who will join a delegation of 10 CEOs from the world’s biggest companies in Cornwall, told Sky News she would ask world leaders to “watch the laws, the policy changes” so that she does not feels more “penalized for doing well”.
The reception at the Eden Project, hosted by prince charles, will be the first of its kind to a G7 summit with politicians and business leaders all discussing the climate crisis.
The prince described it as a “potentially revolutionary opportunity” for governments and the private sector to share ideas on how they can work hand in hand to build a sustainable future.
Speaking to Sky News later ahead of the event, McCartney said she was excited but also slightly terrified of the enormity of the moment.
She said: “I see this as a really powerful opportunity for me to really shed light on an industry that I think has gone under the radar lately, or forever, on sustainability issues.
“I don’t think anyone really knows that the fashion industry is one of the most harmful industries.
“I don’t think they know that 150 million trees are cut down for viscose when I managed to get sustainable wood pulp in Sweden.
“I don’t think people know anything about it, so for me to be there with these world leaders is really exciting, but also very terrifying because I’m desperate to understand some of the facts and realities of the world. old-fashioned fashion industry is. “
The daughter of the Beatles legend Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney, photographer and animal rights activist, she graduated from fashion school in 1995 and after working as a creative director for Chloe in Paris, started her own fashion house in 2001.
A longtime vegetarian, she has never used leather, feathers, skin or fur in any of her creations since day one.
But for now, McCartney says she is “penalized” by taxes and regulations for trying to be green in the way she produces her clothes.
When asked what action she would like to see from the government and what she would ask of leaders, she said, “I’m kind of here to encourage these world leaders to really look at the laws, the policy changes, the changes. incentives for the young designers of tomorrow, the young fashion houses.
“I have no incentive at all, in fact I can be hit with a tax of up to 30% if I export any item other than leather to the United States of America and have to put that in my margins and it doesn’t help me as a business and I’m penalized for doing good if you want to.
“If I put a pigskin strip on this vegan product, my tax is exempt. So that’s the kind of conversations I want to have, I want to be encouraged to work this way… we want a change in policy, and you know I’m happy to try and get this message across. “
Over the past 18 months, the Prince of Wales has convened groups of business leaders to discuss practical changes that could speed up the campaign for net zero emissions.
The CEOs visiting Cornwall are representative of the 300 business leaders who have signed its ‘terra carta’, or land charter, a set of principles that will hopefully provide a roadmap for a sustainable future. .
It includes more targeted investments in innovative green technologies and more common thinking between countries when it comes to setting targets in areas such as electric vehicles.
For more than 20 years, McCartney has been committed to working with the environment, but she says the small, innovative suppliers she works with need investments to increase production or that other retailers can. benefit and costs may drop.
That’s why she thinks this business chat room convened by Prince Charles could be so beneficial, with the financial industry providing the capital it needs.
But she also believes buyers have a huge role to play in encouraging the industry to step up its commitment to sustainability.
She said: “There are many ways to be sustainable in fashion, the consumer really drives that. You know I serve the consumer, I firmly believe that.
“And I know the young consumer, most of the consumers now if they know the wrong the industry is doing to deliver these products, I don’t think they want to be part of it. You can rent clothes, you can resell. clothes, you can have second-hand clothes, you can use charity stores. “
Prince Charles, who has campaigned on environmental issues for more than 50 years, will be joined by Prince William, also a committed environmentalist, for the reception at the Eden Project.