SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: BBC star Patrick Grant criticises ethical Stella McCartney’s use of faux-leather in her designs as it is non-biodegradable
Stella McCartney has made much of being an ‘ethical’ fashion designer who spurns leather, but suave BBC star Patrick Grant says her imitators risk polluting the planet.
The Great British Sewing Bee host says Stella’s use of faux-leather in her shoes and handbags is helping to make man-made fibres fashionable, which can then wind up harming the environment.
‘Eighteen years ago, she [Stella, below] had been telling people to switch from leather to polyurethane and now the fish have it inside them,’ he tells me.
Stella McCartney has made much of being an ‘ethical’ fashion designer who spurns leather
‘The alternative to leather is plastic and now all of a sudden we are waking up to the problem of plastic.
‘Stella McCartney’s business is her business and almost certainly Stella is using the very best alternatives, but the problem is that all the people that have seen what she’s doing have copied her and polyurethane has taken off as an alternative to leather. But it is bad s***: the way it’s made and the way it doesn’t biodegrade.
‘I think Stella’s shoes are unlikely to end up in the ocean, but what she’s done is allowed other people to say that this is an OK material for high-end products, so it’s opened a door,’ he adds at the Marie Claire Future Shapers Awards.
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But suave BBC star Patrick Grant says her imitators risk polluting the planet
McCartney’s faux leather boots sell for up to £755. Former Savile Row tailor Grant, 46, who designs a menswear line for Debenhams, knows whereof he speaks having studied materials science at Leeds University. His solution? ‘Maybe we should eat less meat, but we do eat meat, so we might as well use the hides of the cows we eat rather than kill our fish.’
A Stella McCartney spokesman claims ocean waste is caused by microfibres shed mostly while garments are cleaned in washing machines and this does not apply to its shoes and other faux leather products, which are not machine washable.
The spokesman adds that leather can take at least 50 years to biodegrade and has an ‘extremely high environmental impact’.
A Stella McCartney spokesman claims ocean waste is caused by microfibres shed mostly while garments are cleaned in washing machines and this does not apply to its shoes and other faux leather products, which are not machine washable
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