Waste takes centre stage in new Stella McCartney campaign

World-famous fashion designer Stella McCartney is using her Winter 2017 ad campaign to highlight issues of waste and overconsumption.

Created in collaboration with artist Urs Fischer and photographer Harley Weir, the campaign’s artwork uses imagery of manmade waste to convey a strong message about sustainability. In the video below, for example, one image sees ‘clean waste’ on its way to a recycling centre, contrasted with the harsh reality of landfill in another.

Waste takes centre stage in new Stella McCartney campaign

Photos for the campaign, taken on the East Coast of Scotland, show the man-made landscapes formed from discarded items, raising the question of what we are leaving for future generations.

“The idea we had with this campaign is to portray who we want to be and how we carry ourselves; our attitude and collective path,” said McCartney. “Our man-made constructed environments are disconnected and unaware of other life and the planet which is why there is waste.”

Beyond the imagery, the new collection is entirely made from sustainable materials. McCartney has used innovative and recycled materials such as organic cotton, sustainably-sourced viscose, recycled nylon and cruelty-free Skin-Free-Skin. The brand says: ‘It is expected that plastic production will triple by 2050 when the population explodes to almost 10 billion – so it is vital that we act now.’

Waste takes centre stage in new Stella McCartney campaign
Commenting on the campaign, artist Uri Fischer said: “Stella’s fashion to me is about dignity, love and a beautiful attitude to all challenges. All while feeling good and looking great and we wanted to reflect that in the concept of this campaign.”

Sustainable design

This campaign is not the first time that McCartney has used her platform to speak out about environmental issues.

Speaking at a sustainability event at the London College of Fashion last year the designer criticised the fashion industry as a whole, claiming that it was “getting away with murder” by continuing to use unsustainable and environmentally-harmful practices.

She added: “There needs to be more systems in place, more vigorous testing, and as a customer you can do that, you can challenge the people who are making your fashion.”

Waste takes centre stage in new Stella McCartney campaign

She went on to implore consumers to be more conscious of their fashion choices: “Be mindful of your consumption. I think the one thing we’ve forgotten is that we make the choices. I think it’s really important to know what you’re consuming, to ask questions, to reduce your meat intake, to look at how you’re living your life and how that has an impact on the environment.

“Ask questions: ask big corporations why they are using materials like PVC, and why did that watch cost three pounds, what the hell happened from A to Z there?”

In her own collections, McCartney has found increasingly creative ways of using recycled materials. Just last month, she entered into a longterm partnership with marine protection network Parley for the Oceans to use material made from recovered ocean plastic in her fashion lines.

From July onwards a fibre made from plastic objects like fishing nets and plastic bottles will be used instead of woven polyester in her products such as shoes, bags and outerwear.