Review: Dame Ellen MacArthur x Stella McCartney ‘Creating a Future for Fashion’

Ellen MacArthur & Stella McCartney &

Ellen MacArthur joined forces with Stella McCartney to launch her foundation’s new report with an event at the V&A Museum in London

In 2005, Ellen MacArthur broke the world record for the fastest solo sailing circumnavigation of the globe at the age of just 28 – an achievement for which she was honored by the Queen of England and appointed Dame of the British Empire. Today, the 41-year-old uses her fame to campaign for the environment, climate protection, and sustainability. She established the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2010 with the goal of promoting the concept of a “circular economy,” an economic model that’s all about renewable processes, producing as little waste as possible, and using resources sparingly and in an environmentally friendly manner. With these aspirations, she and Stella McCartney are a good match. The designer has been committed to sustainability in the fashion industry for years, most recently with her current Fall/Winter 2017 campaign.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation just put out a new report, and the two women joined forces to mark the occasion. They co-hosted an event at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on the 28th of November which included guests like Erin O’ Connor, Sarah Mower, Jasmine Hemsley, and Veronika Heilbrunner.

The report is titled A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future and among the findings is that every second enough textiles to fill a garbage truck are wasted and less than 1% of clothing is recycled. The bottom line: If nothing changes, by 2050 the fashion industry will use up one quarter of the world’s annual “carbon budget” – the amount of carbon dioxide that can be emitted while preserving the chance of keeping global warming at bay. Another criticism of the fashion industry contained in the report is that clothing pollutes the ocean with half a million tons of microfiber every year. The report was published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Circular Fibres Initiative and supported by the C&A Foundation, H&M, Nike, and management consultants McKinsey & Company.

Speaking about the report, Stella McCartney said: “What really excites me about ‘A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future’ is that it provides solutions to an industry that is incredibly wasteful and harmful to the environment. The report presents a roadmap for us to create better businesses and a better environment. It opens up the conversation that will allow us to find a way to work together to better our industry, for the future of fashion and for the future of the planet.

You can read the full report here. More information about Ellen MacArthur and her foundation can be found on the website here.

Images: Darren Gerrish/Getty Images
Translation: Melissa Frost