Did you know there are over 600,000 vegans in the UK alone with the number growing every year? As a longtime animal rights and sustainability activist, it’s a fact that designer Stella McCartney is proud of. ‘What is more punk that upending the entire food and fashion industrial complex by removing animal products from the equation?’, says the designer about her S/S 23 collection. With a little help from American actress Madelyn Cline, the two are raising awareness for animal rights with the brand's latest campaign.
Stella McCartney has long pioneered sustainable and cruelty-free alternatives in fashion; the iconic Falabella bag was one of the first vegan It-bags. It should come as no surprise then that when McCartney presented her S/S 23 collection at the Centre Pompidou during Paris Fashion Week, there would be no leather, feathers, fur and exotic skins present, showing the industry that fashion can still be desirable without relying on animal products. Referencing archive Chloé by Stella McCartney pieces in the collection, the designer explains that in looking at her past, it has led to redefining 'what the next Stella looks like.' She goes on to explain:
'My mantra right now is: "We are what we eat, we are what we wear". Our choices have an interconnected impact and if we want to change history and save our planet for future generations, we must take action – from stopping eating meat, to ending the needless deaths of animal for fashion. I call people of all ages today to join me in this mission today, so that we can protect Mother Earth for tomorrow.'
For her S/S 23 campaign, McCartney heads to The Gentle Barn, a sanctuary in Santa Clarity, California, with actress Madelyn Cline. Sharing the brand’s cruelty-free ethos, the burgeoning talent from Netflix’s Stranger Things and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, dons the brand’s vegan accessories in six-acres of the sanctuary’s farmyards and fields. The campaign also stars The Gentle Barn’s inhabitants of over 170 animals.
The campaign was inspired by ‘Change the History’, an activism slogan by the Japanese artist Yohistomo Nara who’s iconic illustrations and punk social statements are stamped throughout the collection. Along with the eye-catching graphics, the collection also boasts the first-ever luxury garment made from regenerative cotton.
‘I’m honoured to be a part of this shoot that provokes conversations of what change the history means. Yoshitomo Nara’s work, like this collection, has a wonderful provocative duality. Doe eyed children and powerful, rebellious, anti-war messaging. His art and messaging touches your inner child, which is something I believe Stella is so deeply in touch with. She is lively, kind, gentle, inspirational, rebellious, and she isn’t afraid to have the conversation. It’s a beautifully in sync collaboration,' explains Cline.