Having previously called on clothing manufacturers to take more responsibility for the environmental impact of the products they produce, Stella McCartney has partnered with the ocean ambassadors to commit to multi-disciplinary approach through the Parley strategy of Avoid, Intercept and Redesign (AIR).

“Fashion is an industry that makes a significant impact on the health of the planet, and on its life support system — the oceans,” McCartney said. “Our goal has always been to challenge ourselves and the industry to do better, to continually ask ourselves how we can improve.

“We want to be responsible and accountable for the items we make and the ways we make them. And we need to start somewhere in order to progress. This partnership with Parley is another chapter in our journey.”

Parley for the Oceans aims to use collaboration and innovation to combat rising marine plastic waste. An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic waste enters the oceans each year. Demand for plastic products is also expected to double in the next 20 years, despite only 14% of plastic packaging being collected for recycling.

The issue has become so serious that the Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050.

Next chapter

Since launching in 2001, the Stella McCartney brand has avoided the use of leather, fur, skins and feathers in any products, citing ethical and environmental issues as the reason. Through the partnership with Parley, the brand will extend this alternative approach to cover ocean conservation.

“We are at war with the oceans. And if we win, we lose it all. It’s time to make peace between mankind and the sea. No social group is suited better for this challenge than the creative class,” Parley for the Ocean’s founder Cyrill Gutsch said.

“Stella McCartney is not only a fantastic designer; she is a pioneer of creative activism. Her work has changed the industry. She will expedite our strategy of making Ocean Plastic the new standard for the fashion and luxury industry.”

Global sportswear company Adidas, one of McCartney’s brands, set a goal to produce one million ocean plastic pairs of trainers by 2017 through its partnership with Parley for the Oceans.

Elsewhere, Mexican beer brand Corona has partnered with the organisation in a move that will protect 100 islands against rising marine plastic pollution by 2020.

Matt Mace

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