Stella McCartney’s models and celebrity customers never look less than immaculately dressed. Famous fans range from the Duchess of Cambridge to supermodel Kate Moss and Oprah Winfrey. My favourite ‘smart coat’ for fancy occasions is a Stella.
Stella has this week advised us that it is better to simply brush dirt from clothes, rather than put them in the wash, saying: “I’m not a fan of dry cleaning or any cleaning, really.” Instead, she said, when it comes to a bespoke suit, “Let the dirt dry and brush it off”.
The designer has made a name for her sustainable fashion choices, prioritising eco-friendly materials and production methods for her global brand.
Asked what she thought about dry cleaning, McCartney explained that she had learned the benefits of avoiding cleaning whilst learning her trade with the tailors on Savile Row. “Their suits are like architecture. It’s amazing,” she said of the industry. “And the rule on a bespoke suit is you do not clean it. You do not touch it. You let the dirt dry and you brush it off. I am incredibly hygienic myself, but I’m not a fan of dry cleaning or any cleaning, really.”
McCartney regularly speaks about the importance of ethical fashion, with her stores using LED lighting, sustainable wood and paper, wind power and – on Bond Street – decorative rock and moss shipped from her father Paul McCartney’s farm on the Mull of Kintyre.
Recent changes to the fashion industry, which have seen brands increasingly emphasise their eco-credentials to appeal to a new market, driven by young buyers demanding more.
Stella’s brand publicises the “Clevercare” system, which “reminds us all to consider the environment when washing, drying and taking care of our clothes”.
Its recommendations include thinking twice about washing, instead airing and brushing clothes or spot cleaning stains. Washing on a low temperature, hanging to dry outside, and ironing only when strictly necessary are also advised, along with finding an “eco or green” dry cleaner.