Why Global Citizens Should Care
Sustainable fashion production and consumption are essential to the fight against climate change. Designer Stella McCartney is leading the movement to effort to hold brands accountable for polluting the planet. You can join us and take action on this issue here

“Make our voices heard,” “Ditch coffee cups,” –– these are a couple of suggestions the models in Stella McCartney’s latest fashion campaign have for saving the world.

As part of her fall-winter 2019 campaign, McCartney invited climate activists Tori Tsui, Deya Ward, Ruby Munslow, and others to share five ways to fight for the planet in a series of Instagram videos. Shot by photographer Johnny Dufort on the Welsh coast, the set of photos and videos released on Tuesday, “takes a moment to remind us of the beauty of nature and what we need to do to protect it.”

A second campaign film, narrated by primatologist Jane Goodall reading a poem written by author Jonathan Safran Foer, will be released in September. 

“As we are in the midst of a climate crisis, it is imperative that brands aim to be as sustainable as possible,” Tsui, a member of the climate activist group Extinction Rebellion, told Global Citizen. “ “Stella McCartney is paving the way for other fashion houses to follow suit.”

FLIGHT FREE 2020: 18 months until our climate reaches a tipping point. 18 MONTHS. Our planet simply cannot take this carbon brutality. I have decided I’m going to try my best to not fly in 2020. This is not a direct call to action but a question for us to think about what impact flying has on our environment. I am far from perfect admittedly and I will admit when I have slipped up. In fact I have flown so much in my life it’s the very least I can do to avoid further climate breakdown. This is an emergency. I’ve already made big commitments to be child free, new fashion free, vegan and try to be as zero waste as possible. Flying is the final jump. I am so inspired by @earthwanderess for this who has quit flying for the environment. We could all take a leaf out of her book. And also @earthbyhelena who has also made this commitment! Of course this decision is hard. I already have flights booked to see my family this year. I didn’t see them last Christmas in Hong Kong so this is really important to me. I’m trying so hard to type this on the train but my phone is so hot it’s taking ages. Obviously I have things I want to pursue, a career to achieve... but I have the privilege to make a small difference. So I will try. And thus I am really going to try my best to be flight free. So no more holidays (not that I’ve had a non-work related holiday for a while), no more impromptu family visits (again not that I’ve done this in a while), only if it is a personal emergency or if I can have a huge positive environmental impact (unlikely to get this, we shall see). I offset my flights when I can. So what’s the big leap? The mentality of it is the biggest hurdle. Remember I’m not perfect and I never will be but all I can do is try my best. And the planet needs it. Will you try flight free 2020? Photo: @stellamccartney campaign w/ @_chuwong, @deyaward, @trinityyyhill, @rubytues__ and @chloepearson. #sustainableblogger #ecofashion #extinctionrebellion #extinctionrebellion #flying #airplanes #travel #wanderlust #explore #outdoors #eco #sustainable #zerowaste #vegan #veganism #noplanetb #gretathunberg #ipcc #species #wildlife #nature #love #peace #travels

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 The campaign, which celebrates activism, is set along the cliffs of Llangattock Quarry and Nash Point Beach, which appears to be a deliberate choice. The warming of the planet causes sea levels to rise, erodes beaches like Nash Point, and destroys marine life habitats. In the series of surreal images, models and activists pose with giant globe sculptures and live alpacas. In one photo, a painting of the earth is collaged over model Amber Valletta’s face.

Many heads are better than one 🙌🏼✊🏼 If there’s anything I’ve learnt about the climate crisis is that we NEED to work together to solve this problem. Community and all that @extinctionrebellion stands for and an established citizen’s assembly is what we need to save the world 🙌🏼 What does community mean to you? Recreating The Beatles shot with the amazing @emmlaird @_chuwong and @trinityyyhill for @stellamccartney’s Winter Campaign. 💙🌎 . . . #extinction #extinctionrebellion #stellamccartney #stella #climatechange #climateanxiety #climatecrisis #FridaysForFuture #schoolstrikeforclimate #ecofashion #sustainability #sustainable #zerowaste #love #peace #earth #motherearth #explore #wildlife #wild #nature #wales #breconbeacons #conservation #environmentalism

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“The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters on the planet, and with the financial and social presence many of these brands have, it would be irresponsible not to be vocal about their carbon footprint,” Tsui said.

Read More: Britain's Fashion Industry Is Exploitative and Unsustainable, Say Parliamentarians

Each year, half a million tons of microfibers make it into the world’s waterways, becoming contaminants that harm marine life. Only 1% of clothing is ever recycled and the rest is burned or dumped into a landfill at a rate of one garbage truck’s worth per second, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Fashion production also leads to large amounts of carbon emissions through transportation and energy consumption.

“Everything should be circular,” Valletta recommends in her video for the campaign. In a circular economy, raw materials and byproducts are reused and very little is wasted.

For the fall-winter collection, available in September, Stella McCartney will continue to use sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, sustainable viscose, recycled polyester, and regenerated nylon. The brand will also introduce alpaca fleece that can be traced directly to its source, recycled cotton, and upcycled pieces like bags and dresses that are made without degrading the reused materials’ quality and composition.

Sustainability and environmental advocacy have been the core of McCartney’s vegetarian brand from its inception in 2001. The designer, who partnered with the UN to create a new fashion industry charter for climate action to help fashion companies adopt sustainable and ethical practices, is leading by example. In collaboration with athleticwear company Adidas, McCartney recently launched a hoodie that is the first commercially produced garment to use a new technology that purifies and liquefies old cotton to transform it into new material.

“Not everyone can be committed to boycotting fashion,” Tsui said. “Small steps like choosing sustainable brands and using recycled materials is still a fantastic option.”


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