LONDON – Stella McCartney has become the latest brand to decline to answer legitimate and relavent questions about what it does with its unsold clothing stock. When contacted for information, the company’s sustainability representative – bizarrely – passed us onto their PR team, which in turn declined to tell us what Stella McCartney does with unsold clothing. Further requests for information fell on deaf ears.
Stella McCartney is, arguably, the best known face of fashion sustainability. The star turn at this year’s Copenhagen Fashion Summit, she has become known for her outspoken views on such issues. She once told the Guardian: “Fashion really is getting away with murder. … There needs to be more systems in place, more vigorous testing, and as a customer you can do that, you can challenge the people who are making your fashion.
“I think it’s really important to know what you’re consuming, to ask questions … ask questions, ask big corporations.”
We asked them, Stella, and your team did not want to know.
The brand is also in the news this week after the Daily Mail reported that her luxury sportswear line with Adidas is actually made in Indonesia by workers who earn on average £188 a month. That is equivalent to 98p an hour if they work 48-hour factory week.
It is also way below the pay level recommended by the Asia Floor Wage Alliance. Last year, the alliance recommended the living wage for Indonesia should be 5.886million rupiah (£312) per month.
Asad Rehman, executive director of War on Want, told the Mail: “Ms McCartney’s customers will be shocked to learn she is paying poverty wages and racking up huge profits. Her brand income went up 42 per cent to £7million this year, after just a 30 per cent increase in sales. That points to rising exploitation.”