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Stella McCartney to Make Vegan Shoes from Ocean Trash

The designer has partnered with plastic recycling company Parley for the Oceans to create new animal-free bags, shoes, and outerwear to reduce waste.

Vegetarian designer Stella McCartney will produce new, animal-free apparel using recycled plastic fibers sourced from the ocean. McCartney partnered with conservation organization Parley for the Oceans to obtain a yarn fiber, which the company creates from old fishing nets, bottles, and other trash that pollutes the oceans. McCartney will replace polyester with the recycled plastic yarn in designs for bags, shoes, and outerwear which she plans to begin rolling out this July. “Leather is cheaper than some of the non-leather alternatives,” McCartney told the New York Times. “It’s less interesting, it’s less modern. Every element of it, to me, is not particularly luxurious or fashionable.” While the designer still uses wool and silk, she launched her brand in 2001 with the intent to create luxury fashion without the use of animal fur or leather. “Is a recycled plastic ever going to be something people think is a luxury?” McCartney said. “If they don’t notice it and if they feel that living on this planet longer is a luxury, then yes, to me … that’s my idea of luxury.” Over the years, the designer has been paramount in changing the perception that animal skins are necessary to creating luxury apparel, and debuted a “Skin-free Skin” collection—made from a vegan suede-like material—during this year’s Paris Fashion Week in March.

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