By SARAH JONES
British fashion label Stella McCartney is aiming to prove that plastic is not fantastic in a push for a more sustainably derived eyewear collection.
The brand’s new bio-acetate eyewear incorporates materials made from wood pulp, a renewable resource that is biodegradable, rather than the typical petroleum-based acetate. Communicating the ecological impact in a humorous manner, the campaign turns to dinosaurs to describe the comparatively less cyclical nature of fossil fuels.
“Topics of sustainability, transparency and ethics continue to be a major focus for luxury brands that want to maintain relevance to an audience that is looking for a refreshed and more ethical version of luxury consumerism,” said Daymon Bruck, CCO and partner at The O Group, Seattle. “Many consumers today look towards the luxury brands they buy and use to stand for a set of values that more closely aligns with their own.
“Stella McCartney is a brand that embodies and supports this shift in luxury consumer culture and has been leading a charge for the replacements of problematic plastics by committing her own business to find, use and design with sustainable alternatives,” he said. “She and her brand are leading by example, and hopefully others will take notice by signing up to support just causes of their own.”
Mr. Bruck is not affiliated with Stella McCartney, but agreed to comment as an industry expert. Stella McCartney was reached for comment.
Stella McCartney’s eyewear is developed in partnership with Kering Eyewear. The subsidiary of Kering focuses on using ecologically friendly materials, such as bio-acetate.
This alternative to acetate does not include phthalate, which allows it to biodegrade. While acetate is usually plasticized using petroleum, bio-acetate instead uses esters of citric acid.
The frames in the collection comprise at least half bio-acetate.
Stella McCartney has signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, pledging to eliminate unnecessary plastics by 2025. In addition, the coalition is aiming to have all plastics be biodegradable in the same time frame.
To explain this differentiation to consumers, the brand tapped model Lindsey Wixson as a spokesmodel.
In a short campaign film, Ms. Wixson is seen wandering a park filled with statues of dinosaurs, the origins of the fossil fuels used today.
The model first emerges from brush to explain that the brand “says no” to fossil fuel-derived plastics.
We’re exploring the next generation of alternatives to plastics with the new #StellaEyewear Bio-Acetate collection.
As a signatory of the ‘New Plastics Economy Global Commitment’, we have pledged to eliminate unnecessary, problematic plastics and ensure that 100% of plastics used can be recirculated or composted by 2025. #BioAcetate is one of many steps toward our goal.
INSTAGRAM POST FROM STELLA MCCARTNEY
Throughout the film, Ms. Wixson rides a triceratops statue, does her impression of a dinosaur and makes friends with early humans.
When talking about “responsibly harvested wood pulp,” the model hugs a tree.
STELLA MACCARTNEY ON SUSTAINABILITY
Stella McCartney also embraced alternative materials through the use of mushroom-derived faux leather.
As the fashion industry looks to lower its environmental footprint, biotechnology company Bolt Threads is launching a more sustainably produced faux leather. An early adopter of vegetarian textiles, Stella McCartney has shown an openness to experiment with new, more eco-friendly fabrics, a strategy it continues with this latest bio-acetate initiative (see story).
Even with its commitment to the cause, the brand has never been afraid to take a more humorous look at sustainability.
In 2017, the label took a comedic look at environmentally-conscious clothing care while highlighting the high-quality and long-lasting clothes the fashion label offers.
The “Clevercare” video series celebrated Earth Day with tips for how to maintain Stella McCartney clothes and ways to minimize a consumer’s carbon footprint. The six-part series took an unconventional approach for most luxury brands by making the films highly comedic in nature (see story).
“The brand’s new bio-acetate eyewear campaign approached the topic with an understanding that issues around sustainability have been played out or can sound preachy,” Mr. Bruck said.
“Their fresh direction both educates the viewer about fossil fuels — the main ingredient to many plastics — by linking the material source to dinosaurs and has manages a playful tone throughout,” he said. “After all, what enlightened luxury consumer today — not to mention a growing vegan population — would want to wear the remains of our extinct biological ancestors if they could help it?”