Stella McCartney has revealed she is “not a fan” of cleaning clothes so as to preserve them.
Asked whether she thought dry cleaning was necessary, the British fashion designer told that she learned to care for fine garments during three years of studying tailoring on Saville Row.
“The rule on a bespoke suit is you do not clean it,” she said. “You do not touch it. You let the dirt dry and you brush it off.”
The 47-year-old fashion added that her “rule of thumb” for washing clothes was: “If you don’t absolutely have to clean anything, don’t clean it”.
She said she applied this logic to even her most personal items of clothing.
“I wouldn’t change my bra every day and I don’t just chuck stuff into a washing machine because it’s been worn,” she said “I am incredibly hygienic myself, but I’m not a fan of dry cleaning or any cleaning, really.”
Sustainability had been integral to her brand, which eschews materials like leather, fur and PVC – something she described as “cancerous to the people who work with it, and then the residue runs into the rivers because the factories are built on rivers”.
She added that while sometimes her ethical and environmental stance can make the design process harder – it took her a decade to produce a clear shoe without using PVC – she stands by it.
“If everyone else was sustainable, we could have a level playing field, so it does feel unfair,” she said. “But it’s my choice and I believe very much in my reasons for working in that way”.