Is being “hygienic” enough to not clean your garments? Designer Stella McCartney thinks so.
Harper’s Bazaar wrote an article on designer Stella McCartney’s opposition to cleaning her clothes. We respect her "vegetarian" brand (as Harper's Bazaar calls it) immensely, as we are doing our part trying to reduce waste in the garment care industry as fast fashion soars in water waste. In fact, the fashion industry is responsible for 20% of water waste and 10 % of carbon emissions globally.
Here’s an excerpt:
Stella McCartney on bespoke pieces: “The rule on a bespoke suit is you do not clean it. You do not touch it. You let the dirt dry and you brush it off.”
On how she doesn’t clean everything in her closet: “Basically, in life, rule of thumb: if you don’t absolutely have to clean anything, don’t clean it… I wouldn’t change my bra every day and I don’t just chuck stuff into a washing machine because it’s been worn. I am incredibly hygienic myself, but I’m not a fan of dry cleaning or any cleaning, really.
But is being hygienic enough?
In response to her comment about not being a fan of dry cleaning, we asked Wayne, Meurice CEO, for his take on it:
"I'd like to preface what I'm about to say with dry cleaning is not all we do at Meurice hence the term garment care being in our full name." Here, “less is more” especially with couture items. What some call "hang n bang cleaners," or cleaners that clean with the one-size-fits-all mindset, give cleaners a bad name. If you ate something while wearing the garment, chances are pretty good that there is some spot on the garment, if left untouched, would caramelize, oxidize, in other words - be caviar for moths. Body oils especially at collars need to be treated. A good “dry cleaner” will choose the *least invasive way* to clean a garment to ensure its longevity."
Our hope is that the fashion industry leaders will become more like McCartney, staying away from materials such as leather, fur and PVC. She describes these materials as “cancerous to the people who work with it" since the residue runs into the rivers because the factories are built on them. McCartney says “If everyone else was sustainable, we could have a level playing field, so it does feel unfair. But it’s my choice and I believe very much in my reasons for working in that way.”
And the only way to do so, we believe, is to help keep garments living longer to reduce clothing waste.