Hypocrite Profile: Stella McCartney

fur, hypocrite, stella mccartney, silk

We encounter a lot of hypocrisy here at Truth About Fur, as it seems most anti-fur folk like bacon, wear leather, or think that synthetics don’t kill animals. (Tell that to the families of the birds that died in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill!) Today’s feature, the first in our Hypocrite series, is about one of the most hypocritical fashion designers we know: Stella McCartney.

The list of Stella McCartney’s hypocritical actions is long. Let’s not start on the fact that her company is owned by the same company that owns Gucci, best known for its leather goods. Or that she has several homes and frequently flies around the world for work. That’s not good for the environment, is it?

We also aren’t going to talk about the fact that Stella McCartney has acknowledged the popularity and beauty of fur by launching her own collection of (synthetic, tacky) fake fur pieces. She routinely uses synthetic materials that are not sustainable and are derived from petroleum by-products, whilst preaching about taking care of the environment. But that’s also not what we are talking about today.

Today we are going to focus on silk.

fur, hypocrite, stella mccartney, silk
Stella McCartney’s silk blouses, made by boiling silk worms alive. Photos: Stella McCartney.

The hypocrite: Stella McCartney, British fashion designer, lifelong vegetarian, and occasional spokesperson for PETA.

The hypocrisy: Stella McCartney refuses to use leather or fur in her collections, and claims “the decision not to use leather or fur is not just because I don’t eat animals or that I think that millions of animals each year shouldn’t be killed for the sake of fashion. It’s because I also believe in the connection between fur and leather and the environment.”

However, Stella McCartney uses a lot of silk in her collections.

Do you know how silk is harvested? Silk worms are boiled alive in their cocoons, allowing the long fibres to be extracted. This gets less media attention than fur because larvae aren’t as cute as mink and fox.

fur free, fur, stella mccartney, faux fur, hypocrite, silk
Stella McCartney’s “fur free fur.” Why not just call it “ugly petrochemical coats” instead? Photos: Stella McCartney.

What they say: PETA describes Stella McCartney as an “inspired and compassionate trendsetter” whose “award-winning collections are proudly free of leather, fur, and other skins.” Funny they didn’t mention that her collections include many garments made from animals that have been boiled alive.

What we say: If Stella McCartney wants to make fashion collections without leather or fur, then that is fine. But can she please spare us the preaching about how the leather and fur industries are cruel to animals and the environment, when her own web store is stocked with garments made from non-biodegradable accessories and dresses whose fabric’s production process involves boiling animals alive?

And if she doesn’t think that millions of animals should be killed “for the sake of fashion,” how does she explain all of the silk on her website? Is it because worms’ lives aren’t as valuable as minks’ or foxes’, or is it because Stella McCartney is a hypocrite? I think we all know the answer to that.




  • I find it ironic, you call animal activists bullies and criticizes their views, yet here you are labeling a woman, belittling her and insulting her fashion line because she wants something different. So what, she loves animals and see them as equal, you are superior and see yourself above them. Does two different opinions require childish name calling?

    • Now hold on there, Kenny. It was Stella who started the name-calling. She’s been insulting anyone who uses fur for years. Maybe it’s payback time. But more importantly, given the title of our post, her hypocrisy is undeniable. She simply can’t, in good conscience, claim not to use animal products when she uses silk. It’s as simple as that.

  • I have a question for all of you who call her a hypocrite for not creating biodegradable clothing: is every item in your wardrobe biodegradable? Is everything you eat, wear, or buy biodegradable? I’m talking socks, shoes, undergarments?

    I agree that a person shouldn’t preach about something they don’t do themselves. But to whoever wrote this post, and to all of the comments of people saying not all of her products are biodegradable, is every one of your belongings biodegradable? If not, then you are a hypocrite as well.

    • Thanks for your comment, Monalisa, but Stella McCartney’s hypocrisy has nothing to do with whether her clothes are biodegradable. It’s to do with her opposition to the use of animal products in her clothes. She is inconsistent in her opposition because, as this blog post points out, she uses silk, which is produced from the larvae of silk moths, and involves killing the larvae.

    • As Truth About Fur says, this article has nothing to do about biodegradable clothing, but to answer your question, I buy almost no clothing from synthetic materials. The only exceptions are the shell of my Canada Goose coat, some lingerie, and a bit of my children’s clothing. I beat myself up for buying them fleece but I have been unable to find a practical alternative for them as wool is a lot of work to take care of and can’t be machine washed. As for my non-clothing goods, not many of them are biodegradable, but I try and buy long lasting items that will not end up in a landfill very quickly.

      But this really shouldn’t matter, as this article is not about me. I don’t walk around preaching about fashion and telling people to do this and that, and I certainly don’t take the moral high ground when it comes to my fashion choices. Stella McCartney, on the other hand, does just this, and has focused her entire brand on the premise that they do not need to kill animals for “fashion,” yet she does just that with silk. That makes her, not me, a hypocrite.

  • Ahhh! Isn’t it wonderful how people are trying to make excuses for the rich and famous; the hypocrites;the ones who choose to dehumanize people and humanize animals, all for the sake of money. Those who endorse any product without knowing anything about it and its place in the commercial industry are more than hypocrites, they are idiots. if that’ s what you want to believe about Stella then I agree with you. If you want to believe that she knew full well about silk because she is a designer and they know how their material gets to be a part of their product, then I agree with that too! Either way Stella is a deliberately ignorant and or a hypocrite

  • You all should cut the woman some slack. I am not condoning innocent creatures being boiled alive, but no human being is perfect. She is the only designer who is trying to provide fashion forward vegan shoes. And Simon makes a good point as well. Maybe we don’t know the whole story. Regardless, it’s very difficult to find vegan shoes that are attractive. Search the internet for vegan shoes. They’re awful and hideous. So thank you, Stella McCartney, you’re more evolved than the other designers out there. Also I’m afraid the fur look isn’t going anywhere, so you might as well embrace fake fur in the meantime as the best alternative. You can’t expect the population to go along with excluding the fur look altogether. Let’s be realistic.

    • A fan of Stella McCartney who is a hypocrite? I am shocked! (Note the sarcasm.) Yes, people who are anti-fur could simply bypass the fur trend completely, it is not that hard. And while Stella McCartney’s vegan shoes might be more stylist that other brands, that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to sit in a landfill for 1000 years while all of the leather goods have biodegraded into the earth.

  • Sadly, this is who gets the most media attention to spill their ignorance. Backing for these are done by those who enjoy the ‘slight of hand’ media attention. I.E. look at this cruelty to animals, while I pollute their earth and treat human beings as less by horrible work conditions and little pay… Humans around the world have a great capacity towards compassion, sadly it is often misplaced by hype like that spilled through the media by those who are ignorant of reality. Being well known does not automatically make you knowledgeable about every topic. Everyone should remember this when listening to politicians, news, and, yes, even celebrities.

  • One of the main problems with all these celebrity anti fur folks posturing is that the media, in the interest in selling their papers or radio or tv shows, recognise that there is more profit in simply regurgitating their ill-informed, ridiculous views than in doing proper journalism. From Stella’s geographically challenged father Paul through to Morrissey, Bryan Adams, Ellen Degeneres ad infinitum, not to mention all the “bought” politicians, these people get a free ride from the media regardless of the harm they inflict on workers in the animal usage business. The media should remember, and act on, the immortal words of Pogo: we have met the enemy and he is us. But of course they won’t as self reflection is not a media strong point.

  • Having met both Linda McCartney and Stella Mc Cartney on several occasions at various fashion events ..I can tell you that whilst Linda McCartney …was a renounded veggie…and had her own food line ..I met her wearing leather & fur… and Ms Stella McCartney …has a lovely P.A. ..who I can assure you is wearing Vintage Fur sold by Moi!!.. So in my opinion they are all ..HYPOCRITES…best to say nothing at all if your education in your field of work is so limited…Ignorance is not a good enought excuse..Suz xx

    • Unfortunately, this does not surprise me in the least. Most people you meet will act differently depending on who they are around. I completely agree that if you are not well educated in something it is best to leave off with the criticism and comments.

  • We should allow for the possibility that Stella McCartney is simply ignorant of how silk is made. I’ve met people who thought it was removed from cocoons like wool from a sheep! Remember Pam Anderson thought sheep didn’t die to make Ugg boots!

      • I am in the business and I can tell you right now that not all designers know their supply chain in detail. If all designers knew exactly how their materials were sourced, we would have a very different industry.

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