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Stella McCartney hosts environmental experts to celebrate Rewilding and Rechilding

4 people sat on stools at a panel discussion
  • Written byEva Garcia Del Pozo Castello
  • Published date 30 January 2023
4 people sat on stools at a panel discussion
Rewilding and Rechilding panel talk at Stella McCartney Flagship 2023. Photography by Eva Garcia Del Pozo Castello

“For Spring 2023, I was inspired by rewilding and rechilding - using fashion to start conversations about restoring the natural world around us and the child within” - Stella McCartney

MSc Strategic Fashion Management student, Eva Garcia Del Pozo Castello, along with BSc Fashion Management Tutor, Ronit Zilkha, were invited to an exclusive panel discussion at Stella McCartney's flagship store, 23 Old Bond Street to explore the new SS23 collection and the importance of restoring the environment around us. Eva is here to tell our readers a little more...

To celebrate Stella McCartney SS 2023, I had the pleasure of accompanying Ronit Zilkha to a private panel discussion organized by the brand at Stella McCartney's flagship store. In this panel discussion, topics about the importance of restoring the environment around us and reviving the child in us were discussed, celebrating the themes that were the inspiration behind the creation of Stella's Spring 23 collection.

Harmonizing rewilding and rechilding, we were greeted by a window display featuring plush animals made from 100% recycled plastic waste – using 56% less energy compared to virgin materials. The ready-to-wear collection is Stella's most sustainable collection to date and is made from 85% responsible materials. With prints of British flora and fauna in need of protection or reintroduction, the spring collection also includes the world's first full-cycle luxury garment, a parka made from ECONYL regenerated and reclaimable nylon, which can be taken back and recycled at the end of its life.

Guests included ornithologist and next-gen activist Mya-Rose Craig (aka Birdgirl), environmentalist Ben Goldsmith, and British ecologist Derek Gow, who has personally worked with Stella to revitalize her own farm. Hans Schutten was also among the guests, being the Program Director at Wetland International, a company dedicated to recovery projects and supported by the STELLA by Stella McCartney skincare line.

Moreover, the panel was moderated by Christabel Reed, Co-Founder of the climate action platform EcoResolution along with Cara Delevigne, and the systems change platform Advaya among other sustainable initiatives.

2 Manequins
Rewilding and Rechilding panel talk at Stella McCartney Flagship 2023. Photography by Eva Garcia Del Pozo Castello
Ben Goldsmith, CEO of Menhaden
So, how can people financially support the rewilding cause?

Being extremely careful about how you spend your money in order to contribute. Every dollar you spend has an effect of some form. Of course we want to travel, and of course we want to purchase a new pair of sneakers, but primarily we just want to be cautious of our financial decisions and the collateral effects. Spend your money with kindness, decency, and without pretense.

Hans Schutten, Programme Head at Wetlands International
Could you tell us more about the project that you're working on with Stella and kind of what the long-term vision? What do you hope to achieve?

If we go back to the beginning, the reason why we and Stella began working together was because of our shared background. She was raised in Scotland, and the wetlands and peatlands are very important for her. In Scotland, 80% of the peatlands are degraded and require significant change. Working with Stella, we began to consider what it actually meant and the purposes of the renaturalizing, revegetating, and rehydrating. When we considered what she was doing with the skincare products, which is all about rehydrating the skin, we immediately thought of what we do at Westlands.

What do you see as the connection between the preservation of wetlands and skin, can you talk about the synergy between the two?

If you look at peatlands, they are the skin of earth, they really regulate the water, and because of that they keep the earth healthy. They support it as they do with your own skin, there's a direct connection there.

Can you tell us about the centre restoration project, what you've achieved today and what your hopes for the future are?

We've started a five year cooperation with Stella, whereby we are going to restore 200 hectares of peatlands. What we've done so far in the first year, we´ve restored 20 hectares of peatlands, so that's really important. This will bring biodiversity back, we´re going to have the dragonflies, we´re going to have the carbon locked up. The 20 hectares of peatlands we have restored this year is equivalent to the emissions of a small village in Scotland

It has been incredible to be able to listen to these professionals talk about the importance of rewilding and refolding, and taking responsibility for caring for the biodiversity that surrounds us for future generations. It is a pleasure that brands like Stella McCartney integrate sustainability so effectively into fashion, achieving the perfect balance and giving students and young people the opportunity to be part of this change.

Window display with toy animals at Stella McCartney store
Rewilding and Rechilding window display at Stella McCartney Flagship 2023. Photography by Eva Garcia Del Pozo Castello

“Rechilding to me is celebrating life and seeing the joy in the ordinary. Looking with new eyes at the world feeling enchanted. How can you be fully connected, aware and curious about all the life that surrounds you” - Christabel Reed

“Rewilding is something that gives me hope. It is something that local people in local areas can take upon themselves. The fact that people have initiatives and are taking upon themselves makes me very hopeful about the relationship between biodiversity and nature” - Mya-Rose Craig (Birdgirl)

“Wherever you go you find people who have their own landscapes looking to restore, or their own particular species they have a great deep fundamental love for and it's very inspiring, it feels you are not alone, you feel there is others who care” - Derek Gow

Bottles of skincare
Skincare by Stella McCartney Flagship 2023. Photography by Eva Garcia Del Pozo Castello