Stella McCartney enjoys the "challenge" of creating cruelty free products.

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney

The 46-year-old fashion designer - who is set to receive the Special Recognition Award for Innovation at the 2017 British Fashion Awards on December 4 - thinks it is "extraordinary" people are finally accepting her refusal to use certain materials, such as leather and fur, in her brand, but she is enjoying finding alternative fabrics.

Speaking to, the creative mastermind - who launched her eponymous brand in 2001 - said: " I think it's very encouraging that the British Fashion Council are looking at this and that they're starting a new award around this.

"It's extraordinary that I started this conversation a long time ago and now it's in the room and people are engaged and people aren't angry or dismissive. Now they're actually OK to pay some attention to that. There's never been any other way. I find one of the most satisfying parts of it, even today, is that 90 per cent of my costumers don't have a clue that I'm not using animal products in what I do. There is no point of me designing something that is going to become landfill, so you know, the design is the thing that comes first.

"We find the challenge exciting here. We just worked with a company called Bolt from San Francisco that grow silk thread in laboratory, so they are not killing any silk worms and I find that extraordinary."

However, Stella is conscious not to "ram" her views "down people's throat", as she does not want to make the public feel "guilty" if they do not share the same views as her, although she thinks being eco-friendly is "the future of fashion".

She explained: "I love that side of the industry. It's the future of fashion - the fact that we can use less water, less energy, use our land, our resources and the planet's resources in a more efficient way I think it's fascinating and I think it's the only way forward.

"We don't want to ram it down people's throat, we don't want to make people feel bad, it's not about guilt, it's about enjoyment.

"I think people want to reconnect with the more important things, I think we're craving that."

And though Stella does not want to be too forceful in her beliefs, she does think the fashion industry is the "second most harmful industry".

She said: "I think every business has to be more responsible. The fashion industry is the second most harmful industry to the environment."

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